Maths in Early Years at Grove Street Primary School
Mathematics in the Early Years is developed through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. When children enter Reception (Foundation 2) they start to access the Power Maths Mastery Programme.
Little Learners and Nursery
In Little Learners and Nursery the children take part in (daily for Nursery) 'Maths Meetings' focusing on numbers 0-5. We explore the numbers using a 'feely bag' and exploring the following
- Number Nursery Rhymes (Click here for examples)
- Counting familiar objects
- Five Frames
- Counting different objects
- Counting out from a larger group
- Squishy numerals
- Dice and Dominoes
- Introducing Numicon (Click here to find out more about Numicon)
The staff also ensure that counting and number is embedded into the daily routine. With activities such as counting by clapping, stamping and jumping to find out how many children are in their groups. In Nursery they also have daily time in the maths area supported by an adult.
When children enter Reception we begin to explore Power Maths, this is a mastery teaching programme which focuses on the Concrete, Pictorial, Approach (CPA). This is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils.
Concrete: The ‘doing’ stage – physically moving objects to explore a concept. This helps bring the maths to life. Every abstract concept is first introduced using physical, concrete objects. For example, if a problem involves adding pieces of fruit, children can first handle actual fruit.
Pictorial: This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem. For us this could be using red counters to represent apples on a tens frame or drawing them out in their jotters to create or solve a problem.
Abstract: The ‘abstract’ stage – symbols and numbers are used to model the problem or calculation. In Reception this will be numerals and the following symbols =,- and +. We always have resources to support children solve problems such as counters, cubes or numicon.
The CPA process for new concepts normally takes place over a few weeks to ensure the children have time to digest and apply their new knowledge in a variery of ways.
In Reception, we also include as much maths into our daily routine as possible, this include daily counting of children, counting backwards from different numbers and using the time in our daily routine cards.