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Kingshurst Primary School

Mathematics in the Early Years

In Early Years there are seven areas of learning and development, all of these areas are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are the prime areas:

• communication and language

• physical development

• personal, social and emotional development

The remaining four are specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are:

  1. literacy
  2. mathematics
  3. understanding the world
  4. expressive arts and design

At Kingshurst Primary School, developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding such as using manipulatives, including tens frames our children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that our curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

In EYFS (Nursery and Reception) we follow the EYFS framework. Teachers ensure the children learn through a mixture of adult led activities and child-initiated activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Mathematics is taught through an integrated approach using material from NCETM Mastering Number, White Rose Maths and Numberblocks. The children have a wide range of structured play resources available to them throughout the year - this is known as "continuous provision". The adults model the use of these resources and the appropriate mathematical language as they support the children in their play.


Across Reception and through to KS1, we have implemented a new and exciting Mastering Number maths project. Our overarching aims are for children to:


  • Make good progress towards the Early Learning Goals
  • Be confident in communicating their ideas
  • Develop a positive attitude towards maths and be willing to ‘have a go’


Our mastering number sessions cover all of the number work that will support the children to meet the Early Learning Goals and the learning trajectories that build children’s understanding and help them make connections between different mathematical concepts.


This includes the teaching of:

All of these overlap, for example there are two ways to identify a quantity – one is to subitise and one is to count. Both of these areas develop our sense of quantity and cardinality. By subitising we are looking and seeing that number but by counting we are recognising that the last number we said in the count represents the size of the group. Composition in number is about recognising number in size, this is not just about recognising that 3 is three but also that inside three there is a 2 and a 1 as well as the relationship between two and one.


Mastery in number is delivered for four days in a week, we use the fifth day for other areas such as shape and space, pattern and number. The other areas are embedded through the continuous provision and routines. It is very important for our children to get a holistic curriculum.

'Creating a calm and positive atmosphere where everyone feels valued and respected'

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