Fun with numbers

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By Ian Thompsonformer classroom teacher and university lecturer

Love it or hate it, maths is one of the most important parts of the curriculum. Ian Thompson reports on the latest findings

Child Education January - creative topic Maths

The last 12 months have witnessed the arrival of two very important documents, both of which have substantial implications for the teaching and learning of mathematics in the early years. In June 2008 the Independent Review of Mathematics Teaching in Early Years Settings and Primary Schools (the Williams Review) was published, and in September 2008 the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) became compulsory for all settings and providers in England.

The EYFS states that all areas of the curriculum should be delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of practitioner-initiated and child-initiated activities. The Williams Review also lays great store by play-based learning of a mathematical nature. Therefore, early years practitioners need to ensure that they give sufficient time to mathematical discussion based around practical activities. They also need to create a school ethos that values independent mathematical play.

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