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Early Years Curriculum

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At Summerside we believe that children learn most effectively through play and through exploring their environment. Adults are close at hand to follow the child’s lead, build on their natural curiosity and extend their experiences and understanding of the world through guidance and positive interventions. 


Our practice has been inspired by the Forest School approach and we provide challenges through outdoor classroom areas as well as our indoor learning environment. Here, we encourage physical development- muscle strength and stamina that will support writing skills in our children. Children learn to read using the Read, Write, Inc. programme, which teaches them phonics and gives them the building blocks for reading and writing as they move into Key Stage 1.

Through the language rich environment, co-operative play is encouraged in order to increase social understanding and to help children develop friendships and relationships. We also promote a managed approach to risk taking and real life problem solving, enabling children to understand what they need to do to stay safe.



Summerside’s Early Years Team works in partnership with families, offering workshops, throughout the year, both on and off site. We operate an 'open door' policy and invite our families into school every morning before school starts, so that they can really feel part of everything that is happening that day. 

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Maths in EYFS @ Summerside



At Summerside we use the CPA approach to learning Mathematics.  This core practice is used in Singapore, who rank in the top three internationally in Education.


The boys found some worms in the mud kitchen. They wanted to measure them using the rulers… “Whooah, 12! That’s big!”



The Singapore method begins by allowing children to start learning about Maths by playing with real objects indoors and outdoors. They build confidence with the basic ideas of counting, adding and taking away through their play and real life contexts. There is then a second stage of drawing pictures representing the objects. And only later do they gradually start to add numbers to their drawings.




IN EYFS we promote:

  • playing and playfulness indoors and outdoors eg, block-play, number rhymes, shop ,role-play
  • games and activities indoors and outdoors, eg cooking, goal scoring, pattern and picture making
  • routine eg, carpet time, tidying up, visual timetable 



Two important aspects that we develop are:

  • subitising, or recognising number patterns as on a dice: this develops familiarity with number combinations, eg seeing six as double three
  • problem solving


To support our children we use:

  • Numicon – (multi-sensory, visual representations of number shapes)
  • Cuisenaire rods and tens frames
  • Real life contexts and objects as much as possible
  • A balance of adult led, linked and continuous provision in maths lessons


We believe that children are introduced to maths and to number symbols at the same time lose the meaning and purpose of Maths in their lives.  Number symbols like 5 or 10 as well as symbols like + or - are often difficult for children to understand. And if they are introduced too quickly, there is a risk that young children will struggle and from then on never fully recover their confidence in Maths. Failing repeated tests on symbolic sums at school only deepens their anxiety and they soon learn that maths is not for them.

The Singapore method goes more gradually - from handling "concrete" things, to drawing one-to-one "pictorial" iconic representations of them, to eventually understanding and using the mysterious "abstract" symbols with confidence.


A core principal in our scheme and in our new Mathematics curriculum emphasises mastery. Objects, pictures and words are everywhere. We use these to help pupils explore maths and understand the role it plays in their lives. We also ask that pupils always explain maths in full sentences – not just what the answer is, but how they know it’s the right answer.

Riley is the shopkeeper today. He counted out the customer’s money.

"This is 9p. But this is 10. You need.... Now let me check. 1 more, Thank you."


Our scheme of work ensures that pupils understand basic concepts thoroughly and then builds on these skills throughout the year so that they gain a cumulative knowledge. We spend longer on topics so that pupils become fluent in them. 


Problem-solving is more integrated throughout every lesson.  They represent concepts using ‘bar models’, objects and pictures, and by making connections between different representations. This gives our children the confidence, resilience and ability to tackle any problem rather than repeating routines without grasping the principles.



Marziya wanted to investigate how many different ways to make 10! She recorded each way in number sentences.







The importance of visualistaion and subitizing

Subitizing is the ability to see at a glance the number of items presented in a group without counting.

This allows pupils to make sudden mental images of certain arrangements of dots or other objects and then write the number or a representation of that quantity.

The best examples for adults of subitizing is on a dice or dominoes.                                                           

  • Dominoes                                                                          
  • Playing Cards

As well as the above resources we are encouraging children to use tens frames and a more expensive resource called Numicon as an avenue to subitizing.

In a tens frames the children begin to know that a complete row represent five without counting. They then “see” that six is one more than five.


  • Tens frames
  • Numicon

Maths outdoors and in our environment

Children need opportunities to count all the time. This is the main way they learn to construct number relationships. In school, children will learn to count objects in a  set, compare sets or numerals, and model joining and separating sets of objects. Children will learn how to draw pictures and write simple equations eg  4 + 2 = 6 and  6 – 2 = 4

We work actively and tirelessly at helping children attach meaning to counting so they can develop all number concepts.

  • Orally counting
  • Numbers in the environment on the buses, door numbers
  • Sorting in the home
  • Measures-length, capacity, weight
  • Cooking
  • Estimation and comparisons
  • Conservation of number
  • Mazes and  jigsaw puzzles



Year 1 expectations

There are 30 objectives your child will be expected to cover throughout Year 1 .

They are spread out over these aspects of mathematics:

  • Number and Place Value
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Fractions, Measurement
  • Geometry-properties  of shape
  • Geometry-position and direction
  • Reasoning and Problem solving


Number work activity Booklet

We have purchased  booklets which have a host of mathematical activities for you to play and use with your children. We have to sell them at cost price of 60p but please feel free to make a voluntary donation towards them if you want to.

What you can do at home

  • Play with dice and games which include rolling a dice.
  • Play with dominoes-playing games so that children can picture and say the number
  • Play with playing cards and encourage children to pay attention to the arrangement not just the number
  • Reading numbers on the bus and on houses as you walk down the street.
  • Counting footsteps
  • Estimating how many peas/beans/corn are on the plate.
  • Talking about maths-ask them how they know?
  • Shopping with small amounts of cash
  • Allowing your child at least 15 mins on mathletics