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.....We are so excited to share the news!

Hands up if the thought of Maths fills you with dread ! You are not alone, according to the National Numeracy Charity, in 2023 research found numeracy gives many feelings of fear or unease, while almost a third (29 per cent) say they actively try to avoid anything to do with numbers and data.

When the opportunity to take part in the NDNA Maths Champion Programme appeared, we happily accepted the challenge. Our intent to encourage a team feeling confident to naturally implement maths activities and understand the detailed areas of maths development,and  to have fun with maths ! Our aim was to develop the mathematical understanding and language with our kindergarten children, with maths embedded across all areas of the environment. Preparing them for school life with a love for number, shape and space, to create a generation who embrace maths in their future careers.

Over 12 months we have audited staff confidence , our provision of maths in its many elements, stages of maths development in Kindergarten children . Sarah and Gaynor studied Development in Maths Confidence in the Early Years, Coaching as an Educational Lead, Developing Mathematical Thinking in the Early Years .

The concluding assessments have shown a vast development in all areas and we can safely say as a team  ‘WE LOVE MATHS!’

With a focus on our 3 & 4 year old provision, we have reviewed areas of play and activities in every area used by the Kindergarten from the playrooms, to cookery and Hedgehogs room, to the garden to the Forest School . The café in Otters became so loved , the children (and adults) can always be found in this growing area, writing orders, taking reservations by phone, taking payments (cash or card .. ‘you just swipe here, ten pounds please!’) . Reading menus and helping with the Specials Board ‘remember we can’t have nuts!’

This in turn inspired Katie in Forest School, with the valued support of Kim (The Learning Journey) to create the most amazing mud café outdoor room in the woods and the maths continued to blow us all away! Old pots and pans of varying sizes, mud recipes , a table to lay and potions to mix.

These newly designed role play areas have given the children a more challenging are of learning and the maths is threaded throughout in their language, their use of knowledge and in their emergent writing where we are seeing numerals, tallying and maths symbols appear.

And it does not stop here .. in the arts studio children have accessed tape measures to see who made the longest paint drips on their paintings and they have discovered symmetry and patterns with butterfly painting.

Hedgehogs Cookery has been a great success, with Emma focusing on balance when weighing and the children are encouraged to help read the menu and measure ingredients , and talk about time for cooking.

The biggest excitement came one day when the postman arrived with a giant parcel… 100 beautiful wooden bricks. ‘100 is my favourite number’ . We unwrapped the box together to discover, squares, triangles, cube, prisms, cuboids .. and there were giant ones, teeny ones and so many we could not stop building!

As you know we have welcomed Kim, a qualified teacher who runs The Learning Journey, who brings a maths focussed twist to Forest School , with a number of activities including making and measuring worms, and making patterns with natural objects. .  And we also welcome Storybears Clare, a qualified teacher who joins us for music, stories and movement sessions. Through music the children have explored rhythm and speed , volume of sound and patterns in songs.

Sarah says ‘we are so proud of the Kindergarten team, and outdoor team, who have embraced this programme and discovered an enjoyment of maths . The change in the staff confidence, the nursery environment and the development of the children’s mathematical language and understanding has been far more than we could have anticipated. We have genuinely been excited to work though this programme together and so proud to receive recognition for our year on a Maths Journey!’


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