Algebra is the development of the pupils’ work with number, generalising what they notice and representing it in symbols.

For example, if a sequence of numbers is 3, 6, 9, 12 it is possible to say that the next number is three more than the previous one and so it will be 15; but algebra lets us write down what the 100th or 1000th number will be.

The next stage is to use algebra to describe the situation by using symbols, for example, the above sequence could be written as y = 3x. Algebra helps pupils represent solutions in concise ways.

You can help your child by: