As with all other Areas of Learning, the teaching and learning of mathematics in our Nursery and Reception classes takes place both indoors and outdoors through a wide range of practical and "hands on" activities.
The staff use their knowledge and expertise to plan for a high quality learning environment which provides children with lots of opportunities to explore different aspects of number and shape, space and measures and learn new concepts. The children have a wide range of resources available to them throughout the year - this is known as "continuous provision". We regularly reflect upon the resources available, ensuring that they are challenging and engaging.
For example, children learn about capacity through their water and sand play indoors and outdoors. They use containers of different shapes and sizes to measure and compare and the adults model the use of these resources and the appropriate mathematical language as they support the children in their play.
Children develop their knowledge and understanding of shapes and their properties through their experiences of activities such as junk modelling, shape hunts and block play.
We also develop children's early counting and number skills using resources such as board games and dice, number tracks, dominoes and Numicon. Numicon is a set of shapes which represent the numbers from 1 to 10. The shapes provide children with an image to support them with their understanding of number.They help children to notice patterns in number and number relationships. Our construction and loose parts areas are perfect places for exploring number concepts and pattern.
Our outdoor activities include lots of opportunities for children to count and read and write numbers, such as games using targets or games involving scoring and adding up points such as skittles.
In addition to the opportunities for child initiated play indoors and outdoors, staff plan adult led activities for groups of children and individuals based on their observations of what children know and can do. They plan activities to address any misconceptions that have arisen and to introduce new concepts.