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Cardinal Road Nursery & Infant School

‘Creating Opportunities’



We teach more than one strategy for subtraction and the children can choose which to use based on how confidently they understand them or whether it is the most appropriate strategy to use for the given numbers.


When numbers are closer together it is often most appropriate to use an empty number line. This visually demonstrates the way that many of us calculate subtraction mentally; by counting on from the smaller number to the larger number to find the difference between.

When numbers are further apart it is often more appropriate to use the partitioning strategy. This is similar to partitioning to add, but keep the larger number whole and partition the smaller number.