Our Lady & St Brendan's Catholic Primary School

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Mastering Number in Reception and KS1

This approach aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and into Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention is given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success moving into KS2 and beyond.

The resources available provide teaching materials for four short sessions each week, aimed at developing children’s fluency and flexibility with number.

In EYFS, this is central to the mathematics curriculum and forms the main input and focus of mathematics teaching. This is supplemented with shape, space and measure activities in the fifth session of the week and throughout carefully planned provision opportunities.

“Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.” Development Matters 2012

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. Conversely, children who start behind in mathematics tend to stay behind throughout their whole educational journey. Duncan et al, 2007

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 small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the 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.

From Reception onwards, we promote exploration and practical application and discovery to develop mathemeticians who make rich connections and spot patterns and relationships. We develop cardinality and counting, comparison, composition, shape and space and measure in provision and in maths whole class and small group lessons.


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