The metric system is so easy to understand. Take length for example: no 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard or 1760 yards in a mile. It’s all tens, hundreds and thousands! By Stage 4 (8/9 yrs old) children should know the standard units of measurement for length, including the abbreviations.
mm (millimetres) cm (centimetres) m (metres) and km (kilometres) .
They should also know that:
1 kilometre = 1 000 metres
1 metre = 100 centimetres or 1 000 millimetres
1 centimetre = 10 millimetres
These facts really do have to be learned, but it is not too difficult as they are all multiples of 10, unlike the old imperial system!
They should also be developing their understanding of what is the best unit to use: eg what is the most suitable unit to measure the length of the garden?
It is not so easy to find real life situations where kilometres are used – certainly in athletics, cycling races etc, but unfortunately our roads are still signposted in miles – but that issue is for another whole series of blogs!
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