Classroom games can boost early maths skills


Games, puzzles, songs and storybooks can aid the development of early years maths skills, new guidance from the Education Endowment Foundation states.

Titled Improving mathematics in the early years and key stage 1, the document focuses on school leaders and methods than can boost understanding of maths at a young age.

Designed for pupils aged between three and seven, it includes several recommendations centred on the development of key skills in the subject.

One of the recommendations advises that school leaders should provide dedicated time for pupils to focus on maths each day, enabling them to explore the subject through different contexts.

Maths concepts can be introduced with games and puzzles, as well as storybooks, songs, rhymes and even puppetry it is suggested.

The document states that nurseries and schools need to “make the most of moments throughout the day to highlight and use mathematics”.

It is suggested that targeted teaching and support which builds on any existing skills can aid the development of maths skills for all pupils.

This approach of assessing children and then providing tailored teaching should help to yield better learning outcomes.

Education Endowment Foundation chief executive Becky Francis said the document outlines the “many practical ways that teachers and early years staff” can aid maths skills development.

“It’s often about planning simple maths activities throughout the school day, like at story time and registration, but can also include high-quality interventions to help those who are falling behind to catch-up,” she explained.

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