Maths: Early Years Foundation Stage

In EYFS, mathematics is specifically taught using interactive, fun, play based activities in group circle times. The emphasis is on being active and using the current theme.

The application of maths is encouraged and used in all the Areas of Learning including outdoors.


In Nursery the children are taught in Key Person groups to:


  • Use some number names and number language spontaneously.
  • Use some number names accurately in play.
  • Recite numbers in order to 10 forwards and backwards.
  • Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set.
  • Begin to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures.
  • Sometime match a numeral and quantity correctly.
  • Show curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions.
  • Compare two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number.
  • Show an interest in number problems.
  • Separate a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same.
  • Show an interest in numerals in the environment.
  • Show an interest in representing numbers.
  • Realise not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps


In Reception the children are grouped according to ability and are taught to


  • Recognise some numerals of personal significance.
  • Recognise numerals 1 to 5.
  • Count up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.
  • Count actions or objects which cannot be moved.
  • Count objects to 10, and begin to count beyond 10.
  • Count out up to six objects from a larger group.
  • Select the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects.
  • Count an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects.
  • Estimate how many objects they can see and checks by counting them.
  • Use the language of ‘more’ and ‘fewer’ to compare two sets of objects.
  • Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them.
  • Say the number that is one more than a given number.
  • Find one more or one less from a group of up to five objects, then ten objects.
  • In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting.
  • Record, using marks that they can interpret and explain.
  • Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own interests and fascinations


Early Learning Goal

Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Calculations Policy