Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy

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Children must be supported in developing their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy (PSRN) in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. They must be provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use.

Aspects of PSRN

PSRN is made up of the following aspects:

  • Numbers as labels and for counting – is about how children gradually know and use numbers and counting in play, and eventually recognise and use numbers reliably, to develop mathematical ideas and to solve problems.
  • Calculating – is about how children develop an awareness of the relationship between numbers and amounts and know that numbers can be combined to be 'added together' and can be separated by 'taking away' and that two or more amounts can be compared.
  • Shape, space and measures – is about how through talking about shapes and quantities, and developing appropriate vocabulary; children use their knowledge to develop ideas and to solve mathematical problems.

What PSRN means for children

  • Babies' and children's mathematical development occurs as they seek patterns, make connections and recognise relationships through finding out about and working with numbers and counting, with sorting and matching and with shape, space and measures.
  • Children use their knowledge and skills in these areas to solve problems, generate new questions and make connections across other areas of Learning and Development.

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