A storecupboard standby

Emma Barthel, former reception class teacher and CEM assessment developer

How many times have you gone rooting around in your kitchen cupboards looking for something that is basic, quick and easy to make?

You may be tired and pushed for time but you still want to create something tasty, healthy and nourishing.

With me, it’s not just at home but in my classroom too. All my lessons are planned, all my resources prepared, all my objectives clear and targets set – but I still go looking for something else that I can use. Something reliable, efficient and fun.

Frequently-used classroom practice

The BASE teacher resources satisfy the appetite for ease and effectiveness.

Collaboratively created by CEM’s team of experienced early years’ teachers, researchers and assessment developers, the resources are intended to provide a practical way to help teachers boost their pupils’ learning.

Why focus on literacy and mathematics?

Longitudinal studies have monitored children from an early age to investigate the importance of the knowledge and skills acquired at an early age for later attainment. Research shows that early intervention in the specific areas of literacy and mathematics learning has the greatest impact on later overall academic outcomes.

Clearly, if we know which areas of early development are important for later achievement, it follows that focusing on techniques to improve those skills and abilities can be beneficial to individual children in the long term.

These literacy and mathematics activity resources are not the educational equivalence of gourmet cuisine, but when combined with the BASE reception baseline assessment, they are solid, staple, storecupboard standby fare that combine the best ingredients of evidence based research and effective and proven classroom practice.

Find out more: cem.org/BASE

Why use BASE?

  • quick and easy to use
  • objective, insightful reporting informs interventions, aids bench-marking and assists with target-setting
  • measures pupil progress across the reception year

Number cards

The number cards are designed to hang on a ‘washing line’ and can be used to:

  • develop knowledge of ordinal and cardinal numbers
  • encourage counting in structured arrays and random arrangements
  • understand one to one correspondence
  • practice comparison of amounts

Dominoes game

The dominoes game offers a more challenging activity for later development that moves on from one to one correspondence.

Used at the appropriate time, the game can be played in small groups or allows teachers to work with children individually. The game encourages the children to:

  • investigate ways of counting
  • understand the values of different coins
  • practice simple addition

Traditional tales literacy game

The traditional tales literacy game focuses on asking and answering ‘What? Who? Why? Where? How?’ questions.

Using traditional tales, such as Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, the game can easily be adapted or extended to be used with any frequently used books in the reception classroom.

The games can be teacher-led or a small group activity and used in a variety of contexts; following shared or guided reading, in cross-age peer tutoring or paired reading, or in hot-seating activities, which helps the children to:

  • practice questioning and comprehension skills
  • consolidate understanding of the 5 question words
  • apply speaking and listening skills
  • understand character actions and feelings
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