Research Question: What is the difference with children’s mathematics inside and outside or is there a difference? What implications does this have for the adult in children’s play in these places?

Researcher(s): Hannah Culverhouse

Setting(s): Archfield House Nursery School

Status: Ongoing

Hannah is interested in the difference between inside and outside provision, mathematical enquiry and the role of the adult within these environments.   Noticing that certain resources offer rich opportunities for mathematics but may not commonly be recognised as mathematical, Hannah is considering potentially broader limits on a more diverse range of mathematical learning taking place in educational settings.

Hannah will be collecting examples of children’s play, including videos, that feature mathematics both inside and outside, then unpicking the maths within these examples and the factors around them – including concurrent adult activity. Hannah is devising a questionnaire for her colleagues about maths that may uncover the views of where maths is more dominantly expected to be seen.

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.