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Teaching Maths to Pre-School Children

Maths at Woodlands is based on exploration and questioning. Children are given the time and space to discover many concepts related to number and calculating, shape and pattern and position and measure. We base much of our learning on songs and rhymes to fully embed the mathematical language needed for little minds to develop at this first stage in their mathematical education.

Staff at Woodlands begin each Maths learning session with a teacher input to explore concepts, to model language and to demonstrate tasks. Children then have varied opportunities to work individually, in pairs or groups to develop their knowledge through active experiences. We use a variety of hands-on activities to assist learning, such as modelling with playdough, cooking tasks involving measuring ingredients, sorting toys and our using beautiful outside environment and its natural resources – twigs, leaves, stones, trees etc – to support our pupils’ understanding of maths.

We do not follow a scheme of work but structure our learning opportunities around the interests of the children, current worldly topics and stories that are already familiar to the children. This means the children already have a reference for the theme being taught from and can use this as a springboard to investigate the maths related to it.

Have you ever thought about maths like this?

  • Searching for giant numbered footprints in the forest
  • Measuring your friends shoes with bricks
  • Rolling or sliding 3D shapes to your friends
  • Creating patterns with children and adults
  • Scooting and cycling to your destination to explore position and direction
  • Counting the children on and off the bus to make 10

Opportunities for exploring maths are everywhere and at Woodlands we make the most if these opportunities to provide interactive, memorable experiences for every child. Many of our children move onto Reception exceeding the expectations for their age group and have an excellent grounding to continue their mathematical develop throughout their time at

Emma Matthews
Early Years Practitioner
Woodlands Nursery