Mathematical Development

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    • 00:06

      [Learning Through Play, The New Foundation Phase in Wales]

    • 00:15

      NARRATOR: Since 2004, a radical experimentin the early years provision has been going on in Wales.At over 40 schools across the country,they've been piloting a new play-based curriculumfor three to seven year olds.And from 2008, it will be implemented in all schools.Welcome to the foundation phase.

    • 00:35

      CLAIRE LLOYD: (SINGING) 10 green bottles hanging on the wall.

    • 00:40

      NARRATOR: Troedyrhiw Infant Schoolis in a small town near Merthyr Tydfil.They're piloting the foundation phase in their nurseryand reception classes.And this program will look at how they're encouragingmathematical developments.

    • 00:52

      CLAIRE LLOYD: (SINGING) Nine green bottleshanging on the wall.

    • 00:57

      REBECCA FOWLER: We decided when we found outwe were a pilot school for the foundation phasethat rather than work in isolation,it would be a really good idea to bringour early years into one unit.So then we decided to knock through the walland create our nursery and receptionarea into an under-fives unit.

    • 01:13

      CLAIRE LLOYD: The classroom is redivided into too many areas.There's a quiet area, with the interactive whiteboard.There is an art area.And then there's the busy area, wherethere's a lot of free choice activities set out.And the role-play area's in that part of the room, as well.

    • 01:28

      REBECCA FOWLER: We have open access to the outdoors, whichis one of the key features of the foundation phase,developing the outdoor classroom, whichwe've spent a lot of time and moneyon the last couple of years.And if the children aren't being withdrawnby an adult for specifically an activity,then they have a free choice activity whichis either indoors or outdoors.And an abundance of activities are put out for the children

    • 01:50

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: and rotated each day.We've got a target sheet out therewith numbers of 5, 10, 25, and 50.And this is an aiming activity where the children canfocus on a particular number and thenuse the bean bag to aim at that particular number.And it's good for adding, as well,and the children can total their scores.And it's a competitive game that the children enjoy doing.

    • 02:12

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: Which number are you going to try to hit?The one in the middle?Number 50?Say number 50.[GASPS]Excellent.And then we moved on to the number dominoes,where the children use that as a free choice activity, wherethey've got numbers 1 to 6.And they match the numbers, and they work as a team.

    • 02:32

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: So they're developing personal and social skills,team-building skills, and just helping each other to problemsolve the number dominoes.I can see something-- I can see--

    • 02:44

      JANE DAVIDSON: Having made the decisionthat we were going to change the curriculum in Walesand try and ensure that we benchmarked ourselvesagainst the best in the world, wethen had to look about what we were goingto put into this curriculum.And we decided that we wanted to focuson outcomes so that children couldmove through the curriculum.

    • 03:04

      JANE DAVIDSON [continued]: And as they developed a skill in an activity,that that was registered, and they could thenmove on to the next one.So they'd be encouraged to an extentto move at their own pace.But they're being encouraged to developto the best of their ability.

    • 03:20

      GAIL REES: We feel quite successful in what we're doing,because the school has had an inspection.And the under-fives were highly praisedin their delivery of the foundation phase.And that gives the school confidence to carry it forward.

    • 03:35

      CLAIRE LLOYD: So we need to find the right numbers.And we don't just want to build anyold wall. [INAUDIBLE] the numbers [INAUDIBLE].We want to put the numbers in order.So if we're get really stuck, look.We've got the number line to help us.

    • 03:47

      NARRATOR: A key aspect of the foundation phaseis the lower adult-to-pupil ratios.At Troedyrhiw, this means that teachers withdraw small groupsof children from their free choice sessionsto do specific teacher-led activities.

    • 04:01

      REBECCA FOWLER: The day is set up into five 45-minute worksessions.There are eight members of staff in the under-five unit,and there are seven areas of learning for the foundationphase.And each week, a member of staff isresponsible for an area of learning.And then obviously, we have a spare member of staff.So sometimes, we double up on activities.

    • 04:20

      SPEAKER 1: What number would you like to do?

    • 04:22

      SPEAKER 2: 5.

    • 04:23

      SPEAKER 1: What number's that one?

    • 04:24

      SPEAKER 2: That's 6.

    • 04:25

      SPEAKER 1: Good, good.Go on then.Big down and a big round.Yay!

    • 04:34

      REBECCA FOWLER: We're using a multisensory approach, wherethe children are practicing, recognizing, and formingnumbers using sand, salt, shaving foam,and be using the water tray wherethe children can use the water to develop their numberlanguage.We're using all the areas that you can think of.

    • 04:51

      CLAIRE LLOYD: There is a lot of forming numbers, but notnecessarily pen to paper.It could be using the pens and usingthe interactive whiteboard to write numbers,multisensory approach, problem solving skills, not necessarilysitting down and pen to paper.But it's just whenever they're ready for it.

    • 05:15

      REBECCA FOWLER: Lots of sorting activities go onin the unit as free choice and as teacher-directed activities.And we use lots of sorting for different types of criteria.But today, the children were sorting Teddy into the colors.So they had to match the color of Teddy to the color traythat they have.And then some of the children were actuallycounting their teddies to 10 and beyond quite independently.

    • 05:38

      SPEAKER 3: One.

    • 05:39

      REBECCA FOWLER: That's good.

    • 05:40

      SPEAKER 3: Two, three, four.

    • 05:46

      REBECCA FOWLER: We don't push the childrento form the numbers.But when we know the children can actuallyrecite their numbers to 10 and beyond, then obviously,we introduce the number to them thenbecause they need to recognize the number.And then we move on to forming numbers.

    • 05:59

      SPEAKER 4: No, [INAUDIBLE].We are going to need [INAUDIBLE].22, yeah.

    • 06:03

      CLAIRE LLOYD: The system we've got now,it is a lovely way of teaching, really,because you can allow the children to explorethings and come up with their own ideas.It just gives you a bit of freedom, as well.If they want to move something in a particular direction,if they've got a particular interest,you've got that freedom to go with that ideaand follow it through throughout the week.

    • 06:23

      CLAIRE LLOYD [continued]: Right.Boys and girls, this week, now whatis Tilly and Timmy's favorite color?

    • 06:27

      SPEAKER 3: Green.

    • 06:27

      CLAIRE LLOYD: Green.We've got some green things in our obstacle coursethat Tilly is going to cross, OK?But first of all, I want you to show methat you know where these positions are.Can you put Tilly on something for me?And where's Tilly?Can you tell me?

    • 06:47

      SPEAKER 5: On the bench.

    • 06:48

      CLAIRE LLOYD: Shall we call that a table?A jumping table?On the table.Good boy.[INAUDIBLE], bring him back.And I was using an obstacle courseto encourage the children to use positional language.So I was introducing it to them, then lettingthem choose their own route across the obstacle course,and seeing where they put the teddy bear.

    • 07:10

      SPEAKER 6: On the table.

    • 07:11

      CLAIRE LLOYD: That's right, on the table.Good.

    • 07:16

      NARRATOR: The foundation phase gives teachersmore freedom to lead activities away from the classroom.And using the outdoors to extend learningis especially encouraged.

    • 07:27

      REBECCA FOWLER: We've set up a fruit and vegshop in our eco-village, where the children have experienceof buying and selling, using money, usingthe weighing scales, using mathematical language, and alsobilingualism, as we speak about 20% of the day in Welshas part of the foundation phase.

    • 07:47

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: [SPEAKING WELSH]This was a bilingualism activity,with the children ask, find your clock, Mr. Blythe.And then the child who is the wolf, who had a wolf badge on,had a clock.

    • 08:07

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: And they could say, [WELSH] or 1 o'clock.And then the children were waiting for the wolf to say,[WELSH].And when it was dinnertime, then obviously, the wolfwould chase the children to catch them.

    • 08:19


    • 08:20


    • 08:23

      GAIL REES: Parents have been very positive.They report that their children are happy coming to school.They also report that the childrenare enthused in their learning, which isunusual to hear from parents.They are supportive of us.We meet with them many times.We keep them informed.And each new set of parents who come in,

    • 08:45

      GAIL REES [continued]: we keep informing them, because it is importantthat they know about the principles and practiceof foundation phase.

    • 08:51

      REBECCA FOWLER: Some parents commented last yearthat oh, she's not writing her name yet,and she hasn't done this yet.And I've just said, well, that's because she's not ready.It's the same with numbers, the same with phonics.And her parents accept that.I think when they've got older brothers and sisters whohaven't actually been through the foundation phase,

    • 09:11

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: or may have been formally taught to writetheir name at an earlier age, they compare to that.But they've been very supportive,and they understand the benefits.And they can see as the child goes through the unitthat when those skills are laid downand the foundations are in place,that that child's learning excels rapidly.

    • 09:29

      HAYLEY DAVIES: I think at first, it was a bit unsettling,because it was new.But I think parents are getting used to it now, and usedto the way-- and I suppose that children whostarted from the nursery up, it's not so bad,because they don't know.And the parents don't know any different now.But for the likes of us whose childrenhave changed their learning and has changed from when our olderchildren was learning, then it's more difficult for us

    • 09:53

      HAYLEY DAVIES [continued]: to get used to it.

    • 09:55

      GAIL REES: We've had very, very few concerns.If a parent does come to us, perhapsto chat about the outdoors, the rainy weather,then we sit and explain and discuss the ethos.And every parent comes around to our way of thinking.

    • 10:12

      HAYLEY DAVIES: It's getting used to the organizingto make sure they've got appropriate clothingfor the weather, because they are outside a lotdoing activities in whatever weather, really.

    • 10:20

      MRS. JONES: I've only got one child,and he's come straight into the foundation phase, whichI am very, very glad he's done.I feel as if I'm fortunate that he's gone straight in,and I think we're very fortunate to have this in this area.

    • 10:31

      JANE DAVIDSON: I think parents' reactions havebeen interesting, because when you firsttalk to parents about the foundation phase,I think many of them were concernedthat their children perhaps wouldn't be prepared enoughinside the formal learning regime.But the experience of the parents in the pilotshas been almost unanimously positive.

    • 10:53

      JANE DAVIDSON [continued]: Because they found that, in fact, this new mechanism,this new way of learning, this learning by doingis bringing their children on in leaps and bounds.

    • 11:01

      SPEAKER 8: Today, we're going to be detectives,and we're going to look in this yardto see if we can find some of these 3D shapes.Do you remember these are the flat shapes?What's different about these then?

    • 11:14

      SPEAKER 9: They big and those small.

    • 11:17

      SPEAKER 8: And you can see all around them, that's right.Yes.

    • 11:22

      REBECCA FOWLER: We plan for LSAs as an area of learning a week.We know our LSAs very well, and we'revery fortunate that we've got very high-skilled LSAs.And we know where those individual skills are.So we best match an LSA to a learning activityfor that week.

    • 11:39

      SPEAKER 8: Shall we go and have a little look in this yardto see if we can find those shapes?

    • 11:43

      SPEAKER 9: Yeah.

    • 11:44

      SPEAKER 8: What shape is that, Ben?

    • 11:46

      BEN: Cone.

    • 11:47

      SPEAKER 8: A cone.And a-- a

    • 11:51

      SPEAKER 9: Cylinder.

    • 11:51

      SPEAKER 8: Cy-- cylinder.

    • 11:53

      SPEAKER 10: Right.What we're going to do today, you're going to hide Tilly.And what Mrs. Callum wants you to do--can you see my Bee-Bot robots?I want you to see if you can program these robots.What can you tell me about this arrow here?Left and--

    • 12:08

      SPEAKER 11: Right.

    • 12:09


    • 12:10

      CLAIRE LLOYD: They're using the outdoor environmentwith-- they're called little Bee-Bot robots.And they've helped us for early years.It's using directional language to saywhich direction the robot needs to move into find the teddy who's hiding in the eco-garden.But obviously, it's also involvingasking the children to say how many steps forward.

    • 12:31

      CLAIRE LLOYD [continued]: So it's predicting, it's problem solving.He's not quite there.How many more steps do you think he needs to take?So it's directional language, and obviouslynumber and problem solving, as well.

    • 12:44

      SPEAKER 10: You're nearly finding Timmy.

    • 12:46

      SPEAKER 12: That way.

    • 12:46

      SPEAKER 10: You're nearly there.So which way do you need to go now?You're nearly there by Timmy.

    • 12:52

      REBECCA FOWLER: They succeed in everything they do in the unit,and they know that.There's always somebody at hand to support them.There's always somebody at hand to work alongside them.So they're succeeding in everything they do.And they're far more interested in the processof things that they do, rather than the outcome, whichis something that we've wanted to promoteas a school for a long, long time.

    • 13:12

      REBECCA FOWLER [continued]: (SINGING) Five little specked frogs sat on a speckled log,eating some most delicious grub.Yum!Yum!

    • 13:21

      CLAIRE LLOYD: We wouldn't choose to go backto national curriculum way of teaching.

    • 13:25


    • 13:26

      CLAIRE LLOYD: And if we feel that as teachers,then it would be hard to see any teachers, wherever they are,would disagree with us.[SINGING]

    • 13:37

      REBECCA FOWLER: We feel privilegedthat we've had the opportunity to be a pilot school,and we've just really enjoyed the experience.It's been a long journey, but it'sbeen a really valued and worthwhile one.Go on.[GIGGLING]

Mathematical Development

View Segments Segment :


Teachers from the Troedyrhiw Infant School discuss the play-based curriculum they have adopted, and how it allows students to really engage in and understand numbers.

Mathematical Development

Teachers from the Troedyrhiw Infant School discuss the play-based curriculum they have adopted, and how it allows students to really engage in and understand numbers.

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