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Mathemathics (M)

  • Mathematics is part of our everyday lives at home, at school and in the world around us.
  • Children have a natural curiosity about what is around them and this includes the mathematical.
  • Mathematical development is divided into two areas Number and Shape, space and measure within the Early Years Foundation Stage.


  1. Children explore mathematical concepts through adult and child led activities;
  2. Counting, matching, sorting, shape, pattern and lots more across the whole of the nursery.
  3. Sand, water and dough play support measuring, weighing and problem solving.
  4. Role-play and small world themes that allow children to act out their own experiences and knowledge of the world around them.
  5. We encourage children to think about what they are doing by asking open-ended questions such as: What would happen if? I wonder why? Why do you think that? What can we say about it?


We provide opportunities for counting and number recognition through hands on experiences, core number songs and rhymes, stories, role-play such as the `shoe shop' or ‘supermarket’ and walks within the local environment. We aim to develop an awareness of numbers in the environment and encourage children to use it in their play.  We encourage the children to explore quantities and one to one correspondence through a range of activities such as, exploring collections of objects, laying places for a teddies bears picnic, or helping to count the amount of bowls needed for snack.

Shape, space and measure

We also provide opportunities for categorising and identifying shapes and objects, through the use of activities such as shape walks around the local environment, puzzles, construction kits, maths related equipment and everyday objects. We provide a range of experiences that allow children to develop problems solving skills and such as, finding the right shape or object for a task or using construction materials in order to build for a specific purpose.  


  1. Through practical everyday situations and hands on experience you can encourage your child to enjoy mathematical concepts, for example counting out and matching cutlery at meal times, putting on shoes, socks, clothing – matching one sock, two socks, the same.
  2. Singing number songs, sharing number rhymes and stories.
  3. Cooking, shopping, trips in the environment looking at number plates, cars and more!
  4. Using mathematical language such as big, huge, massive and enormous.

Let's Pretend

  1. Young children sometimes are unable to make a start on something because they do not want to be wrong.
  2. Pretend we are going to count these shells – where shall we start?


Language of Mathematics

Counting using one, two, three and then gradually extending the numbers used is important, however mathematicians need a wide ranging vocabulary – here is a small selection:

Big – bigger, small - smaller
More – less, a few - a lot
Up – down, high - low
Back – front, middle - in between
Under – Over, in front - behind

First – last, over - under
On top – below, high - low
Fast – slow, before - after – now
Heavy – heavier, light - lighter
Wide – narrow, straight - curvy