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1/7 – What should my child be able to do? EYFS Maths

Here at Primary Tutor Project we often get parents asking us questions like what is my child supposed to know in their current year group? or is my child at the level they should be at for their year group? In a previous blog, we highlighted some useful information around how to help your child with primary school maths. From this, we decided to start a blog series detailing some of the core curriculum elements for each year group covering Reception / EYFS – Year 6. We will also provide you with some useful activities you can be doing at home with your child. This series will try to pull together information from numerous different sources in a concise easy to understand way.

It’s important to note that teachers are always happy to help parents who want to be involved in their child’s education. If you have any questions, worries or concerns do not hesitate to ask the teacher. They will also have a huge amount of resources that they will be more than happy to share with you! One of the most important maths resources you should ask for is the ‘Calculation Policy’ of the school. This will outline and give you a better understanding of the calculation strategies taught in each year group.

To start the series, we will start with Reception / EYFS Maths and work our way up.

Reception / EYFS Maths Curriculum Goals

In Reception / EYFS maths is taught as part of ‘Problem solving, Reasoning and Numeracy’. It will be taught using familiar objects to help your child learn about how numbers are used in everyday life, and they will also be linking numbers to topic work. Your child will be dealing with:

Numbers as labels and for counting
  • Counting up to ten and beyond, using cardinal numbers
  • Recognising the numbers 1 to 9
  • Counting aloud in ones, twos, fives, tens
  • Estimating a number of objects and checking by counting
  • Matching and comparing the number of objects in two groups
  • Counting out a number of objects from a larger group
  • Positioning items according to their place in a group using ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.)
Shape, space and measures
  • Using a number line to count on and back
  • Finding one more or one less than a number from 1 to ten
  • Sharing objects in equal groups and counting how many are in each group
  • Understanding that ‘addition’ means combining and ‘subtraction’ means taking away
  • Finding the total number of items in two groups by counting them all
  • Comparing numbers and recognising which is ‘more’ or ‘less’
Numbers as labels and for counting
  • Using a number line to count on and back
  • Comparing quantities and using words such as ‘greater’, ‘smaller’, ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’
  • Recognising and creating their own simple patterns
  • Using everyday words to describe the position of objects
  • Sorting familiar objects and describing their differences and similarities
  • Making patterns and building models
  • Putting two or three items in order, according to their length or weight
  • Matching shapes and patterns
  • Building on a basic understanding of time: putting familiar events in sequence; measuring time, using a sand-timer

Home activities:

At home, try to talk about numbers – it’s important for children to see just how much maths is used in everyday life.

Counting: Practice saying the numbers whilst encouraging your child to join in with you. As their confidence grows, try starting from different numbers e.g. 4,5,6,7. Also try counting backwards. Present your child with the opportunity to count objects such as counting grocery items etc. Encourage them to move each object as they count them engaging their tactile senses. Play games that involve counting e.g. snakes and ladders, dice games making it visual and fun to count.

Match and sort items: sort toys into groups by colour, by shape, by weight. Ask your child: How would you sort them? Which one is the heaviest?

Identify the numbers 1-10: Pick a number for the day and encourage your child to look out for it when you go out. This can be combined with recognising and placing value in coins of small denomination. Which coin is worth the most / least- place them in order.

Add groups of objects to make 5,6,7 etc. : When shopping ask your child to get you 2 apples, then 3 more. How many altogether? How many ways could I share 4 cakes between you and your brother? How could I share them fairly between you both?

Talk about time daily: ask questions such as: what do you do before bed? What do you think will happen next in the story? What day is it today?


Some really fun and interactive games for reception kids and best of all they are free!

Another useful resource for some interactive questions.

The is a great source for other information.

If you are a parent and need some advice or you are worried about your child’s current progress, feel free to reach out to us at Primary Tutor Project! We will be adding to this series each week! If there is any topic in particular you require advice for contact us here.

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