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The names and properties of 3D Shapes

The NNS recommends that particular shapes be introduced at specific stages in the primary curriculum. Children need to learn the names of shapes, be able to recognise their visual appearance and to begin, over a period of time, to develop an understanding of those properties that are more sophisticated geometrically.

Children should be given plenty of opportunities to handle and explore 3D shapes - both mathematical ones such as building blocks and real ones such as junk boxes and packaging. They should also be given opportunities to observe the existence of 3D shapes in the man-made and natural environment, for example by going on a shape walk, looking at which shapes are used for building and for which parts of a building, identifying those 3D shapes which are less common in the outside world and exploring why this is so.