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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics K–10 - Early Stage 1 - Number and Algebra Fractions and Decimals


A student:

  • MAe-1WM

    describes mathematical situations using everyday language, actions, materials and informal recordings

  • MAe-3WM

    uses concrete materials and/or pictorial representations to support conclusions

  • MAe-7NA

    describes two equal parts as halves


  • Students:
  • Establish the concept of one-half
  • share an object by dividing it into two equal parts, eg cutting a piece of ribbon into halves
  • describe how to make equal parts (Communicating)
  • recognise that halves are two equal parts
  • explain the reason for dividing an object in a particular way (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • recognise when two parts are not halves of one whole
  • explain why two parts of one whole are or are not halves, eg 'The two parts are not halves because they are not the same' (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • use the term 'half' accurately in everyday situations L
  • record halves of objects using drawings

Background Information

The focus on halves in Early Stage 1 is only a guide. Some students will be able to describe other fractions from everyday contexts. The emphasis is on dividing one whole object into two equal parts. Fairness in making equal parts is the focus.

Halves can be different shapes. Image shows 2 squares halved - one is divided by a horizontal line; other by a diagonal line

Halves of different objects can be different sizes, eg half of a sheet of art paper is larger than half of a serviette. Fractions refer to the relationship of the equal parts to the whole unit.


Students should be able to communicate using the following language: whole, part, equal parts, half, halves.

In everyday usage, the term 'half' is sometimes used to mean one of two parts and not necessarily two equal parts, eg 'I'll have the biggest half'. It is important to model and reinforce the language of 'two equal parts' when describing half.