Short Blocks

Maths Reception Autumn Number and Sets

Hamilton's Reception Maths planning targets the key characteristics of effective early learning:

  • Through Exploring and Playing, children independently engage with their peers and their environment.
  • Active Learning group activities promote the motivation needed to be involved and to keep trying.
  • Guided Creating and Thinking Critically supports development of problem-solving & reasoning skills.

Maths Out Loud: whole-class counting, repetitive chants, rhymes, songs and a linked story to enjoy together.

Partitioning to create number bonds (suggested as 5 days)

Maths Out Loud



  • Take a number, e.g. 4, off the pegged number line. Say the number together. Four. Say: Flippy, floppy, flippy, floppy, show me!
  • Children show four fingers standing up. They must use both hands! E.g. 2 fingers standing up on one hand, and 2 on the other, or 1 standing on one hand and 3 on the other. They could show 4 and none.
  • Ask: Who’s showing three and one? Those children stand up.
  • Who’s showing two and two? Those children stand up.
  • Who’s showing four and none? Those children stand up.
  • Play again, using a different number, e.g. 3 or 5.


  • Write 5 big on the board.
  • Say a smaller number, e.g. two. Children must show you how many fingers go with two to make 5.
  • Repeat, saying a different number.
  • Rehearse all combinations.
  • Can be repeated for BIG FOUR or BIG SIX.


Recite the rhyme Peas in a Pod, matching to 1 finger, 2 fingers, etc. until the pea pod pops (see resources).


Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins. This story lends itself well to partitioning five.

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

Toy animals; lolly sticks; bricks; lots of same-sized Lego bricks; mini people/ figures; bird and fish templates (see resources); scissors, thread, tape; tin foil/colouring pencils/crayons/tissue paper; Rich Tea finger biscuits; raisins; dried cranberries.

Active Learning

IWB with sheep pen/gate images, simple cutouts of paper sheep, whiteboards and pens, 1-5 number cards; soft toy cats & dogs (5 of each); trouser hanger; same coloured pegs; cloth; cubes.

Creating and Thinking Critically

Coloured counters; 3 x 3 grid (see resources); set of dominoes per pair of children; painted beans (see preparation); toy train engine, piles of two different-coloured bricks/ interlocking cubes.