Unit 11 – 1 week

Primary KS2 Year 3

This topic is part of the National Curriculum but is not included in the DfE 2020 guidance or the NCETM Mastery PD Materials. There are no NCETM classroom slides to download for this unit. We hope that teachers/schools will plan to cover this material from their own existing high-quality resources and using the information and suggestions below.

National curriculum statutory requirements (p21)

Pupils should be taught to:

  • tell and write the time from an analogue clock, including using Roman numerals from I to XII, and 12-hour and 24-hour clocks
  • estimate and read time with increasing accuracy to the nearest minute; record and compare time in terms of seconds, minutes and hours; use vocabulary such as o’clock, a.m./p.m., morning, afternoon, noon and midnight
  • know the number of seconds in a minute and the number of days in each month, year and leap year
  • compare durations of events [for example to calculate the time taken by particular events or tasks].

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

  • Pupils use both analogue and digital 12-hour clocks and record their times. In this way they become fluent in and prepared for using digital 24-hour clocks in Year 4

When planning this unit, build on children’s current understanding of time on an analogue clock that you will have developed in KS1 (see Year 1, Unit 11 and Year 2, Unit 11).

Introducing Roman numerals on a clock face

Show the children two clock faces – one with familiar 1 to 12 numbers, and one with Roman numerals. Ask them what is the same and what is different? The numerals on both are in the same position and there are 12 of them.

Look at the Roman numerals and look at how many symbols have been used - only three: I, V and X.

Ensure that the children know that I represents 1, V represents 5 and X represents 10. Use this knowledge to see how the other numbers are represented.

Use their understanding from Year 1 and Year 2 to tell the time using an analogue clock with Roman numerals as well as to draw hands on this type of clock to indicate a given time to the nearest five minutes.

Introducing a 12-hour digital clock

Introduce a 12-hour digital clock alongside an analogue clock. Focus on the hands on the analogue clock separately. Compare to the digital clock where the time runs from midnight (00:00), is divided into 12 hours in the morning (am) and 12 hours after midday (pm), and indicates hours passed since midnight.

As the hour hand moves around the clock compare what is happening to the numbers to the left of the digital clock (often separated by a colon). The numbers show 00 to 12, usually with a zero in front of the single-digit numbers. Midnight is written as 00:00 as there have been zero hours of the new day. Because of the need to know if the time is before midday or after midday introduce the use of am and pm. These terms will be shown on a digital clock but not on an analogue clock.

Then look at the minute hand and focus on minutes past each hour. As the minute hand moves around the clock face see how the numbers change from 00 to 59. Draw attention to the fact that it doesn’t show 60 even though there are 60 minutes in an hour because at the end of the 59th minute the next hour begins, and the digital clock will show 00 again. Focusing on minutes past the hour, introduce the stem sentence alongside both types of clock:

__ minutes past __ is the same time as__ __.” E.g. Thirty-five minutes past six is the same as six thirty-five.

Number of days in each month, year and leap year

Children need to know that there are 365 days in every year apart from in a leap year that occurs every four years. Also, that there are 12 months in a year, not all having the same number of days in them. In a leap year there are 366 days, and this extra day is added in February.

Songs and rhymes might support children to learn the order of the months as well as repetition through writing them when recording dates in books, etc.

Opportunities to address this topic in other Year 3 units in the curriculum prioritisation materials

  • Unit 2: Numbers to 1,000 (focusing on the relative position of numbers up to 60 in the ordinal number system).

Cross-curricular opportunities to address this topic

  • Throughout the school day referring to when events occur such as the start and end of the school day, lunch time, etc., increasing their awareness from Year 2 through referring to minutes past the hour. Focus on time intervals – for example, 'How many hours and minutes have passed since break time?' using both analogue and digital clocks
  • When you write the date in class, and if you recognise birthdays in your class, draw attention to the number of days in each month and whether the year is a leap year (a multiple of 4) or not.

Useful resources