Fulbourn Primary School

Dare to Discover

Whole School- Daily Counting Practice

Progression in Counting through Primary School

Below is a progression of counting skills that children should be practising throughout Primary School. Children are recommended to practise some counting every single day and shouldn’t move on to the next stage until they can confidently and fluently count at their current stage level.

To make counting more engaging, below the table are some ideas on how to make counting active and fun.

During the early stages, it is important that children use objects to count to develop an understanding of quantity. If your child is struggling with counting whole number sequences, try printing out a 0-100 number square. Colouring numbers in the sequence can help children see the pattern.


Counting Objective

Notes/ Advice


Count objects to 10

Use fingers or ten identical objects such as pasta shapes or beads on a string.


Count objects to 20.

Count backwards from 10.

Use identical objects to count.

Practise this until you are as confident and fluent counting backwards as you are forwards.


Count to 30 in ones.


Count an irregular arrangement of up to 20 objects.

Count backwards from 20.

Continue to use objects to count, but also counting movements eg. Steps

Take a handful of objects from a jar. Drop them on the table. Practise counting accurately by organising objects.


Count to and across 100, forwards and backwards, from any given number.








Count in whole hours

Count whilst waiting for something to happen. Eg. Toast to cook in the toaster, kettle to boil

Guess a good start number to see if you can count backwards so that something happens at 0. Eg Toast popping up

Count 2 minutes by counting to 120 or down from 120, using a topic word between each number eg. 1 jellyfish, 2 jellyfish, 3 jellyfish to estimate seconds


1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock…..

Use a clock off the wall to help if you can, remember to return to 1 o’clock after 12 o’clock


Count in multiples of 2, 5 and 10, forwards and backwards





Count in ½ hours

2, 4, 6, 8, 10…. Could practise counting pairs of things, like shoes

5, 10, 15, 20…. Could make a tally chart and count groups

10, 20, 30, 40….

Try to go past 100 and back again with all of these.


12 o’clock, 12:30, 1 o’clock    or say half past


Count in 10s from any number, forwards and backwards

Count in multiples of 3

Eg. 56, 66, 76, 86…

Make sure you cross 100 and back again.

3, 6, 9, 12… (to at least 36, forwards and backwards)


Count in 1s from any 3 digit number up to and across 1000 and back again


Count in multiples of 100

Probably better to start somewhere in the late 900s, but can practice crossing any hundreds with other 3 digit starting points.

100, 200, 300, 400… (Make sure you cross 1000 and back)


Count from 0 in multiples of 4

Count from 0 in multiples of 8

Count from 0 in multiples of 50


Count in 1/2s

Count in 1/4s

Count in multiples of 25

4, 8, 12, 16….

8, 16, 32, 64…. (remember you can double your 4s)

50, 100, 150, 200……


½, 1, 1 ½ ……

¼, 2/4 (or ½), ¾, 1 ……..

Look for repeated pattern due to being ¼ of 100


Count in tenths as a fraction and decimal






Count in multiples of 1000

0.1, 0.2, 0.3…. or 1/10, 2/10, 3/10….. (make sure you cross 1 and back)

When confident, see if you can swap between the two mid-count eg 0.1, 0.2, 3/10, 4/10, 0.5

You could count mm on a ruler as tenths of a cm, eg. 0.1cm, 0.2cm

1000, 2000, 3000…..


Count backwards and then forwards through 0 to include negative numbers


Count in multiples of 6

Count in multiples of 7

Count in multiples of 9

Count in multiples of 11

Count in multiples of 12


Using an image of a thermometer is always good for this

Once confident, see if you can count back through 0 in other multiples eg. 2s, 3s, etc




Add 10 and subtract 1 each time (look for patterns)

Add 10 and add 1 each time (look for patterns)


Use Times Table Rock Stars to practise all times tables up to 12 x 12. Counting supports this, but make sure children are practising recall of facts in a random order.


Count up and down in hundredths





Count in 1/2s, as fractions and decimals, forwards and backwards

Try in decimals and fractions. Look to say tenths when you can eg. 0.08, 0.09, 0.1, 0.11 or 8/100, 9/100, 1/10, 11/100

Colour in a blank 10x10 grid square as you count to help with recognising tenths.


½, 1, 1 ½, 2 ……   or    0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 …….



Count in 1/4s, as fractions and decimals, forwards and backwards

Count in 1/3s, forwards and backwards

¼, ½, ¾, 1 …   or    0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1…


1/3, 2/3, 1, 1 1/3…..



Count in 3/4s, as fractions and decimals, forwards and backwards

Count in 2D shapes, starting with triangle

¾, 1 ½, 2 1/4 ……     or     0.75, 1.5, 2.25……..


triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, hendecagon, dodecagon


Make it fun by counting whilst doing:

  • Star jumps
  • Bunny jumps
  • Lunges
  • Hops on one leg
  • Squats
  • Bouncing a ball on a racquet
  • Any other repetitive exercise you can think of!


Check out your teachers' efforts in the videos and see if you can match their P.E. and Maths skills!

Stage 1 - Counting to 10

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with Mrs Rawlings-Blackmore

Stage 2 - Count objects to 20 and count backwards from 10.

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With Miss Mandra

Stage 4 - Counting to 120

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with Mrs Marshall

Stage 4 - Counting back from 120

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with Miss Cooper

Stage 5 - Counting in multiples of 10

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with Mrs Wade

Stage 6 - Counting in 3s

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with Ms Richman

Stage 8 - Counting in halves

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with Mr Edwards