Teaching support from the UK’s largest provider of in-school maths tuition

blogs read

resources downloaded

one to one lessons

schools supported

National Tutoring Programme

Heavily subsidised one to one maths lessons designed to plug gaps, build confidence and boost progress

Learn more

Hundreds of FREE online maths resources!

Daily activities, ready-to-go lesson slides, SATs revision packs, video CPD and more!

National Tutoring Programme

Heavily subsidised one to one maths lessons designed to plug gaps, build confidence and boost progress

Learn more

What Is The 12-Hour And 24-Hour Clock? Explained for Primary School Parents

This article summarises what primary school pupils in KS1 and KS2 will be taught about the 12-hour clock and 24-hour clock and provides some telling the time questions for children to practise telling digital and analogue time on digital and analogue clocks. 

This article is part of our series designed for teachers to inform their mathematical subject knowledge, and for parents to help support children with home learning. More free home learning resources are also available.

What is the 12-hour clock?

The 12-hour clock is most commonly represented on an analogue clock with the numbers 1-12; when shown on a digital clock, it is usually accompanied by a.m. (‘ante meridiem’ – Latin for ‘before midday’) or p.m. (‘post meridiem’ – Latin for ‘after midday’).

What is the 24-hour clock?

The 24-hour clock is more often shown on digital clocks and is written in a 4-digit form, with the first two digits representing the hour and the last two representing the minutes.

There is no need for a.m. or p.m. as each time represents each hour in a 24-hour day. For example, 0300 = 3rd hour of the day, or 3am; 1400 = 14th hour of the day, or 2pm; 1830 = 30 minutes past the 18th hour of the day, or 6.30pm.

How to convert from a 12-hour clock to a 24-hour clock?

To convert from a 12-hour clock to a 24-hour clock, children may be taught to add 12 to the hours after midday, e.g. 3pm becomes 15:00 because 3 + 12 = 15.

Let's Practise Telling the Time

Let's Practise Telling the Time

Download these FREE KS1 and 2 activity sheets to secure and embed key time concepts such as: o'clock, half past, quarter past, and the position of the minute hand.

12-hour clock24-hour clock
1am01:00
2am02:00
3am03:00
4am04:00
5am05:00
6am06:00
7am07:00
8am08:00
9am09:00
10am10:00
11am11:00
12pm12:00
1pm13:00
2pm14:00
3pm15:00
4pm16:00
5pm17:00
6pm18:00
7pm19:00
8pm20:00
9pm21:00
10pm22:00
11pm23:00
12am00:00

When will my child learn about the 12-hour and 24-hour clock in primary school?

12 hour and 24 hour clock in KS1

In KS1 pupils will learn to tell the time to the hour and half past the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times (Year 1) and tell and write the time to five minutes, including quarter past/to the hour and draw the hands on a clock face to show these times (Year 2).

12 hour and 24 hour clock in KS2

Children’s learning of time is continued into lower KS2, where they will tell and write the time from an analogue clock, including using Roman numerals from I to XII, and 12-hour and 24-hour clocks (Year 3).

The National Curriculum’s non-statutory guidance also advises that pupils use both analogue and digital 12-hour clocks and record their times. In this way they become fluent in and prepared for using digital 24-hour clocks in year 4, where they will then learn to read, write and convert time between analogue and digital 12- and 24-hour clocks.

There are no specific objectives about time in upper KS2.

How do the 12- and 24-hour clock relate to other areas of maths?

Children are sometimes required to read and interpret timetables (such as timings of a school day, or a bus timetable) which will often use timings either written in the 12- or 24-hour clock.

12 hour clock & 24 hour clock worksheet questions

1. What time does this clock show?

12 hour and 24 hour clock

(Answer: 8:30)

2. Lily says, ‘On my clock face, the big hand is on the 4 and the little hand is between the 8 and the 9’. What is the time on Lily’s clock face?

(Answer: 20 past 8)

3. Toby went to cubs at 7pm. He finished one hour later. What time did he finish? Give your answer using digital 24-hour clock time.

(Answer: 2000h)

4. These are all times on the same morning.
A: 7:56 am
B: quarter to eight
C: six minutes to eight
D: half past seven
Write the letters for the times in order, starting with the earliest.

(Answer: D, B, C, A)

5. A clock shows this time twice a day.

12 hour and 24 hour clocks

Tick the two digital clocks that show this time:
A: 03:45
B: 02:45
C: 09:45
D: 21:45
E: 14:45

(Answer: B and E)

What time is 12 pm in 24-hour clock?

12pm in the 24-hour clock is 12:00

What is the 24-hour clock called?

The 24-hour clock is also called railway/railroad time, military time and continental time.

What is 12-hour clock time?

The 12-hour clock runs from 1am to noon and then from 1pm to midnight. The 24-hour clock runs from 00:00 (midnight) to 23:59.

If your child is struggling then this article on telling the time breaks down step by step a foolproof method for teaching time at KS1 and KS2.

Online 1-to-1 maths lessons trusted by schools and teachers
Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of primary school children with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 130,000 children become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote to speak to us about your needs and how we can help.

Primary school tuition targeted to the needs of each child and closely following the National Curriculum.

Sophie Bartlett
Sophie Bartlett
Year 6 Teacher
Sophie teaches mixed age classes at a small school in central England. She is a self confessed grammar pedant and number nerd so we've welcomed her as a regular author and editor for Third Space Learning.
x
Let's Practise Telling the Time

Let's Practise Telling the Time

Download these FREE KS1 and 2 activity sheets to secure and embed key time concepts such as: o'clock, half past, quarter past, and the position of the minute hand.

Download Free Now!

Let's Practise Telling the Time

Downloadable resource

Download these FREE KS1 and 2 activity sheets to secure and embed key time concepts such as: o'clock, half past, quarter past, and the position of the minute hand.

Download Free Now!
x

FREE KS2 maths SATs practice papers

Get ready for SATs with this set of 6 maths SATs practice papers designed to help your Year 6 pupils improve test skills and build confidence.

Includes:
- 2 arithmetic and 4 reasoning papers that follow the National Curriculum Assessments.
- Mark schemes to diagnose and assess where your pupils need extra support.

Download free