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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics K–10 - Early Stage 1 - Measurement and Geometry Time


A student:

  • MAe-1WM

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

  • MAe-13MG

    sequences events, uses everyday language to describe the durations of events, and reads hour time on clocks


  • Students:
  • Compare and order the duration of events using the everyday language of time (ACMMG007)
  • use terms such as 'daytime', 'night-time', 'yesterday', 'today', 'tomorrow', 'before', 'after', 'next', 'morning' and 'afternoon' L
  • sequence events in time
  • compare the duration of two events using everyday language, eg 'It takes me longer to eat my lunch than it does to clean my teeth' L
  • describe events that take 'a long time' and events that take 'a short time' (Communicating) L
  • Connect days of the week to familiar events and actions (ACMMG008)
  • recall that there are seven days in a week
  • name and order the days of the week L
  • classify weekdays and weekend days
  • relate events to a particular day or time of day, eg 'Assembly is on Tuesday', 'We come to school in the morning' PSC
  • identify events that occur every day, eg 'We have news every day' (Communicating)
  • Tell time on the hour on analog and digital clocks
  • read analog and digital clocks to the hour using the term 'o'clock' L
  • describe the position of the hands on an analog clock when reading hour time L

Background Information


In Early Stage 1, students begin to develop an understanding of the duration of time and learn to identify moments in time. An understanding of duration is introduced through ideas such as 'before', 'after', 'how long' and 'how soon'. It should be noted that time spans in Early Stage 1 are personal judgements. Moments in time include ideas such as daytime, today, days of the week and seasons. Sunday is commonly the first day of the calendar week. A week, however, may also mean a period of seven days beginning on any day, eg 'One week starting from Thursday'.

Teachers should be aware of the multicultural nature of our society and of significant times in the year for different cultural groups. These could include religious festival days, national days and anniversaries.

Telling Time

In Early Stage 1, 'telling time' focuses on reading hour time on analog and digital clocks. The focus on hour time in Early Stage 1 is only a guide. Some students will be able to read other times.


Students should be able to communicate using the following language: daytime, night-time, yesterday, today, tomorrow, before, after, next, a long time, a short time, week, days, weekdays, weekend days, time, morning, afternoon, clock, analog, digital, hands (of a clock), o'clock.

The words 'long' and 'short' can be confusing to students who have only experienced these words in terms of length measurement. Students will need experience with these words in both length and time contexts.

References to time are often used inaccurately in everyday language, eg 'I'll be a second', 'back in a minute'.