Case study: Corrie Primary and Nursery School

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Helping children to embrace the magic of maths in the Early Years.

We liked that learning has become fun. The activities are engaging and quick to do and it’s easy for Thomas to maintain his concentration. The sessions have helped me to understand what Thomas needed to know.


The big idea

Giving parents the skills and confidence to support their child’s knowledge of numbers before they start school.

Why it’s needed

In the Early Years, it is essential that all children, regardless of their background, take part in activities such as reading numbers and counting with their parents at home. This helps them to develop the skills that they need to feel confident working with numbers when they start school.

However, many disadvantaged children do not have access to these opportunities at home. They might not have lots of educational toys or books to read1 or access to high quality pre-school education or childcare2. In addition, their parents might not have the skills to provide learning support at home or they might have an in-built fear of maths themselves. In fact, a study showed that nearly one third of parents admit they lack the confidence in their own number skills to help their children with maths homework3.

I liked reading the book and looking at the pages. I liked the tadpoles because I got to count them!


How it works

Corrie Primary and Nursery School in Tameside has launched a project to address this. Every day, teachers at the school invite children in the reception year to maths meetings that give them the opportunity to work with numbers and solve puzzles in their favourite books, such as counting beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. Teachers also invite parents and their children to a range of fun maths workshops, offering them an exciting opportunity to practice number games together and sing maths-themed songs to build confidence. As they attend more sessions, parents and children are also encouraged to build their own learning packs filled with books, games and other activities to help them to continue working with numbers at home. The maths meetings and workshops are continued into primary school, to make sure that confidence amongst children and parents is embedded through school.

By taking away the fear of maths amongst parents and making numbers fun for children, Corrie Primary School is helping disadvantaged children across Tameside to embrace the magic of mathematics from an early stage.

The impact

  • More parents have said they feel confident in supporting their child to use numbers
  • So far, 77% of children have achieved the expected standard in numbers
  • The school is planning to roll out the project to schools across Tameside and through North West Maths Hubs.


  1. National Literacy Trust, Read On Get On, 2014
  2. London School of Economics, “Universal” early education: who benefits? Patterns in take-up of the entitlement to free early education among three-year-olds in England, 2018