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#325 Implementing Maths into the Early Years Setting – ABC Childcare

Annemarie Brinkhoff

What did we do?

Joined a great Network of other EYILs  and attended training programmes to support my own development becoming an EYIL. Session’s including: principles of effective implementation, drafting action plans, early communication, send, supporting children’s early reading/writing, parental engagement, evaluation, improving children’s behaviour, supporting children’s early numeracy.

Liaising with the manager of the setting, member of the team and gathering evidence through cohorts tracking, observations of both staff and children to identify any weaknesses that may needed support. Recognised that Maths was an area that needed further support for both children and Staff. Discussed with the team and other EYIL’s in network meetings to consider ways to support further development for both myself, staff and children and the best way to approach this.

Utilised the £2,000 grant to purchases resources (liaised with the team on what they thought would benefit the children), bought a maths trolley to be accessed by the children (intent for them to move this inside and outside). Bought training session on Maths in the Early years to develop staff skills and confidence. Conducted peer observations because Maths appeared to be an area that not many staff approached. Noticed lack of confidence and language within their practice. After they attended Maths training, Carried peer observations out throughout the year and noticed a rise in maths language and activities planned which in turn supported the children’s further development. Also after the training gave them a questionnaire to see if the training was beneficial. Communicated through emails about new learning, sharing videos and articles.

Produced resources and utilised the trolley within the room as well as in intervention groups. The trolley had resources that were age appropriate as we have a mix from 2-5 years. Planned weekly focus for those transitioning to school and ensured those staying within the preschool had access to resources to support their further development. Signed up to EYmaths by Karen Wilding to enhance my further development. We shared our knowledge with the staff at staff meetings and through modelling within the room.

Encouraged parents to take part in learning at home through written observations. In the summer term linking with transition too we sent home Activity Packs to support learning at home. We also have an Open Event happening where we will share our learning with parents and how they can do this at home to.

“This one a circle (cylinder) that’s a square one (cube) This one triangle shape (triangular prism) I’m building a tower, woh it fall”

A child exploring shapes

Summary of impact

Through Peer observations and the increase in planned activities related to Maths, it shows an increase in staff confidence in utilising maths language in their everyday practice and through the activities planned. Utilizing new strategies as well as remembering some of the activities they have done in the past. We had great engagement in how to change the setting to implement maths throughout the whole environment, making changes such as the number line being cut down to 10 rather than to twenty and including opportunities for children to subitise.

We are currently waiting for the cohort report to see the impact on the children’s overall learning due to waiting for assessments. However, through observations I have noticed a change within their development, the strategies we have learnt and implemented have had a good impact on the children and we can see this within their play as well as within adult led activities.

Steps taken

  • Identifying the problem.
  • Selecting appropriate interventions/activities.
  • Planning when, where & who would deliver interventions/activities.
  • Planning how to measure success (setting short/medium/long term implementation outcomes).
  • Working with the team, sharing ideas and new knowledge.
  • Implementing new activities with the children, buying in resources, arranging staff training etc.
  • Monitoring your project for success, e.g. by talking to staff, conducting learning walks, reviewing children’s tracking data, etc.
  • Keeping continuous contact with an EYIL Network for support.

What would we do differently

Do more training sessions with staff, I feel they would have benefitted from the EYmaths program and sometimes teaching what you have learnt may not follow through as well as the professional does it.

Time is always in issue, remember to not rush your own learning, to be able to implement and imbed your new learning you may need to do this within your time, so you have a deeper understanding.

The children continue to amaze me, with their own knowledge and how quickly some of them can pick up something so new and develop a greater understanding.

Parent Partnership: Although we have communicated with parents though our parent forum, it has been difficult getting responses back. I think the children would have benefited from activities going home sooner and not waiting until the summer term. I am hoping to still get feedback for these activities.

I found it very helpful to have my managers support and she had also done the EyMaths course with me which was great as we were able to share our learning and ideas with each other and both able to model this to the staff and implement our learning into our activities.


  • 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.

Feedback from Participants

Feedback from staff:

“The training Reinforced knowledge, it’s good to know that what you know is right. Must have the confidence to use my knowledge and not be concerned that something is not right”

‘’Really enjoyed the training it has helped me feel more confident”

“Loved the ideas to incorporate into my everyday practice”

“It’s created more math opportunities both inside and outside for all children, meaning more maths language being used in the setting.”

Quotes from children during activities both adult-led and child led:

Looking at sunflower seed (part of the EYmaths sunflower challenge):

“I can see this one and i can see 2 its white and black and its 2 sides have lots of black. because if it’s dark and sunny it will fly, the wind makes it fly if someone blocks the plant it won’t grow we need three more then its full”

“These are flowers, this one is pink. It’s yellow because there’s honey inside it. That one is rainbow I like that one. I see 3 and 1 and that makes 4, I see 1 and 2 and that makes 3, I see 1 and 1 that makes 2 there’s 2 sunflowers, we need three more”

Exploring shapes:

“This one a circle (cylinder) that’s a square one (cube) This one triangle shape (triangular prism) I’m building a tower, woh it fall”

“This one has 2 triangles on it (triangular prism) this one is like a ball (sphere) this one has squares (cube) I’m building a bridge. Now I’m building an aeroplane. I’m good at building”

Looking at 5 frames:

“We have 1 full 5 frame, we need another 5 frame”

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

Developing Literacy and Maths - Wigwams Nursery

Improving Literacy Skills - Early Years @ Highfield Whitehouse

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

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


ABC Childcare

Annemarie Brinkhoff