Early Years Maths Progression

There are six main areas that collectively underpin children’s early mathematical learning, and which provide the firm foundations for the maths that children will encounter as they go up the years in primary school.

They are:

  • Cardinality and Counting: understanding that the cardinal value of a number refers to the quantity, or ‘howmanyness’ of things it represents
  • Comparison: understanding that comparing numbers involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other
  • Composition: understanding that one number can be made up from (composed from) two or more smaller numbers
  • Pattern: looking for and finding patterns helps children notice and understand mathematical relationships
  • Shape and Space: understanding what happens when shapes move, or combine with other shapes, helps develop wider mathematical thinking
  • Measures: comparing different aspects such as length, weight and volume, as a preliminary to using units to compare later.