At St. Werburgh’s Park Nursery School we believe that the building blocks for Mathematical Development are Thinking, Reasoning and Problem Solving. These skills are crucial to children’s later successes in Maths.


We support children developing these skills through:

  1. Our choice of tasks,
  2. Structuring the stages of problem solving
  3. Explicitly and repeatedly providing children with opportunities to develop key problem solving skills.
  4. Providing resources that spark interest, offering freedom to play, explore, question and try out ideas.


Adults working with children recognise the Mathematical potential in play activities and then support and develop children’s thinking through their natural interest. They encourage children with the following skills to develop their thinking:

  • Describing: scaffold talk to help organise ideas.
  • Recording: support how to record what they have done.
  • Reasoning: help to connect ideas and begin to explain ‘why’ they did what they did.
  • Opening Out: encourage children to explore further and more deeply.


When planning for Maths, adults consider how they will use a particular activity to support the development of the children’s skills to problem solve through a context the children are familiar and confident with. Counting skills, as well as shape, space and measure are included within this. Some activities are also planned that focus on these key skills.

Activities are planned that are easy to access so that everyone can participate. This means that learners can show what they can do, not what they can’t. Learning opportunities are planned that focus on the process and not just knowledge.