Home Page

Key Focus: Number Work in Maths

In January and February we are setting off to boldly go where no Reception class has gone before…Space! This is a fascinating topic for many of our children, with its mix of scientific fact and imaginative aliens.


We have a special focus on number work and aim to build these skills:


  • For children to be able to count forward or back from any number between 0 and 20. Counting back from, or working out what is one less than a teen number can be tricky, so we will be doing lots of chanting. You could do too, using the random number generator on activelearnprimary or a number card to give the starting number. We put that number in our head by whispering it, then start counting on or back in a louder voice.
  • For children to use a numberline to add or subtract. It is important that they count the jumps forward or back, not the number they start on. Numberlines can be downloaded from There are even ‘Aliens love underpants’ numberlines there!
  • For children to know by heart, and remember quickly, pairs of numbers that make a given total, and especially these numberbonds for 10. We will be making aliens with different numbers of eyes, and finding which pairs of aliens have 10 eyes altogether.
  • For children to enjoy the challenge of number problems, to find different ways of solving them, and to keep on trying if at first their idea doesn’t work. Again we might be using the aliens with different numbers of eyes. If there are three aliens in a spaceship, which is the biggest total of eyes altogether? What is the smallest total? Why? Are there different ways of making the same total? Does it matter in what order you add the different numbers of eyes together?


You might find the following links useful:

It’s important to be really positive about how fun and important maths is, even if you found it hard at school.