Early Years Resources

Support for Reception Year and Y1: Helen Williams

This guidance has been written to support and stimulate those of us working with Reception and Y1 children when we plan mathematics for our youngest children. It was written in the summer of 2020 as the schools returned from a national lockdown, but there is much here to support transition between these two phases

Children involved in maths learning

Understanding number in the early years

The Mastering Number programme, which some schools in this hub area are participating in, involves maths teaching to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes, and handles important topics for early maths understanding such as subitising, cardinality and composition. Dr Helen Williams and Dr Ruth Trundley have recorded a video in which they explore some of these key aspects of early learning in a way that might be used as a staff meeting. The session starts with observing some reception children playing and is relevant to all in maths education.

The recording lasts 40 minutes and asks you to pause in several places to allow staff to engage in activity. This includes: reading journal articles, sharing mathematical thinking and discussing observations. Depending on the size of your staff you might want to organise threes or fours for discussion and then take feedback or discuss as a whole group. One of the benefits of this being a recording is that you can watch any part of it for a second time; this might be useful in response to ideas and questions emerging from the discussion. The time for activity and discussion is important and we suggest allowing between 75 and 90 minutes when using it for a staff meeting.
The journal articles Double Impact: Mathematics and Executive Function and Automatic recall and executive function should be available for reading during, or prior to, the staff meeting. We hope this recording will provide all viewers with an understanding of the importance of the mathematical ideas included.
Sue Gifford presenting

Dr Sue Gifford’s presentation to the Early Years Workgroup, January 2020: What do we know from research about the key priorities for early mathematics and predictors of later achievement?

Useful links:

Blog by Sue Gifford on the importance of shape and space https://bsrlm.org.uk/the-case-for-space-in-the-early-years/

Article by Helen Williams on shape and space and the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning https://famly.co/blog/the-child/helen-williams-spatial-reasoning/

Helen Williams’ article for the Impact, journal of the Chartered College of Teachers: “Mathematics in the early years: what matters?’ https://impact.chartered.college/article/mathematics-in-early-years/

The early years’ section of the NRich site is a good go-to for articles and ideas https://nrich.maths.org/early-years

Erikson Early Maths in her talk https://earlymath.erikson.edu and the Number Talk images website http://ntimages.weebly.com