Wow! It has been just over a year since myself and Lucy, along with the support of Martin Tilbrook (East Midlands South Maths Hub) embarked on an Early Years Maths Teacher Research project involving nine schools from across Nottingham City. I do not think anyone could have predicted the impact that the year had on us all.
At the start of September 2016, using funding from the Nottingham City Education Improvement Board (EIB,) working with our nine schools we set out to look at what Mastery in the Early Years might look like, with the aim of giving children a secure mathematical foundation in F2. Our learning focused on research around how to develop early number sense and used a process of Lesson Study to look at the impact that our teaching had on the children.
Many of the practitioners involved in the research project contributed towards creating a short film, which highlights the learning that took place over around 10 months.
One of our challenges at the end of the academic year was how to share a year’s worth of learning in a day! After extensively planning the training day we used some of our funding from the EIB for 1 x F2 Teacher from every school across Nottingham City to attend a day where we could explore some of the key learning from the year. The day was full of theory and links to research but also involved many practical activities. We used lots of simple, everyday resources to show practitioners how Early Number Sense can be developed through the teaching of Comparison, Counting, Composition and Change.
Over 90% of schools attended this training, feedback was fantastic as almost every practitioner (95!) made really positive comments, we are delighted that practitioners are as excited as us about teaching maths!
“Live lesson was a great way to see the impact of the project and how mixed ability groups is a great way forward to develop mathematical thinking and talk.”
“I really enjoyed the course it has sparked a newfound love for maths!”
“This has been such a thought provoking day! I feel inspired to share this across the Early Years Team and feel confident to work with the maths co-ordinator to make this work! Great, great day!”
This Academic Year
We have already had an incredibly busy start to this academic year. Following the success of the last year we asked the EIB to fund a repeat of our F2 Maths Teacher Research Project and also to support an F1 project as so many practitioners had requested one.
Many schools from across Nottingham City applied to be part of either the F1 or the F2 Maths Teacher Research Projects, after reading through the high quality applications; we selected 11 schools to take part in the F1 Teacher Research Project and 12 schools to be part of the F2 Teacher Research Project. The first F2 project started in September, we watched a lesson at one of the schools who took part in the first F2 project and spent time looking at a long-term plan for the year based on the work of last year’s schools. All the practitioners have embraced the research project and we have already had two brave teachers volunteer to deliver the first Lesson Study.
The F1 Teacher Research Project starts after the October half term, our first session will look at the importance of pattern, sets and early number sense. It is our aim, through this project, to look at the environment and adult interactions to help support maths development in F1.
It a busy time for maths in Early Years in Nottingham City but we are also trying to spread the message further! In October we delivered some seminars at an Early Years Conference in Leicestershire, we are also working with the East Midlands South Maths Hub and members of the Early Childhood Mathematics Group. We are looking forward to seeing where this year takes us!
Schools and Academies
EYFS Number Sense-
PVCI Nurseries, Pre-schools , Childminders and OOSC Practitioners
EYFS Number Sense for Day Nurseries