Mathematics Policy


This policy is a statement of the aims, principals and strategies for learning and teaching within the specific area of Mathematics.

The policy was developed by the subject co-ordinator, in conjunction with the Head-teacher, staff-team and a member of the Governing body with curricular responsibility, during the Summer Term 2016

What does “Mathematics” mean in the Foundation Stage?

“They ( sic. children) must develop not only mathematical skills, knowledge, understanding and skills, but also a disposition or inclination to enjoy learning and exploring mathematics. Above all, adults must cherish and enhance the intensity, the ecstatic responses, the exuberance and joy which young children bring to their daily lives, channelling it to support learning throughout their lives”

“Supporting Mathematical Development in the Early Years” Linda Pound  2006

In the Revised EYFS 2012 Mathematics  is identified as a  “Specific Area” of learning, alongside Understanding the World, Literacy and Expressive Arts and Design.

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning ”.          EYFS 2012

This Specific Area of learning and development is broken down into 2 aspects, and 2 Early Learning Goals (ELG’s);

  1. Numbers
    Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
  2. Shape, Space and Measures
    Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

The Revised EYFS (2012) states

“Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments”.

To this end, At Hadfield Nursery School, we recognise;

Each child is Unique

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured”.   EYFS 2012

  • We value each child as an individual, accepting their individual needs and rates of development.
  • We recognise each child as a competent mathematical learner.
  • We accept and recognise each child’s ability, disability, gender, race, and cultural background, so enabling them to enjoy equality of opportunity and support to reach their full potential.
  • We aim to support children in recognising that their views count and that their opinion is valued eg in following children’s interests and ideas for topics in this area.

The Importance of Positive Relationships

“Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.” EYFS 2012

  • We aim to use parents and other carers knowledge and skills wherever possible to extend the children’s understanding and experiences of mathematics.
  • We aim to be confident and competent mathematical role-models for the children in our care.
  • We aim to support children to work together and begin to take account of ideas and preferences which differ from their own.

The Provision of an Enabling Environment

“Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.” EYFS 2012

  • We aim to provide challenging, flexible, motivating resources and opportunities which support and develop the mathematical skills, independence, creativity and imagination of each child.
  • We aim to create an environment where it is “safe” to make mistakes, to share thoughts and ideas, explore different options, and work collaboratively.
  • We aim to provide a place where children are able to persevere, concentrate and pursue their own interests.
  • We aim to provide resources which are accessible and organised in ways which encourage independence and responsibility ( Continuous and Enhanced Provision )
  • We aim to create a stimulating environment which offers a range of activities to develop mathematical interest and curiosity both indoors and outdoors.
  • All staff aim to use the correct mathematical terminology and vocabulary to support development of the children’s understanding and vocabulary
  • We aim to question children in a way which develops their thinking, extends their problem-solving opportunities and enhances their learning ( see Appendix 1 “Questions to Develop Cognitive Thinking” ).
  • We aim to support children with additional needs by providing supplementary experiences and information about the world around them in appropriate formats.

Learning and Teaching within Mathematics

Learning and Development

At Hadfield Nursery School we aim to give each child the opportunity to;

  •  Have the time, space and opportunity to practice by re-visiting, mathematical concepts and language during child-initiated and adult-led activities.
  • consolidate and extend children’s knowledge and skills through careful assessment, observations and planning.
  •  explore “real-life” problems by using everyday situations and events as they arise eg “How many cups will we need for snack-time? How can we find out?”
  •  represent their own  explorations of mathematical concepts.
  • develop their understanding and confidence through practical “hands-on” activities both indoors and outdoors, which is supported by appropriate adult intervention, and which takes account of the preferred learning styles of individual children (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic).
  • develop their understanding of and competent use of mathematics by offering a range of activities – some explicit and others which develop  ideas more discreetly in activities such as role-play, songs and rhymes, everyday routines (such as group-time), walks in the local environment, interactive displays.  ICT – (computer/non-computer).
  •  pursue and solve their own  mathematical fascinations through offering them a rich and interesting environment in which they are encouraged to focus on their own thinking and not simply offering the adults “the right answer”.
  • interact with a diverse range of multi-sensory, motivational resources which appeal to young children, takes account of those who for whom English is a second language or who may need to use alternative communication systems, and which promote independent learning, thereby enhancing their understanding, experience and enjoyment of mathematics.


At Hadfield Nursery School, Practitioners;

  • act as role-models, and help the children to see themselves as mathematicians and to develop positive attitudes towards learning and using mathematical concepts, by being confident and enthusiastic about the subject themselves.
  •  maintain children’s enthusiasm and confidence by planning practical and appealing activities which are appropriate for the children’s level of development, and which take account of different learning styles.
  • make use of everyday play activities (e.g. farm – how many pigs do you think will fit in this sty?) or daily routines (eg gathering for group-time, sharing snacks) to demonstrate problem solving strategies and develop the children’s  understanding of mathematical language. Staff  intervene appropriately to develop children’s understanding of mathematical concepts (e.g. how many dinosaurs did you fit into your cave?)
  • observe and listen to children to better understand their interests and provide opportunities/resources for child-intitiated learning.
  • do not rush children to record numbers or symbols until they are ready to do so and see that it is purposeful e.g. price tickets on toys in the toy shop, shopping lists, recipes, measurements to build a den etc. i.e. recording numbers as an integral part of the play situation.
  • use a wide-range of resources and activities both indoors and outdoors to develop the children’s enjoyment of mathematics in a varied and stimulating way.


At Hadfield Nursery School children learn by;

  •  being involved in explicitly mathematical activities i.e. planned, “focused” activities that are organised and led by the adult, or initiate their own learning through the provision of a rich and stimulating environment. (resources in Continuous Provision and throughout nursery).
  • being involved in play which is purposeful so that they can (with appropriate adult intervention) begin to appreciate mathematics in the world around them (e.g. numbering model houses so the postman can match letters to the right houses).
  • Being encouraged to talk “mathematically” about activities or observations. They are encouraged to develop their own strategies for solving mathematical problems. They are praised for their efforts in thinking about a problem, for guessing (estimating) and not just for giving correct answers.

Planning for Mathematics

Planning  for Mathematics  at Hadfield Nursery School is devised in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework and Guidance (“Development Matters” 2012 – Appendix 2)  and from observation and assessment of children’s needs. It includes;

  • The Nursery’s 2-year rolling programme of 12 termly topics. Topics titled “Maths Stories” and “Number Songs and Rhymes” have a mathematical emphasis.
  • Medium Term Planning for Mathematics – linked to each terms topic to ensure coverage of steps toward Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) See Appendix  3
  • Short-Term “Focussed” planning – weekly.  Staff  work to a “Target-List” for both Number and Shape, Space & Measures. Children of average ability and those requiring challenge or support are clearly identified. Staff can easily differentiate the activity to offer challenge or smaller steps as necessary. Staff  record  observations of any significant progress electronically using “2Build a Profile” software so this can be shared between the whole staff team. Children also access specific/topic based mathematical skills development as part of  the 2-week rolling programme for a group-time Maths activity. Within this session Key-workers observe, target and support “target” children. See Weekly Planning
  • Families are invited to join staff and children in a bi-annual mathematics themed Family Fun-day – “Let’s Play Maths” see Appendix  4

Planning for Mathematics  takes account of;

  • Individual stages of development within development bands (EYFS 2012) with an understanding that children develop at different rates and in different ways.
  • Observations made of the children.
  • Individual Learning Plans (I.E.P’s) for children with additional needs.
  • Preferred learning styles (VAK)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation.

Observation, Assessment, Monitoring and Record-Keeping

Children’s skills and stages of development are observed and monitored by key-workers and the whole teaching team. Observations may be long or short and supported by evidence such as annotated photographs ( using “2Build-a-Profile” software)  or pieces of work when possible.

These observations also include Levels of Well-being and Involvement ( Laevers)

Records of individual children’s progress and achievement towards objectives and ELG’s  are kept electronically as part of each child’s “Markbook” on Classroom Monitor. These observations and records inform planning, identify specific targets for each child, may identify a learning difficulty or talent, and provide the school with the means to monitor cohort progress and collect data on the effectiveness of the provision.

Data collected each half-term will identify children requiring additional support of challenging in the three strands of this specific area of learning ( see MediumTerm Planning)

Children’s Progress in Mathematics is shared with parents/carers during the child’s Curriculum Consultation in the third term of their time at Nursery. This enables two-way sharing of information and the planning of “next steps”.

Supporting  All our Children’s Needs

  • Provision will be made to meet the individual requirements of children with any additional needs, to enable them to make progress in this area of learning and achieve their full potential, eg through specific targets as part of an Individual Support Plan.
  • Staff will liaise and work closely with other professionals involved with the child and respond to the advice they offer.
  • Where necessary, resources and equipment (eg a computer touch-screen) to support children with additional needs will be procured from other agencies.

Equal Opportunities

At Hadfield Nursery School we aim to offer children and their families a safe environment, free from harassment and discrimination, in which children’s contributions are valued and where racial and religious beliefs are respected. We aim to challenge discrimination on the grounds of gender or disability.

All children will be treated as individuals and they will have full access to all elements of provision and opportunities in Mathematics, regardless of gender, ability/disability, race or cultural background.

The Role of the Subject- Co-ordinator

The Subject Co-ordinator is responsible for

  • the writing and reviewing of the Policy for Mathematics
  • the development and auditing of this area of learning
  • ensuring that all children receive their entitlement to all the elements of this area of learning
  • monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching and learning in this area and the children’s progress towards ELG’s
  • monitoring, maintaining and ordering resources
  • supporting colleagues in their understanding and delivery of this area of learning
  • identifying and attending relevant courses to promote continued professional development (CPD) and to feed-back to the Head-teacher and staff.
  • ensure equality of opportunity and access to all aspects of this area of learning
  • liaising with the Governor who has curriculum responsibility for Mathematics,  in order to support their monitoring role.


  1. Questions to Develop Cognitive Thinking
  2. Development Matters for Mathematics
  3. Sample of Medium Term Planning for Mathematics
  4. “Let’s Play Maths” booklet for Parents/Carers

Linked Documentation

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Policy for Equalities, Differences and Cohesion
  • Behaviour, Discipline and Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Policy for Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment and Recording Policy
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Policy (incorporating Modern British Values)
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