Understanding Mathematical Concepts in the Foundation Phase

Gareth Metcalfe

Professional Development for all Foundation Phase teachers – Understanding Concepts in Foundation Phase Mathematics, Gareth Metcalfe

Gareth Metcalfewill be delivering mathematics workshops during the Autumn Term 2017/Spring Term 2018..

The free workshops will be available for all FPh teachers and will take place over two half day sessions, to be attended by the same teacher, approximately one month apart. Spaces will be limited to one teacher per school in the first instance.


  • Understand the number sense skills that children need to become fluent in early mathematics.
  • Consider a range of strategies for teaching children to use non-counting strategies in early calculation.
  • Explore how learning can be deepened in the independent areas of the Foundation Phase provision.

Part 1
Evidence will be shared to highlight the importance of early mathematics and we will play games that help delegates to understand the challenges that children face in becoming fluent with early number. We will then look at the ‘number sense relationships’ that children need to build in order to become fluent with early mathematics. This will incorporate the systematic use of a range of visual representations. Teachers will consider how the Foundation Phase provision in their setting helps to promote a strong, flexible number sense.

Rhan 2
A range of strategies for teaching calculation through non-counting strategies will be introduced, encouraging children to reason mathematically. A range of games, ideas and resources will be shared for reinforcing these skills within independent areas in line with the Foundation Phase model. The application task will also be introduced. 

Application task
Building number sense avtivities and/or non-counting calculation techniques withing the Foundation Phase curriculum.



  • Look at techniques for planning sequences of lessons that build deep understanding using the Foundation Phase approach.
  • Explore how images and equipment can be used to build conceptual understanding across the maths curriculum.

We will reflect and feedback on outcomes from the application task. Then we will look at the key concepts and ‘big ideas’ that children need to understand in different areas of the maths curriculum and look at how they can be explored practically. We will examine how these concepts can be explored further using equipment and images. The ‘visual representations map’ will be introduced, supporting schools to consistently use equipment and images throughout the Foundation Phase.

Part 2
We will look at how bar modelling can be introduced and used to build understanding in calculation and problem-solving. A range of games and activities will be shared for deepening learning and adding challenge within all areas of the Foundation Phase maths provision.


Beaufort Park Hotel 23/10/2017 31/01/2018 8:45am – 12:00pm
OpTIC, St Asaph / Oriel House, St Asaph 23/10/2017 – OpTIC 31/01/2018 – Oriel House 1:15pm – 4:30pm
Ramada Plaza, Wrexham 24/10/2017 02/02/2018 8:45am – 12:00pm
Glasdir, Llanrwst 13/11/2017 06/02/2018 8:45am – 12:00pm
Plas Tan y Bwlch / Coed y Brenin 13/11/2017 – Plas Tan y Bwlch 06/02/2018 – Coed y Brenin 1:15pm – 4:30pm
Tŷ Menai, Bangor 14/11/2017 07/02/2018 8:45am – 12:00pm
Tŷ Menai, Bangor 14/11/2017 07/02/2018 1:15pm – 4:30pm

For further information on Gareth Metcalfe – www.iseemaths.com
Any questions, email  – llythrenneddarhifedd@gwegogledd.cymru