Early Years Numeracy

The most recent Early Years Head Teacher meeting took place on Thursday 26th November at Pencaitland Primary School. A significant part of the meeting involved a presentation from Mhairi Stratton, PT at Humbie Primary and Joyce McIntosh, Early Years Support Teacher, both of whom have been involved in developing a series of CPD sessions to enhance learning in Mathematics in the Early Years. Mhairi and Joyce have worked closely with Dr Penny Munn from Strathclyde University to develop the programme of CPD and have piloted it in a number of nursery schools in East Lothian since August 2009.

The CPD is designed to help qualified early years staff understand the breadth of experience required for young children to develop mathematical thinking, to relate this to their own understanding of mathematics, and to enable them to articulate a clear rationale for the activities they use to develop mathematical thinking in their nurseries. The learning design is for three 2-hour interactive sessions, with observation tasks of around 30 minutes duration preceding each session. The material informing the CPD is based on ‘Early Years Mathematics 0-8’, published by Sage.

A full evaluation of the pilot will take place in spring 2010. If the CPD is found to be successful, the programme will be offered to nursery staff and primary staff working with children in the early stages, as well as those staff working in partnership centres. It is hoped that the CPD will be offered in 2010/11. One aim of the CPD is to inform the ‘Learning Stories’ method of Early Years assessment in maths, and there may be scope for a further session at a later date in which participants give feedback on the extent to which this has succeeded.

Further information about the pilot and the format and content of the CPD can be found in the presentation above.