Achieving level 2 – Shape

To achieve level 2 children need to be well acquainted with both 2-D and 3-D shapes. This includes:

  1. Identifying and describing 2-D shapes such as squares, triangles, circles, pentagons and hexagons. They will be able to talk about how the number of sides and corners helps to identify the shapes.
  2. Exploring 3-D shapes and the number of faces and corners.
  3. Comparing two shapes, saying what is the same and what is different about them.
  4. Sorting shapes using just one criterion to begin with and going on to place them in diagrams such as Venn or Carroll.
  5. Recognising that shapes do not change if they are moved or turned.


Don’t forget to include shape recognition in mental work; simply holding up a shape and asking what is it called, how many sides has it, how many faces etc. Rotate the shape to show that it stays being the same shape. (You would be surprised at the number of adults who see a square tilted onto one corner and then describe it as a diamond!)

Construction kits are a great resource to use, both the brick type and the straw or pole type. Nothing can beat hands on building and don’t forget to discuss the properties of the shapes being made.

A really good game to play is to sit back to back , each with the same number and colours of bricks (just 4 or 5) and one person describe their shape to the other, so that they can build the same shape: much trickier than it might seem!

You will find lots of worksheets on these tasks in our Year 2 Subtraction section, but perhaps even better are our Year 2 Subtraction Maths Games, especially the Subtraction Strategies category. They give unlimited practice at these skills and really good results can be printed out and used as a record of achievement. Why not have a look now?

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