Supporting Early Numeracy At Home

As part of our ongoing aim of improving attainment in maths, we are currently implementing a range of new teaching strategies in the school. From Primary 1, our children will follow a maths scheme called SEAL – Stages of Early Arithmetic Learning.

What is SEAL?

SEAL is a Maths scheme which we use in school. It is very thorough in checking that a child understands what is going on and moves them along in very detailed steps.

Children develop and use a range of methods to solve number problems. The strategies they use increase in sophistication as children gain experience and develop better ways of solving problems. SEAL is very specific in the terms and equipment it uses and we have listed some of these below.

What does that mean!?

Below are a number of words which we use within the SEAL scheme.

Rekenrek – A piece of equipment which looks like an abacus. Children use it for adding and subtracting.

Array – Putting dots into rows and columns so children can see what they are multiplying or dividing.

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E.g. this shows ‘3 x 4’ ‘4 x 3′ or ’12 split into 3 groups of 4’.

Backward Number Word Sequence – Counting backwards from any number. This can be done in ones (e.g. 83, 82, 81…) or in groups (e.g. 80, 75, 70…).

Forward Number Word Sequence – Counting forwards from any number. This can be done in ones (e.g. 81, 82, 83…) or in groups (e.g. 25, 30, 35…).

Combining – Another way of saying number pairs or number bonds. E.g. ‘5 + 3’ or ‘3 + 5’ or ‘What goes with 3 to make 5?’.

Sequencing Numerals – Putting numbers into order. Either smallest to biggest or biggest to smallest

What Can We Do At Home?

We know it can sometimes be hard to support children with their maths at home HOWEVER… Below we have provided you with some helpful leaflets that contain lots of ideas you can use at home  – just click on the links below:

What does that mean!?

Below we have provided a number of “Glossary Documents’ that focus on 15 different areas of the Maths and Numeracy curriculum. These documents hopefully provide clear definitions of some of the commonly used terms in maths and numeracy.


The glossaries above have been provided by Education Scotland and can also be accessed at: