Maths Vocabulary by Year Group
Message from Andrew Jeffrey (author of New Maths Vocabulary):
A note about Reception: In the Foundation Stage, language is mostly spoken. Of course this does not mean that children should not have sight of the written word, but preferably this should always be in conjunction with the appropriate imagery so that they can begin to associate and recognise words they cannot necessarily yet read fluently.
Exclusions: There are a few controversial inclusions/exclusions. For example, I have deliberately left the phrase ‘Place Value’ out of Year 1 even though children are expected to begin to understand the idea. This is because the phrase itself is not necessary in order to understand the concept, and may actually serve to obfuscate rather than support learning. Of course, feel free to teach children these words- please ensure that the concept is secure first, so that children have some mental image on which to hang the words. This is part of a broader principle I call ‘CPL’, or ‘Concept Precedes learning.’ Like CPA, it focuses on the importance of understanding something rather than just learning its name. Asking children to think about, say, a prime, is pointless until they have a sense of what that might look like. Something else became apparent whilst compiling this volume. Despite topics going into more depth as children progress through year groups, often there is very little new vocabulary required.
Time is a good example – once the language of time is mastered, very little new language is required as children go into Key Stage 2. For this reason, you will inevitably see far more vocabulary in the Year 1 list than in any subsequent year group. Finally, this list is NOT exhaustive. I have only included words from the mathematics curriculum, as opposed to the original 2000 booklet which tried to be very comprehensive. These should be specifically used alongside other language that children will need for daily interactions.