Home > Patterns > Good teaching > Patterns in school activities > Repeating patterns in school activities

Repeating patterns in school activities

The regular school routine shows many repeating patterns.

For example, students may go to the library on the same day at the same time each week, or go to sport every Friday.

Many school years follow the sequence term-break-term-break-term-break-term-long holiday, which is almost a repeating pattern.

And events such as Anzac Day and students' birthdays always fall on the same date each year.


Exploration of such patterns can develop students' understanding of basic time units.

Charting regular events on a calendar can reinforce their understanding of rectangular grids and of number sequences.

Timelines are great examples of number lines.


Patterning concepts can be reinforced through integration with other curriculum areas.

Many children's picture books illustrate repeating patterns in either their language or the mathematics concepts included.

Art and music often exhibit repeating patterns or symmetry as do many physical education exercises.

Sports day

Many patterns can be found in events such as school sports days.

Picture books

Young children’s picture books provide many opportunities for reinforcing patterning ideas.

Curriculum links

Year 1: Describe duration using months, weeks, days and hours

Foundation Year: Compare and order the duration of events using the everyday language of time

Foundation Year: Connect days of the week to familiar events and actions

Foundation Year: Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings

Year 1: Investigate and describe number patterns formed by skip counting and patterns with objects

Year 3: Describe, continue and create number patterns resulting from performing addition or subtraction