NEWS FROM THE ENGLISH GARDEN

20 October 2017

The maths programme at the English Garden ensures that children develop their mathematical skills in age appropriate ways, developing their mathematical knowledge through a wide range of activities. From the youngest children in the Baby Daycare all the way to the Year 2 Pre-school class. The children are provided with fun, challenging activities to help them build their number sense, mathematical awareness and understanding of big concepts like number, arithmetic, shape, space and measure.

In the Year 2 class the Beetles have been working on some big concepts this year. The heart of the maths curriculum is learning simple geometric concepts and how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. The children participate in a variety of activities that use resources the students can handle and manipulate to help them move from concrete thinking into more abstract thought. Six and seven year old children are just beginning to understand symbolic thinking and the Maths Makes Sense programme slowly transitions from very hands-on learning to more mental maths as the year progresses. The Beetles are currently exploring how to complete sums, and the group enjoy, quantifying, and calculating with numbers during their formal maths lessons.

The Year 1 classes also follows the Maths Makes Sense programme, and the Year 1 curriculum is almost entirely based on the use of specialised, hands on tools to assist learning. The students use maths cups for calculating, dm sticks for measuring and creating a range of 2D shapes, and household items to aid students in conceptualising weights and lengths. Combined with Maths Makes Sense’s specialised actions, the programme encourages whole body learning experiences and incorporates different methods of teaching to help children learn in a variety of styles. This allows every learner to succeed and achieve the learning goals, providing a strong mathematics background for future learning.

A Grasshopper concentrates as she uses colourful cubes to make a calculation!

A Cricket uses pretend mushrooms to create sums which equal ten!

The Bumble Bees and Dragonflies use the Reception curriculum from Maths Makes Sense, which focuses on learning to recognise the numbers up to twenty, calculate the answers to simple addition and subtraction sums using the maths cups, and shape recognition. The programme uses a lot of nursery rhymes, stories, and role-plays to support mathematical learning, and is ideal for young children who still have a real need for hands on and active learning experiences. These playful activities help the children work towards the end of year learning goals in very active way.

A Bumble Bee explores number concepts through using maths cups.

A group of Dragonflies enjoy playing a traditional game of dominoes.

The Ladybirds and Butterflies classes follow a specially designed maths curriculum that takes the children’s individual skills and interests into consideration. The teachers use a set of end of year learning goals as a guideline and crafts the lessons around the weekly theme, targeting specific goals with each lesson. The children are beginning to recognise numbers and understand the relationship between the number symbols and their corresponding quantities. They are also able to count groups of objects up to ten, and many children can work out how many objects will be in a group if one more is added or taken away. The children are also encouraged to develop logical thinking skills through play activities like puzzles and building toys.

A Ladybird completes a lesson on matching different shapes.

A Butterfly explores basic patterns in a tracing exercise.

The children in the Nursery School enjoy play-based mathematics curriculum, with some number recognition and tracing activities. The children love singing songs with adding and taking away, for example “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” or “Once I Caught a Fish Alive”. They also enjoy stories with counting themes, especially large counting books that are durable enough for the children to touch and count the objects independently. In the Nursery School the children are usually eager to join in during puzzles and games sessions, and love building using large and small blocks and Duplo.

Two Buttercups explore space and measure when making a Duplo tower!

Some Snowdrops have fun with a counting abacus.

A Poppy learns about quantity in their weekly cooking project.

The babies and toddlers in the Baby Daycare often learn about maths during Circle Time or Singing Sessions. Singing or talking about numbers is a daily event in the Baby Daycare. Sorting and recognising similarities and categories of objects is an important mathematical skill that even very young children are capable of developing. The babies and toddlers learn to sort shapes by colour as well as recognising the forms. The children are also able to develop their logical thinking skills while completing shape puzzles.

A Bluebell enjoys a popular game hammering the different shapes in the play work bench.

A Daisy explores different colourful 3D shapes during playtime.