Research Question: In what ways can nursery children use data handling and their own representations to solve real problems/questions … how can a key person support and encourage this?

Researcher(s): Sara Whitting

Setting(s): Redcliffe Nursery School and Children’s Centre

Status: Ongoing

Sara attended the maths course and was particularly interested in the part about using data handling with children to solve problems and support their questions. She had already noticed from her experimental pedagogy that some children are really empowered by this and some children find representing quantities difficult.

Sara has already collected interesting examples and she is integrating data handling in contextual key group times and has found this invites children to calculate in many ways.

Sara has been surprised by how much children can do mentally and through representations.

A note about Practitioner led Mathematical Research 2017


The Bristol Early Years Consortium Maths SLEs have received funding from the Boolean Maths Hub to:

  • Develop specialist subject knowledge of mathematics teaching.
  • Develop pedagogical knowledge of mathematics teaching.
  • Improve the quality of mathematics teaching.
  • Develop confidence and resilience in learning mathematics.

The SLEs as research mentors are using research as a form of CPD to achieve the above aims. 

The research participants have sculpted their own questions for their research and the SLEs will meet with the research participants 6 times a year and have whole research group meetings three times a year. There are 15 teacher/practitioner researchers who work with children from two years old to seven years old.