Why I love Numicon Firm Foundations

Numicon firm foundations

A headshot image of Sue Cowley

Author and early years teacher Sue Cowley shares why she loves Numicon Firm Foundations

Numicon Firm Foundations is a comprehensive programme of maths activities for EYFS which has recently been updated to align with the new early learning goals. It’s just what every early years teacher needs as they get to grips with the reformed Statutory Framework.

“There’s plenty of detail in the resources, with everything required to plan and teach”

Numicon Firm Foundations offers a carefully planned teaching programme with clear progression and sequencing. The teacher’s handbook contains everything you need, saving time and ensuring coverage. In the best tradition of early years, the approach is active and child-centred. The online resources offer materials in an easily accessible digital format, with the added benefit of banks of stories, songs and videos, and excellent professional development materials too.

“The Numicon apparatus is versatile, with many learning opportunities from a single resource”

Numicon Firm Foundations

It’s important that any resource can be put to more than one use. I love the versatility of Numicon because it can be used in all areas of continuous provision, allowing maths to happen everywhere in your setting. Children might ‘borrow’ Numicon shapes to use as role play food, draw around them in your art area, or ‘find’ them hidden in the sand tray. There are many imaginative ideas for using Numicon in the teacher folder.

“It helps children think and talk mathematically”

Numicon gets children thinking and talking mathematically, wherever they are in your provision. It encourages children to ‘talk maths’ and ‘see maths’, looking for patterns and actively making patterns of their own. By combining Numicon with resources you already have, you can develop maths across all areas of learning.

“It’s multisensory, linking concrete action with imagery”

Children need to get hands-on with concrete resources in order to make their ideas visual, build schemas and understand how concepts link together. Numicon is visually appealing and great for building fine motor control, as children manipulate the shapes. Children can touch, see, talk about and embed mathematical concepts such as contrasting, comparing, sequencing, part/whole and counting.

“It is practical, tough and has stood the test of time”

Numicon Firm Foundations builds on the proven Numicon approach to teaching and learning maths. It encourages deep understanding of mathematical concepts for every child, as the teacher models mathematical communication. Crucially, this is a resource that will last. Hardwearing and tough enough to resist the attentions of a classful of children, Numicon is a must for building an effective, child-centred maths curriculum in your setting.