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NSW Syllabuses

Mathematics K–10 - Early Stage 1 - Number and Algebra Patterns and Algebra


A student:

  • MAe-1WM

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

  • MAe-2WM

    uses objects, actions, technology and/or trial and error to explore mathematical problems

  • MAe-3WM

    uses concrete materials and/or pictorial representations to support conclusions

  • MAe-8NA

    recognises, describes and continues repeating patterns


  • Students:
  • Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications (ACMNA005)
  • sort and classify a group of familiar objects into smaller groups L
  • recognise that a group of objects can be sorted and classified in different ways CCT
  • explain the basis for their classification of objects (Communicating, Reasoning)
  • Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings
  • recognise, copy and continue repeating patterns using sounds and/or actions
  • recognise, copy, continue and create repeating patterns using shapes, objects or pictures, eg 
    Pattern showing 1 black diamond followed by 1 white square; pattern is repeated 4 times.
  • create or continue a repeating pattern using simple computer graphics (Problem Solving) ICT
  • recognise when an error occurs in a pattern and explain what is wrong (Communicating, Reasoning) CCT
  • describe a repeating pattern made from shapes by referring to its distinguishing features, eg 'I have made my pattern from squares. The colours repeat. They go red, blue, red, blue, …' L

Background Information

Early number learning (including additive and multiplicative thinking) is important to the development of algebraic thinking in later stages.

In Early Stage 1, repeating patterns can be created using sounds, actions, shapes, objects, stamps, pictures and other materials.


Students should be able to communicate using the following language: group, pattern, repeat.

National Numeracy Learning Progression links to this Mathematics outcome

When working towards the outcome MAe‑8NA the sub-elements (and levels) of Number patterns and algebraic thinking (NPA1-NPA3) describe observable behaviours that can aid teachers in making evidence-based decisions about student development and future learning.

The progression sub-elements and indicators can be viewed by accessing the National Numeracy Learning Progression.