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Pinxton Nursery School

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Mathematics covers a wide range of skills. Within Nursery we provide practical activities allowing the children to explore mathematical ideas, such as comparing sizes, investigating shapes and counting activities. Skills are taught during our focussed teaching sessions, and children are then encouraged to practise these independently. 

When they leave our nursery your child should be able to:

  • Quickly recognise groups of up to 3 objects, without having to count them individually (this is called subitising).
  • Say numbers in order past 5.
  • Say one number for each item in order: 1,2,3,4,5.
  • Know that the last number they reach when counting a small set of objects tells them how many there are in total (this is called the cardinal principle).
  • Show ‘finger numbers’ up to 5.
  • Match the correct numeral to the right amount, up to 5, e.g. point to the number 3 when they count 3 snails.
  • Experiment with making their own marks and symbols as well as using numerals.
  • Use mathematical words to compare amounts ‘more than’, ‘fewer than’.
  • Explore 2D (flat) and 2D (solid) shapes, and talk about shapes using everyday words such as  ‘pointy’, and mathematical words like ‘sides’ and ‘corners’.
  • Understand position through words, e.g., “the bag is under the table” – with no pointing.
  • Make comparisons between objects relating to size, length, weight and capacity.
  • Choose the right shape when building.
  • Combine shapes to make new ones.
  • Talk about and identify patterns that they see around them, e.g. stripes on clothes, and use everyday language like ‘pointy’, ‘spotty’.
  • Make and extend patterns, such as red, yellow, red, yellow, and spot an error in an existing pattern.
  • Use words such as ‘first’, ‘then’ and ‘after’ to describe a pattern of events.


How you can help your child at home:

  • Point out the number of things, rather than just names, e.g. we have two apples.
  • Give lots of opportunities for counting for a real reason, and emphasise the last number.
  • Cut out a large shape from a cereal box (circle, triangle), then cut that shape into 4 pieces to make a simple puzzle.
  • When playing at the park, use words like ‘up’ ‘under’ and ‘between’ to talk about what we see.

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