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Westwood Primary School

'If you believe you can do it, you can and you will!'

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Early Years Maths

Mastery Maths Approach


What is teaching for Mastery?

At Westwood Primary we understand the importance of gaining a deep understanding of maths and we feel our Mastery Maths offer allows us to ensure every child, regardless of starting points, can gain a deeper understanding of number concepts and mathematical thinking. This offer allows children to acquire a secure and memorable understanding of maths which gives them the foundations needed to move onto more complex topics as they progress through school.


Our Ethos

We believe that every child is a ‘maths person’. Maths skills are essential for everyday life and for that reason it is essential that every child is confident in their mathematical thinking and reasoning.


“Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.” -Development Matters 2012

Maths skills progression in Early Years

Maths skills are taught from the beginning of Reception, each new concept introduced is taught in depth and revisited throughout maths in Reception. (see our Mastery Maths offer for more details).


Patterns and Sorting


Sorting and patterning skills involve understanding relationships among sets, how those sets are represented and analyzing of those sets.

A child who has good sorting and patterning skills can:

  • understand patterns, relations, and functions
  • make matches
  • identify sets
  • sort and classify by various and multiple attributes
  • compare sets for similarities and differences
  • recognize and create patterns


Simply put, sorting and patterning help children understand the nature of mathematics. Not only is sorting and classifying a natural act for children, but children also find it interesting.

Collecting, sorting, classifying, making patterns… these are all great things for children to do because they teach children about relationships and attributes, as well as teach children how rules apply to sets.

And, since math is all about rules and systems, lots of practice and exploration in these skills is a really great thing for those developing minds!

Measure and Capacity

We then move the children onto measuring and developing their mathematical concepts further. An early understanding of measurement begins when children simply compare one object to another. For example, when we ask, “Which one is shorter? Taller? Longer? Heavier?” children are learning attributes about an object and that they can be measured more than one way. A rock can be heavier and smaller than a feather that would be lighter and possibly larger.


The Number System 0-10