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22 May 2024

Nurturing numeracy: A journey at Bright Little Stars Nursery

Nurturing numeracy: A journey at Bright Little Stars Nursery
In this guest blog for National Numeracy Day, Senior Nursery Manager, Wendy Gore, explains how numeracy is nurtured at Bright Little Stars Nursery.

As the Senior Nursery Manager at Bright Little Stars Nursery, I've always believed that numeracy and maths should be anything but dull. It's an essential aspect of education, and it's our responsibility to make it engaging and enjoyable for both our children and our staff.

At Bright Little Stars, we're constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance learning experiences. This May, we're excited to introduce loose parts training to our teams. This approach fosters children's exploration skills and seamlessly integrates numeracy into hands-on activities. From comparing sizes to investigating patterns, loose parts encourage problem-solving, stimulate brain development and nurture critical thinking.

Embracing risky play is part of our ethos and we encourage this by offering real life tools in our pre-school learning rooms. These tools encourage children not only to critically think and create, but also to begin to risk assess themselves. They give our children increasing responsibility, independence and self-control, and show that we trust them. Whether it's using tools like hammers and nails or designing obstacle courses, we encourage children to take calculated risks.

Our environment plays a pivotal role in numeracy education. We utilise everyday experiences, such as visits to local stores where children use money to purchase items. Back at the nursery, we extend this learning through cooking activities, incorporating measurements and weights. These real-life experiences not only connect cause with effect but also instil a sense of accomplishment in our children.

Encouraging a can-do attitude is paramount in our approach. Even our youngest learners, at just 18 months old, are empowered to cut their own fruit and vegetables during snack times. This simple activity sparks mathematical dialogue while fostering self-help and fine motor skills. Moreover, our nurseries boasting their own allotment sites provide endless opportunities for exploration and conversation.

Outdoor experiences are equally enriching. With forest school as an extracurricular activity, children immerse themselves in nature's wonders. Counting petals on blossoms, embarking on mini bug hunts, or even attempting to tally the legs of a centipede – all of these activities not only strengthen numeracy skills but also promote mental well-being.

Our bespoke learning programme integrates science and outdoor exploration seamlessly into the curriculum. From erupting volcanoes to mesmerising dancing raisins, science experiments captivate children's imaginations while reinforcing mathematical concepts.

In our quest to nurture numeracy, we've learned that it's everywhere, waiting to be discovered within our settings. Even the simplest activities can yield profound learning experiences for our children, regardless of age.

At Bright Little Stars Nursery, numeracy isn't just about numbers; it's about igniting a lifelong love for learning and discovery. Together, we're shaping bright futures, one mathematical adventure at a time.



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