Let’s Think Early Years

Charles Dickens Primary will lead on an evaluation of Let’s Think; an approach to maths teaching for Reception children that also aims to improve general reasoning level and outcomes at Early Years Foundation Stage.


Southwark borough is the 17th most deprived borough in the country. FSM Ever 6 data for the four schools included in the proposed project ranges from 26-43%.  There is an 8.1% average GLD gap in Reception between Southwark free school meal (FSM) and non-FSM pupils, and for the participating schools, this gap averages at 20%, the largest gap being 46%.

Free school meal (FSM) pupils at participating schools often have weaker communication and language skills than their peers, which affects other areas of learning. They tend to make slower progress in maths since higher order tasks require confident vocabulary and language use.


Let’s Think (previously known as Cognitive Acceleration in Maths Education, CAME) is an effective approach to mathematics teaching. Activities are guided activities for small groups, complementing rather than replacing the maths curriculum for Reception. Specifically designed for 4-5 year olds, they are usually conducted weekly over one year with groups of 5-6 mixed achievers. The activities are talk-based, beginning with introducing key vocabulary, supporting children to use this vocabulary to solve a practical problem, and ending with a metacognitive discussion. The associated professional development programme develops teachers’ understanding of progression in mathematics and assessment skills.

Lead school

  • Charles Dickens Primary, London

Schools involved

  • Ivydale Primary
  • Alfred Salter Primary
  • John Donne Primary


  • 11 months – report due October 2019