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Littleton Church of England Nursery and Infant School


 At Littleton, we value Mathematics as a core subject that is essential to everyday life and recognise that it is a gateway skill to accessing the rest of the curriculum. Therefore, we prioritise the development of factual fluency for our pupils supported by the use of concrete objects, pictorial representations and abstract thinking. We endeavour to provide children with the necessary knowledge and skills to progress within our school, Key Stage 2 and beyond.


We aim to ensure Littleton learners recognise the important of maths for themselves as individuals in our local community and the wider world. We want children to enjoy mathematics and experience success within the subject, with the ability to problem solve and reason mathematically.

At Littleton, we use White Rose Maths. This high quality, mastery programme of study offers the small steps progression planning needed to ensure children learn at their own pace whilst still achieving high standards and developing their conceptual understanding.

This inclusive approach is based on the principles of cognitive psychology and child development. The Counting Principles outlined below, are a key focus in our Early Years mathematics provision. We recognise the importance of being able to identify the principles children are confident with and those that they are not in order to plan their next steps effectively to support pupils’ progress.

The Counting Principles

Following research from Gelman and Gallistel in 1978, it is vital that teachers understand the five counting principles.

  1. The one-one principle. This involves children assigning one number name to each object that is being counted. Children need to ensure that they count each object only once ensuring they have counted every object.   
  2. The stable-order principle. Children understand when counting, the numbers have to be said in a certain order.
  3. The cardinal principle. Children understand that the number name assigned to the final object in a group is the total number of objects in that group.
  4. The abstraction principle. This involves children understanding that anything can be counted including things that cannot be touched including sounds and movements e.g. jumps.
  5. The order-irrelevance principle. This involves children understanding that the order we count a group of objects is irrelevant. There will still be the same number. 



 Littleton Explorers Nursery

Our Littleton Explorers Nursery teach early number skills using the Counting Principles. The continuous provision ensures that there are opportunities for children to explore early number and space, shape and measure. Adults then plan and facilitate learning conversations and activities to explore children’s understanding of the Counting Principles and ensure children progress through the steps accordingly.

Maths Hub Mastering Number Programme

From September 2022, we began developing our Maths teaching and provision through participating in the Maths Hub Mastering Number Programme. This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future. Children use an abacus-like rekenrek to help them develop confidence and fluency with number. Use of a rekenrek is one element of the Mastering Number Programme.

At Littleton, we provide four, 10-15 minute teaching sessions for all children, in addition to their normal maths lessons. All class teachers contribute to an online community that includes regular training alongside critical reflection and sharing best practice.


What are the aims and benefits of the programme?

  • Pupils will be able to clearly communicate their mathematical ideas
  • Leaders, teachers and support staff will develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations
  • Leaders, teachers and support staff will work to develop teaching strategies focused on developing fluency in calculation and number sense for all pupils
  • Leaders, teachers and support staff will develop an understanding and use appropriate manipulatives to support the teaching of mathematical structures


At Littleton, we recognise that Mathematics is a gateway skill. We are passionate that our pupils leave Littleton with firm foundations in maths to support them in the future.






More information can be found in our MATHEMATICS POLICY