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Our Approach

#325 Improving Maths as an Early Years Implementation Lead – Happy Tots Pre-School

Mandy Sadler

What did we do?

We completed a selection of training which would support the staff to work with children to improve maths within the setting, we had the training tailored to the resources we had brought which could then support the staff to use the resources and improve maths in the setting.

As a team we discussed maths inside and outside at happy tots and what we could do better and how we could support the children, discussing the barriers and how we can overcome the barriers. We also discussed how the best way to do the interventions would be and how we would record progress.

  • I used some of my £2,000 grant to purchase resources to support children’s early numeracy skills which included indoor and outdoor resources • I used some of my £2,000 grant to buy in training for other staff/practitioners within my setting.
  • I conducted peer observations with staff using the resources which helped to support the staff using the resources and to see how the children were engaging with the resources.
  • I carried out a range of interventions with the children using the resources, and using the resources in general play for the children to explore independently.
  • I produced and issued staff with surveys measuring numeracy confidence levels, to have a baseline to help measure progress.
  • I made resources to support children at home focussing on early maths and sent home for the children to use at home.
  • I delivered morning/afternoon targeted intervention sessions to children identified as demonstrating lower levels of literacy/numeracy. These sessions were from children identified in the main intervention for all children and these worked on things 1 adult to 1 or 2 children at time.

“I know my numbers now”

“I think its great you are sending us this home so we can focus on the same as you do at school”

Response from a child and a parent.

Summary of impact

The benefits of the EYIL role have been great as has provided the setting with lovely resources which have supported the children s mathematical development and has supported us to carry out interventions with children who need some extra support.

Successes of the project such as improvements in staff:

  • Knowledge – staff are more confident after training to support maths development as they have grown in confidence and have a more in-depth knowledge.
  • Staff now will now bring maths into conversations with children in all areas of learning more often.


Successes of the project such as improvements in children’s numeracy:

  • Numeracy skills and development- all children have been supported with numeracy, but certain children are having targeted short interventions.
  • Self-confidence interacting with numeracy/literacy resources.
  • More numeracy outside
  • Lots more mathematical language around the setting.
  • Children have a better understanding of numeracy in the setting.
  • The setting is more mathematically aware of numeracy language and using it all the time in the setting.


What people liked about the project:

  • The resources – the children loved the new resources.
  • The staff liked the training specific to the resources.
  • That the project targeted interventions which supported the children who needed it.


Other improvements we have observed:

  • Improvements in staff confidence levels with their own numeracy compared to a starting baseline and after training and after the interventions.
  • Improvements in staff numeracy/literacy knowledge/levels.
  • Staff now know a greater range of strategies to support children’s numeracy/literacy development.
  • Tracking data shows improvements in children’s early literacy/numeracy skills.
  • Children are heard to be using literacy/numeracy language more regularly in setting when working with the children and observing them in general play.
  • Families have liked the resources sent home and we have plans to make a maths lending library.


The evidence of the impact has been collated from:

  • Staff surveys of children.
  • In-setting observations.
  • Peer observations.
  • Children’s development tracking documents.
  • Feedback from parents.





Steps taken

  • Identified the needs of the current cohort.
  • Selecting appropriate interventions/activities by discussing with staff and parents.
  • Planning when, where & who would deliver interventions/activities.
  • Outlined how we would monitor success.
  • Implementing new activities with the children, buying in resources, arranging staff training, setting up interventions, looked at data and then planning more targeted support.
  • Monitoring the project for success, e.g., by talking to staff and staff surveys, reviewing children’s tracking data, issuing surveys etc.

What would we do differently

  • 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.
  • Would have involved the parents more so they could have come in and completed small bite size sessions to see what we do with the interventions.


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.

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Developing literacy and numeracy teaching in an EY setting - Nature Den Nursery

Developing practitioner confidence in teaching early literacy and numeracy - Wellington Nursery

Making Maths Matter - St Helen's Playgroup

Implementing Maths into the Early Years Setting - ABC Childcare

Developing Literacy and Maths - Wigwams Nursery

Improving Literacy Skills - Early Years @ Highfield Whitehouse

Supporting Early Literacy - Rainbow Bright Nursery

Maths in Action - Little Learners Nursery

Developing early numeracy and literacy - Daisy Chain Pre-School

Improving mathematical and literacy development in all areas of learning - Sunflowers Preschool, Ipswich

Improving Early Literacy - The Children's Triangle Nursery


Happy Tots Pre-School

Mandy Sadler