Preschool Maths through play

Edify’s newest learners are small, love bright colours and don’t enjoy sitting still. Luckily, they don’t have to.

In 2023, for the first time, Edify is opening its doors to preschoolers who come, for 30 minutes once a week, to play with numbers. It’s just another way the school is trying to instil a love of Maths.

“It’s play-based learning about numbers, and that’s very important – that it is play-based,” says Edify founder Gemay van Heerden.

Van Heerden, herself a high school Maths teacher, developed the Edify preschool Maths programme when she put one together for her own children. In 2022 the programme was piloted with a group of four children, and tweaked as the teachers learned which games interested the group and which bored them.

“All we’re doing is developing number understanding with them. If I have 10 toy cars and I need to share them equally among myself and four friends, how many do we each get?”

The programme is being rolled out in 2023, starting with the school’s Houghton and Hurlingham campuses in Johannesburg. Children can be enrolled in the year they turn four and can carry on in the programme until the year they turn six – the last year before they should be enrolled in Grade 1.

Van Heerden studied Maths at a university in the United States, and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. 

There are no more than three children per teacher in the Edify preschool Maths programme, which means that each child gets individual attention.

“All we want to do is introduce them to mathematical concepts through play, and develop a love of Maths in them,” says Van Heerden.