NSM Number Facts®

NSM Number Facts® is the Number Sense Maths programme for schools. It is a scheme of work focused entirely on number fact teaching, providing the breadth and depth to number fact teaching that children need to achieve fluency. The programme is compatible with all full curriculum textbooks and schemes of work. It also works well as an intervention with older children.

*** To help schools in the challenging teaching situation we face currently, we have developed free, downloadable Covid support teaching packs, and we are running free, interactive training on number fact teaching.***

NSM Number Facts® Overview

Supplements main maths curriculum

Focused purely on number facts, NSM Number Facts works alongside all full curriculum textbooks and schemes of work, providing further depth and breadth to number fact teaching. The programme gives fluency the focus it really needs to get children fluent in their number facts, just as phonics gets the focus it needs to teach children to read.

Addition and subtraction facts

At the core of NSM Number Facts are the Addition and Subtraction Fact Grids. These essential facts are the equivalent of times tables for addition and subtraction. Just as all multiplication and division calculations use root times table facts, all future addition and subtraction calculations use these root addition and subtraction facts.

Click here for the Subtraction Fact Grid.

Calculation strategies

NSM Number Facts teaches 12 calculation strategies. Learning and applying these strategies gives children a deep understanding of number and number relationships. Using these strategies children can then "use what they know to work out what they don't know". Explicit teaching of derived fact strategies is an effective route to fluency in addition and subtraction facts for all children, including lower attainers.

Click here for more detail of the calculation strategies.

Six-stage programme

The facts and strategies are brought together in the six stage teaching programme which can be delivered in daily factual fluency sessions, or integrated into the main maths lessons. Stages 1- 4 are taught in Year 1, and Stages 5 and 6 are taught in Year 2.

Click here for more detail of the 6 stages.

Modelled on phonics

NSM Number Facts is modelled on the structured phonics programmes used to teach early reading. Just as schools can tell you where they teach each grapheme-phoneme correspondence in phonics, NSM Number Facts systematically teaches every addition and subtraction fact, leaving nothing to chance. As children progress through the strategy groups, they develop key visual pathways and learn key number relationships. This results in factual fluency and confidence with number by the end of KS1.

Click on the thumbnail for a video showing how fluency in addition facts builds up.

Click here for the equivalent subtraction facts video.

Comprehensive resources

Each stage of the programme is broken down into smaller teaching steps, with resources provided for every step. The resources for each step include

  • Teaching Points which explain what children need to learn in each step, and the models used
  • Activities, for both the classroom and at home, which introduce key concepts 
  • Animations that develop understanding visually and relate key concepts to every day contexts
  • Exercises that build progressively with scaffolding for children and talking tips to support teachers and parents 

Go to Free resources to see examples of all of these resources.

Teacher Portal

The NSM Number Fact resources are accessed via the Teacher Portal where they can be read, snipped into lesson slides, and printed. As well as teaching resources the portal hosts assessment materials for the programme, along with teacher guidance and professional development support. Sign up for FREE membership of the Teacher Portal to see a substantial selection of the programme resources that you can try in school.