St Joseph'sCatholic Primary School


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Early Maths

In Reception children will be working with numbers every day, in a range of different ways. They will be using familiar objects to help them learn about how numbers are used in everyday life, and they will also be linking numbers to topic work.

They will be encouraged to be curious and explore numbers. They will be playing number games, singing counting songs, making models and using the role-play area, as well as being introduced to the ideas of addition and subtraction.

Reception maths – your child will be:

Using numbers as labels and for counting

Counting up to 20 and beyond.
Recognising the numbers 1 to 20
Estimating a number of objects and checking by counting
Matching and comparing the number of objects in two groups
Counting out a number of objects from a larger group


Using a number line to count on and back
Finding one more or one less than a number.
Sharing objects into equal groups and counting how many are in each group
Understanding that ‘addition’ means combining and ‘subtraction’ means taking away
Finding the total number of items in two groups by counting them all
Comparing numbers and recognising which is ‘more’ or ‘less’

Shape, space and measures

Comparing quantities and using words such as ‘greater’, ‘smaller’, ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’
Recognising and creating their own simple patterns
Naming and describing the shape and size of solid (3D) and flat (2D) shapes
Using everyday words to describe the position of objects
Sorting familiar objects and describing their differences and similarities
Making patterns and building models
Putting two or three items in order, according to their length or weight
Matching shapes and patterns
Building on a basic understanding of time: putting familiar events in sequence; measuring time, using a sand-timer


At home, try to talk about numbers – it’s important for children to see just how much maths is used in everyday life.

You could try these ideas at home

Practise counting – you can do this anywhere: count toys, books, how many buses you see when you go out
Play hide and seek –  great practice for counting
Save your cereal boxes and cardboard tubes for making models. Your child will think they’re making a castle; you’ll know they’re learning about shapes!
Do a jigsaw together – a fun way to develop spatial awareness and matching skills
Play card games – even a simple game of snap helps to develop number recognition
Have a teddy bears’ picnic: count out toys, place settings, and share out the cakes
Put up a height chart and mark each member of the family’s height
At bathtime, play with different-sized containers.