Helping nursery staff with their Maths skills

As part of its ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality learning environment for its children, Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries has invested in a new numeracy training programme. This programme is being implemented the year which is set to train 150 Kiddi Caru nursery staff by December 2015.

Sue Meekings, director of childcare at Kiddi Caru, said: “Mathematics and numeracy are areas that seem to strike fear into the hearts of many people and our teams at the nursery are no exception. This training session is all about demystifying the subject of mathematics – to make it more accessible and less intimidating as a subject.

“One of the most important elements has been to educate the teams that they are already teaching and communicating numeracy activities every single day and the training session has really helped them to realise this.

“We have also taken the decision to roll this training out to team leaders and room leaders of all age groups as it is really important that there is an understanding that at every stage of learning foundations are being put in place to help the children build their skills for the next stage of development.”

The bespoke training programme has been created specifically for Kiddi Caru and its nineteen nurseries located across the Midlands and South of England. The objective of the training is to create positive attitudes amongst staff to the learning and teaching of mathematics for all age groups of children.

As part of the training, the team members are taught underpinning theories as to how mathematics learning works to give them more confidence.

The aim is to elucidate the subject and for staff to realise that mathematics infiltrates many areas of everyday life at the nursery such as looking at different shapes, measuring, creating patterns as well as more obvious activities such as counting.

The training offers practical discussions and activities to help reinforce the understanding of the presence of mathematics in many of the activities enjoyed by the children.

To support the focus on numeracy skills, Kiddi Caru has also introduced the Numicon system to its nurseries, a multi-sensory approach to teaching mathematics.

Through the multi-sensory activities and mathematical language of Numicon, it is hoped that children will develop the skills that underpin their later understanding of numbers.

The range of activities include playing, creating patterns, problem solving, comparison and estimation.

Children at Kiddi Caru’s Colchester day nursery have recently been exploring numbers and counting to help the nursery’s mascot, Roo, with his maths skills.

Laura Evans, Kiddi Caru’s Colchester day nursery manager, commented: “Becoming familiar with numbers and maths is an important part of a child’s time at pre-school and it helps to prepare them for their transition to primary school.

“Using a tool like the Numicon makes the process exciting and fun for the children and encourages them to explore different ideas while talking about numbers with each other. Roo found the activity very useful too, and I’m reliably informed that he can now count to ten.”

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