Foundation Stage Mathematics and Numeracy

Mathematics and Numeracy

Pupils acquire early mathematical concepts through activities that involve sorting, matching, comparing, classifying, and making patterns and sequences in different contexts. These activities should involve children in playing, exploring and investigating, doing and observing, talking and listening, and asking and answering questions.

As developing mathematical language is fundamentally important, talking about work has a high priority in the early years. By engaging in a wide variety of activities, children begin to understand mathematical language and then use this language to talk about their work. Children should have opportunities to develop their skills in mental mathematics during counting activities, by playing games and in their daily classroom routines.

For further details see the Statutory Requirement of Mathematics and Numeracy at Foundation Stage.

Curriculum Objectives

The learning opportunities Mathematics and Numeracy provide help young people to develop as:

  • individuals,
  • contributors to society, and
  • contributors to the economy and environment.

The Cross-Curricular Skill of Using Mathematics

Using Mathematics is the skill of applying mathematical concepts, processes and understanding appropriately in a variety of contexts. Ideally, these should be in relevant real-life situations that require a mathematical dimension. Pupils acquire and consolidate their mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills in the Area of Learning for Mathematics and Numeracy.

For further details on Using Mathematics, see Using Mathematics at Foundation Stage on the Curriculum section of the CCEA website.

Assessing Using Mathematics at Foundation Stage

Assessing how well a pupil has used mathematics in a variety of different contexts across the curriculum helps you to monitor and track the effectiveness of the numeracy strategies in your school.

For details on the assessment of Using Mathematics, see Assessment at Foundation Stage on the Curriculum section of the CCEA website.


For more information on Mathematics and Numeracy contact:

Lyn Lynch
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2607

Diane Owens
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2913


Developmental Stages for Learning at Foundation Stage

For more details on assessing progress at Foundation Stage, see Non-Statutory Assessment Guidance – The Developmental Stages in Learning on the Curriculum section of the CCEA website.

Financial Capability Microsite Financial Capability

This site gives teachers the information and educational resources they need to deliver effective lessons in personal money management. Personal financial education develops young people’s financial understanding, skills and confidence, helping them to make effective decisions throughout their lives.

Ready, Set, Go - Maths Ready, Set, Go - Maths

'Ready, Set, Go – Maths' was produced by The Northern Ireland Steering Group for Numeracy to address the question, ‘How can the quality and effectiveness of early learning in numeracy be improved for children who find maths difficult?’ Eunice Pitt led the project from September 1999 – August 2001. You can place an order for this publication now!

Count, Read: Succeed

A strategy to improve outcomes in Literacy and Numeracy

Count, Read: Succeed, A Strategy to Improve Outcomes in Literacy and Numeracy

Count, Read: Succeed, A Strategy to Improve Outcomes in Literacy and Numeracy

You can find further details on strategy at