Maths Year 6 – 1b Number & Value – Negative Numbers

Problem Solving

Often we have to solve problems which will involve positive and negative numbers. When this is required we need to remember a few key facts about these numbers:

  • Negative numbers extend the numberline to below zero
  • When we increase from a negative number we move up the numberline
  • When we decrease from a negative number we move down the numberline

Can you think of some real life situations which use negative numbers?

  • Temperature
  • Depths below sea level
  • Bank accounts
Negative numbers

What can we do now?

Now that you can solve problems involving negative numbers you can answer these questions:

1)  In the morning of December 3rd the temperature in Birmingham was -3ºc. In the afternoon it was 5ºc. What was the difference in temperatures?

2) Bobby’s bank balance showed as -£34 when he checked it. He deposits £50 into his account. What will his balance be now?

3)  A waterproof watch says it can do to depths of -3 metres. If Eric is diving at -10 metres, how far below the recommended level for the watch is he?


Follow the links below to learn more.

  1. Positive and negative integers
  2. Word Questions
  3. BBC Bitesize – Negative Numbers

Click here for Year 6 Maths Home Page

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National Curriculum

Pupils should learn to:-

  • count in multiples of 6, 7, 9, 25 and 1000
  • find 1000 more or less than a given number
  • count backwards through zero to include negative numbers
  • recognise the place value of each digit in a four-digit number (thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones)
  • order and compare numbers beyond 1000
  •  identify, represent and estimate numbers using different representations
  • round any number to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000
  • solve number and practical problems that involve all of the above and with increasingly large positive numbers
  • read Roman numerals to 100 (I to C) and know that over time, the numeral system changed to include the concept of zero and place value.