Children are constantly using maths to make sense of the world around them. They know that counting the candles on a birthday cake will tell you the age of the person, they know who has the most sweets, especially if it is someone else, and they are beginning to recognise, through number songs and rhymes, that numbers come in a special sequence. They are developing an awareness of patterns through observing ladybirds and butterflies. They know that a Tyrannosaurus Rex was a huge dinosaur and that mice are very small.
At the nursery school we aim to build upon and extend this learning. Children will have many opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in a variety of situations within different areas of the nursery school from everyday activities e.g. using the oven dials in the home corner, to carefully planned teacher-led activities that involve problem-solving and encourage mathematical thinking. The mathematics curriculum includes a whole range of activities involving number, pattern, measurement, shape and space.
The children will have opportunities to use weights and a variety of measuring devices in cooking activities. Whilst participating in movement sessions, they will be learning about using space in a three dimensional world. They will be recognising written numerals, counting objects and solving simple maths puzzles when they are participating at snack-time and developing a maths vocabulary whilst building using construction materials. Singing time is regarded as a valuable time to reinforce children’s understanding of number order and songs such as ‘1 potato, 2 potato’ and ‘5 little ducks’ begin to develop a child’s understanding of simple number addition and subtraction.
At the nursery school, we want their early experiences of maths to be fun and meaningful.