Developing strong numeracy skills for preschool students

Rema Rajiv
Dec 1, 2023
Learning, School

Competence in numeracy skills in early childhood, as per research, has a significant impact on your child’s mathematical skills in later years. Children learn through various aspects during early years, ranging from their individual abilities such as cognitive skills, language skills, and attention span. However, to maximise learning, preschools must offer high-quality learning environments with engaging curriculum and dedicated teachers. 

Some key benefits of numeracy skills during early childhood years are:


● Cognitive skills development: Engaging in numeracy activities supports cognitive development in young learners. Mathematical concepts such as counting backwards and forwards, sorting, recognising patterns or understanding the relationship between numbers stimulate the brain - thereby, enhancing overall cognitive abilities. Moreover, activities to reinforce these concepts lay the groundwork for more complex mathematical thinking in later years.

● Language development: Engaging in conversations on mathematics and activities supports language development. Talking about numbers, comparing sizes, quantities and using mathematical vocabulary contribute to a rich language environment, fostering overall language skills. 

● Problem-solving skills: Understanding math involves critical thinking and problem-solving. Research suggests that engaging in mathematical activities or concepts involves reasoning, making decisions and logical thinking. They help them to be better equipped to analyse and solve problems in various contexts.

How GIIS preschool programme develops numeracy skills

As such, laying a strong foundation for numeracy skills is crucial in the early years of a child's education. At Global Indian International School (GIIS), the approach to fostering numeracy skills among preschool students is comprehensive as well as engaging, ensuring that our students not just learn the basic skills but also develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Let's take a closer look at the numeracy curriculum for each level, starting from Nursery to Kindergarten 2 (K2).

Numeracy skills form one of the significant components of the five pillars of GIIS’ preschool curriculum, Global Montessori Plus (GMP) programme. Under the first GMP pillar, ‘Excelerate’ programme, focus is laid on developing a strong foundation in various skills, including math skills. 

Elevating learning through interactive activities 

For Nursery students at GIIS, we start with introducing them to the world of numbers through counting, which is taught by memorisation. Using nursery rhymes and interactive activities, our students learn to count from 1 to 10. 

A playful approach is adopted, where index fingers become tools for counting, making the learning process fun and enjoyable. It mainly aids children in establishing a physical correspondence with numbers. The emphasis in this stage, along with learning, is on creating a positive and fun association with numbers.

Focus on independent writing

As our young learners transition to K1, numeracy skills become more structured. In the first month, as part of their revisions, students delve into numbers 1 to 10, gradually progressing up to 100 over the following months. 

The methodology involves learning to count through memorisation, with 10 additional numbers introduced progressively every month. As students become comfortable with the numbers, the focus shifts to identification and writing. Initially, it involves tracing and eventually they move on to independent writing.

K1 students also explore the concepts of 'before,' 'after,' and 'in-between' numbers, which help in enhancing their understanding of numerical sequencing. Backward counting is introduced, which adds a layer of complexity to their numeracy skills. By the end of  K1, our students are adept at recognising, writing and understanding numbers up to 20.

Establishing a robust foundation for Primary 1

K2 at GIIS takes numeracy education a step further by incorporating a more extensive range of concepts. Each month, students work with five key ideas: before, after, in-between, bigger numbers and smaller numbers. The progression follows a systematic approach, covering numbers 1-10 in the first month, 11-20 in the second month, and so on. By the end of the year, a full range of numbers is covered up to 100.

Alongside these concepts, K2 students learn number names, progressing up to 50 by the end of the academic session. The curriculum introduces single-digit addition and subtraction, starting with concrete objects and fingers and progressing to problem-solving activities. Time concepts, such as an hour and half-hour, are introduced, providing a practical application of math skills. The year concludes with an exploration of basic fractions like whole, half, quarter, and three-quarters.

Also read: Fostering language development at GIIS: From Nursery to K2

In essence, the numeracy skills at GIIS for preschool students is designed not just to impart knowledge but to foster a love for numbers. The structured progression, play-based interactive methods, and incorporation of practical concepts ensure that children not only grasp numerical skills but also develop a solid foundation for more advanced mathematical learning in the years to come as they eventually transition to primary school. 

If you are keen to learn more about preschool education at GIIS, please feel free to contact our admissions team.

Rema Rajiv

Ms Rajiv has been an Early Childhood educator and practitioner for the past 15 years at GIIS. She heads the Global Montessori Plus (GMP) Programme, supporting kindergarten students in their learning and holistic development to maximise the potential of every student. She has been instrumental in implementing developmentally age-appropriate curriculum that provides a strong foundation for lifelong learning. She is well-respected due to her rich experience in the field and passion for working with preschoolers, helping establish a good rapport with the parent community.​

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