In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the area of learning for Maths is split into two sections; number and shape, space and measure. By the end of Reception, we aim to ensure the children are confident in both these aspects of maths and are independent learners so they can apply their skills to a range of mathematical problems in everyday life.
The full day in the Early Years is enriched with mathematical opportunities from looking at calendar work in the morning when discussing the date, to counting how many children are in each dinner line and all the way to discussing the time on the clock when it is home time. The staff constantly ensure they are making the most of opportunities to link in maths to everyday tasks to ensure the children gain a secure understanding of mathematical concepts and the links to maths in the wider world. As well as these opportunities throughout the day there are structured times of the day for the children to be taught new maths knowledge and skills.
Every day the children have a taught mental maths session that follows a similar structure to the ‘Big Maths’ scheme that the children follow throughout the rest of the school, this helps with transition to National Curriculum. During this session we will practise counting, number recognition, number bonds and facts and then a problem-solving challenge. The children will also have other taught sessions in the week where we will teach the maths concept for that week such as addition, subtraction, time, money, shape, measure, pattern and many more. All the children will then work 1:1 or in a small group with the adults throughout the week, so their understanding can be checked and they will be challenged to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a small focussed activity.
On top of these sessions, there will be plenty of maths challenges in the provision both indoors and outdoors, which encourage the children to use their mathematical knowledge and skills independently to understand the world around them. This could be using capacity vocabulary in the sand and water trays to timing bike races outside and all these maths opportunities will be actively encouraged by the adults and challenge will be incorporated through effective questioning. When children demonstrate independent skills, the adults will make observations of this to put in the child’s learning journey!
We promote a love of maths in Early Years by choosing maths stars of week and making all the learning as fun as possible! We will always make sure the concepts we are teaching are taught through real experiences to engage children and allow them to gain a deeper understanding.