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 is the seventeenth most deprived borough in England. FSM Ever 6 data for the four schools included in the proposed project ranges from 26-43%. There is an 8.1% average good level of development gap in Reception between Southwark pupils eligible for free school meal (FSM) and non-FSM pupils. For the participating schools, this gap averages 20%, with the largest gap being 46%.

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) has been shown to be an effective approach to mathematics teaching for pupils in Key Stage 1 and above. In this innovation, Let’s Think resources have been adapted for reception pupils. There are guided activities for small groups, complementing rather than replacing the maths curriculum for Reception. Specifically designed for four- to five-year-olds, they are usually conducted weekly over one year with groups of five to six 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. An associated professional development programme will be delivered to participating teachers.


Lead school

  • Charles Dickens Primary, London

Schools involved

  • Ivydale Primary
  • Alfred Salter Primary
  • John Donne Primary


  • 11 months – report due October 2019

Download the protocol document