Work on measures involves understanding and using both metric and imperial systems of measurement (length, area, volume, capacity, mass (weight) and time). It also involves using measurements to calculate areas and volumes of common shapes (triangle, square, rectangle, parallelogram, trapezium and circle) and solids (cube, cuboid, pyramid and sphere). A crucial aspect of measurement is the ability to estimate.
Children should be familiar with the following units of measurement:
- length: mm (millimetre), cm (centimetre), m (metre), km (kilometre), inch, foot, mile
- area: cm² (square centimetre), m² (square metre)
- volume: cm³ (cubic centimetre), m³ (cubic metre)
- capacity: l (litre), ml (millilitre), pint, gallon
- mass (weight): g (gram), kg (kilogram), tonne (= 1000 kg), pound
- time: second, minute, hour, week, year
- speed: metres per second
- density: grams per cubic centimetre.
They should be able to convert from one metric unit to another. They should also be able to convert between inches and centimetres, miles and kilometres, litres and pints, and pounds and kilograms.
You can help your child by:
- including them in any measuring activities in the home, for instance when you are decorating, cooking or planning their bedroom layout
- familiarising yourself with the common metric and imperial units of measurement
- when you are in other countries, talking to them about distances in kilometres and how to convert to miles
- ensuring that they have a good-quality 30 cm ruler for use in the home and at school.