NSM Number Facts Principle 2

Systematic teaching of derived fact strategies is effective for all, including children identified as low attainers.

Research Finding

Systematic teaching of derived fact strategies works. Children taught using this approach outperform children in control groups in terms of the number of items correctly answered and using more efficient strategies for answering questions [3,4,5]. Targeted teaching of strategies is effective, including for children identified as ‘low attainers’[6].

Application to NSM Number Facts

NSM Number Facts provides the targeted teaching needed by all children, both low and high attainers, through its systematic and structured approach. Assessment is an integral part of the programme to check progress and to refocus further teaching in the areas that still need to be secured.


[3] ASKEW, M, BIBBY, T & BROWN, M 2001, Raising attainment in primary number sense: from counting to strategy. BEAM Education, London.

[4] THORNTON, C.A., 1978. Emphasizing Thinking Strategies in Basic Fact Instruction The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 9 (3) 214-227.

[5] STEINBERG, R.M., 1985, Instruction on Derived Facts Strategies in Addition and Subtraction Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 16, No. 5 (Nov., 1985), pp. 337-355.

[6] ELLEMOR-COLLINS, D. & WRIGHT, R., 2009, Structuring Numbers 1 to 20: Developing Facile Addition and Subtraction Math Ed Res J 21: 50.