Mathematics / Year 6 / Number and Algebra / Number and place value

Curriculum content descriptions

Identify and describe properties of prime, composite, square and triangular numbers (ACMNA122)

  • understanding that some numbers have special properties and that these properties can be used to solve problems
  • representing composite numbers as a product of their prime factors and using this form to simplify calculations by cancelling common primes
  • understanding that if a number is divisible by a composite number then it is also divisible by the prime factors of that number (for example 216 is divisible by 8 because the number represented by the last three digits is divisible by 8, and hence 216 is also divisible by 2 and 4)
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Numeracy Numeracy
ScOT terms

Triangular numbers,  Composite numbers,  Perfect squares,  Prime numbers


Self Improvement Wednesday: The beauty of prime numbers

A prime number is a number that only has two factors: one and itself. Listen to Adam Spencer and Richard Glover discussing prime numbers. They cover how we define these numbers and how and why prime numbers are widely used in internet encryption.


Catalyst: Prime numbers and unbreakable codes

Imagine if anyone was able to read all our secret, encrypted messages and information. Watch and find out how scientists at the Australian National University are developing a new encryption system using quantum physics and quantum computing.


Numbers Count: What are factors?

What are factors? Watch as the jelly babies in this clip show you! What are the factors of 12? How many factors does the number 11 have? Try explaining to a friend what a prime number is.


Circus towers: square stacks

Work out how many acrobats are needed to form square-shaped human towers. Start by building a square tower with four acrobats: two acrobats in the base layer and two acrobats standing on their shoulders. Examine a table and graph of the total number of acrobats in the towers. Predict the number of acrobats needed to build ...


Catalyst: Prime number keys

Have you ever wondered how modern day encryption works? How are messages and financial transactions kept hidden from cyber criminals and hackers? Listen to reporter Ruben Meerman and mathematician Simon Pampena discuss the largest prime number ever found and how prime numbers are used to encrypt electronic information.


Patterns, primes and Pascal's Triangle

Are you intrigued by patterns? Check out Vi Hart as she explains how to visualise patterns in prime numbers, using Ulam's Spiral. Watch as Vi creates patterns, using Pascal's Triangle to explore relationships in number. See what happens when she circles the odd numbers. What rule does she use to create the final pattern?


Patterns & Algebra Year 6 - Frogs Lesson - Calculate

This activity is designed to encourage students to engage with a problem, before they overthink it. Too often in class we begin with what is familiar to students and gradually increase the challenge. This problem begins with a challenge and encourages students to work backwards to solve a simpler problem, before applying ...


Algebra basics video

Use this video as a springboard to introduce algebraic thinking, and to apply that thinking to a financial context, drawing on reasoning.


Factors, multiples, primes: Year 6 – planning tool

This planning resource for Year 6 is for the topic of Factors and multiples. Students decompose composites into their prime factors and recognise primes as the building blocks of composite numbers. Students consolidate use of the distributive and commutative laws of multiplication to simplify calculations.


Catalyst: Small scale measurements

What units of measurements do we use to describe incredibly small things like blood cells and atoms? Watch as you are taken on a journey to explain the different units of measurement that we use to describe the very small.


MathXplosion, Ep 6: Zero the hero

What is the role of zero as a placeholder for large numbers such as 1 million, 1 billion and 1 trillion? Find out about the notion of place value and powers of ten through the act of bead counting.


Prime and Composite Numbers - Calculate

This unit investigates prime and composite numbers. Prime numbers are the elements of number system. Combining primes together by multiplication gives us all of the other whole numbers, just as combining atoms of different elements gives us the molecules and compounds of the physical world.