Early Maths

Early Maths in our Nursery Schools focuses on teaching essential number sense (TENS). This underpins all children’s future Maths learning and ensures that they can work at mastery level in their future schooling.


Early Maths does not begin with counting but starts with the skills of noticing, visualising and then subitising. Please watch the videos below to see how we are teaching these skills in school. The videos will explain how children learn these essential skills in the Early Years which will help them to become confident mathematicians throughout their school life and beyond


You will need to watch the videos in order, as the learning is sequential and each one builds on new information along the way.




1. Noticing

This video focuses on children’s noticing skills. In this video it will show you the skills that children are developing linked to sorting out collections of interesting objects – making decisions about shape, colour and size and looking for similarities and differences. These skills begin from an early age and our Preschool children are doing a great job of this already.


2. Visualising

In this video we see how important noticing skills are. These skills are then developed into noticing quantities of two or three objects in the environment. In this clip you will learn how to play a game of ‘3 or not 3’. This helps your child instantly visualise quantities of number without counting.




3. Subitising

The next skill we are developing is subitising. This focuses on the importance of instantly seeing quantities which represent a number (without counting). We call this subitising. In this video we look at identifying the quantities within a number and why it is important to ask “What do you see?” and “How do you see it?”


Please see the Subitising Essential Questioning document below for some examples of questions that you can ask your child to support them with subitising.



Here are some visual representations of how children's Maths trajectories are built up:

Pre-Counting Trajectory


Children's developing mathematical skills and understanding trajectory





Helpful Maths Subject Knowledge for Parents and Carers

As practitioners in school teaching children new mathematical skills and vocabulary, it is really important that we know and understand the correct mathematical subject knowledge. Here are some short guides which you might find useful to aid you with your mathematical subject knowledge.

Teaching_Circles.pdf .pdf
Teaching_Time.pdf .pdf

Want to know more?

If you want to find out more about Teaching Essential Number Sense, Karen Wilding (EY Maths), who we have done our maths training with, has a YouTube channel with a wealth of videos to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF7b31eemNHalOm6UIG6eiQ/videos


There is also a Facebook Page you can join to find out more information: EY Maths.


Your child's teacher will also be happy to discuss this further with you.