Market Drayton Infant & Nursery School

‘An excellent, happy school, where we enjoy learning’

Vocabulary Progression

“The national curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others, and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.”

National Curriculum in England, Department for Education, 2013


Using correct mathematical language is crucial for thinking, learning and communicating mathematically. Children may build knowledge through remembering information that they hear, but it is only when they put these ideas into their own words that it becomes clear whether concepts have been learned effectively. It is in listening to children talking about mathematics that we, as teachers, can best assess what they are actually learning and understanding. This enables us to identify and address any misconceptions that might be developing.