Early Years Resources
The first few years of a child’s life are especially important for mathematics development. Research shows that early mathematical knowledge predicts later reading ability and general education and social progress(ii). Conversely, children who start behind in mathematics tend to stay behind throughout their whole educational journey(iii).
The objective for those working in Early Years, then, is to ensure that all children develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. The materials in this section of the website are primarily designed to support Reception teachers (those working with 4-5 year olds), and are based on international research.
The materials are organised into key concepts (not individual objectives), which underpin many early mathematics curricula. The typical progression highlights the range of experiences (some of which may be appropriate for younger children) but the activities and opportunities could be developed across the Reception provision.
There are six key areas of early mathematics learning, which collectively provide a platform for everything children will encounter as they progress through their maths learning at primary school, and beyond.
Sarah Gordon of Stubbins Wood School introduces us to “Mathematical Snack” and explains how this can help children to problem solve and develop confidence in mathematical thinking while allowing teachers to observe which children have a deeper knowledge of mathematics.
The materials below were first published by the NCETM in 2018 and updated in 2019.
These areas form the fundamental mathematical basis of a CBeebies series of five-minute animated programmes called Numberblocks. The NCETM has provided support materials linked to the Numberblocks programmes. These are designed to help Early Years practitioners draw out and build on the maths embedded in the stories contained in each episode.
Some other useful resources can be found below:
- Mastery in Mathematics Booklet
- Mastery in Mathematics Poster
- Mathematical Snack Information
- Planning for Depth of Understanding in Early Years
- Subject Knowledge Overview for Counting
- Subject Knowledge Overview for Pattern
- Mastery Vocabulary
- Example Session Plan
- Blank Session Plan
- Case studies from our Early Years Counting project can be found here.
- Case studies from our Early Years Pattern project can be found here.
- Guidance from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) on what research tells us about mathematics in early years and key stage one is here. This is particularly helpful for school leaders.
- Further resources to support learning and teaching in early years mathematics are available from our friends at NCETM here