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Our Approach

#325 Developing early numeracy and literacy – Daisy Chain Pre-School

Marie Bullard

What did we do?

From our initial findings and observations we wrote and redrafted a securing achievement action plan which outlined the need for children to have more support with literacy and numeracy.

In order for us to achieve this we outlined the need for staff training and more resources, the training included ‘Feeding the hungry caterpillar’ , ‘Early numeracy,’ ‘Look whos talking’ , ‘ parental engagement’ and ‘EAL’ this helped to build staff confidence by giving more knowledge and help build confidence helping to support children and parents.

Because we are a small team we have been able to have frank conversations on our progress , using observations , giving feedback from overall teaching enabling us to make changes where necessary but also acknowledging what has gone well, evaluating children’s progress and where necessary giving extra support.

Much of our funding has been used on resources throughout the setting adding opportunities for literacy and numeracy both inside and outside. We have created a comfortable quiet area for books supported by props and prompt cards for our many story sacks, book bags for children to take home, a screened area with different visual backdrops to favourite stories enhancing role play , opportunities for more mark making and numeracy in all areas of the provision so that the most can be gained from any moment.

As the manager I feel the setting has a real buzz. The children and the staff are more engaged, and when I look around everyone seems to be busy but most important there’s lots of smiles. Feedback from staff is very positive. They have enjoyed training and have asked to go on to do more, they feel more confident and positive.

We have a little one with SEND who has made our new book area his special place. Most importantly the children have thoroughly enjoyed the new resources this I have observed by them engaging and using all the resources with adult support and by themselves having lots of fun.

The EYIL role has focused on where we needed to add resources, support staff, organising time , give support, make changes and through the IOA we have been able to do this. All staff have gained a lot of knowledge and by putting this into practice have been able to enhance their skills which builds confidence and provides the children with very positive experiences.

“We have noticed a difference in our child’s speech.”

“He seems to have a lot more confidence.”

“We have noticed a big difference with her numbers.”

Parental survey responses,

Summary of impact

All staff members have had improvements in numeracy and literacy knowledge levels, this has improved their confidence and they are also able to use different strategies to support children’s individual needs.

The tracking data and observations shows improvement in nearly all of the children’s development, and on a daily basis the language children are using shows their understanding and their development with literacy and numeracy .

The Wellcomm data has also been positive on children’s language and understanding. The staff have all embraced the changes that have taken place and want to continue with new approaches and are open to change.

We want to continue involving our parents more and are looking at more ways of doing this. As the children progress and by doing observations this enables staff to move children onto the next steps.

We have observed all the children and nearly all the children have developed more with literacy and numeracy by their speech, the use of words and their understanding , they are all confident in using resources and will access all the different activities on offer.

At the beginning we had children with some challenging behaviour this made it difficult to get them focused on certain activities but now into the summer term and as they are a little older and more developed and more able to focus the resources are now all being accessed. By observing all the children and being aware of individual children’s likes, dislikes and needs this helps us to engage children in different ways.

All staff members have enjoyed the project it came at the right time after Covid as it focused us all on what the children needed and on what we could do to achieve this, there was nothing that we disliked about the project and we all feel we have gained so much. By having staff meetings weekly I have been able to be aware of staff’s feelings, views, on how the project has gone. They have viewed their opinions, made suggestions and talked about how they can change, improve, what they need , the impact so through the whole project I have had consistent input.

Questionnaires were sent home for parent feedback and we have regular talks with parents, further questionnaires are planned for the end of term for this seems to be the term where learning is certainly taking place more rapidly, with children’s development .

By observing children it enables us to evaluate what is working well and if we need to make changes in order to get better results or enhance play, this is done on a regular basis by just walking around the setting observing what is going on. Children’s results in trackers and Wellcomm give good indication on whether activities and teaching are working well and so far with the results this shows that it is . Regular staff meetings take place once a week and this gives us the chance to continually evaluate, we also talk to parents on a daily basis.

What would we do differently

  • Involve staff more at the beginning of the project to achieve greater buy-in and support in achieving the aims of the project.
  • Ensure additional time is available to be spent in-setting, observing the children and working with staff, to fully implement the key elements of the project.
  • Identify additional strategies that would help to achieve greater consistency amongst all staff, to ensure that all practitioners deliver best practice at all times and are more confident in using their own initiative to scaffold learning for children.
  • Spend more time focusing on families and developing their confidence in teaching early numeracy/literacy to their children.
  • Arrange and deliver parent drop-in sessions, to help with their understanding of numeracy/literacy development and encourage greater opportunities to extend children’s learning at home.


  • Cost to release an EY practitioner for ½ a day per week, for 1 year to attend training, write an action plan, undertake relevant duties and monitor progress.
  • £2,000 to purchase resources or in-setting training for staff.

Resources required

Access to a laptop and internet connection to attend virtual training & network meetings.

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Daisy Chain Pre-School

Marie Bullard