Research Question: How can we observe and develop what the children already do mathematically and use this to inform our data?

Researcher(s): Jayne Coller

Setting(s): Christchurch Pre-School

Status: Ongoing

Christchurch has noticed that ‘number’ appears lower in their data, and during an Ofsted visit Jayne made a recommendation to further develop number in the nursery. As a result of this, Jayne’s question is around observing and seizing upon opportunities in children’s play to develop children’s mathematics.   This involves observing play and using these observations when making assessment judgements. Jayne reflects on the influence forest experience has had on her practice and the practice of the pre-school to open up what they do with children. During an afternoon visit, we observed the children pretending to ski down a slope in the nursery, discussing speed, angles and problem solving. They then pretended to be in a café talking about orders; quantities and making representations of these on paper some of the children used standard numerals while others used their own symbols.

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.