Dyslexia impacts on mathematical learning in different ways. At Moon Hall we view each student as an individual with particular mathematical needs and abilities. We have small class sizes, divided according to the needs of the group which allows us to challenge those students who need to be extended, and assist those students who are struggling.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in mathematics include:
- Loss of confidence
Many of our students have had their confidence in their mathematical ability eroded over time. Our aim for all our students is to have a classroom environment where questions are welcomed and mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities. As each student grows in confidence they are increasingly able to enjoy maths and progress towards achieving their potential.
- Memory difficulties
For most dyslexic learners memorising information and processes is very difficult. Work covered previously is often not remembered and so it becomes increasingly difficult to understand the new concepts being taught. At Moon Hall we follow a teaching strategy that constantly reviews the key skills needed to develop and extend student knowledge. The students develop strategies to cope with their memory difficulties and this allows them to work towards achieving their potential in their GCSE exams.
Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty associated with a very poor sense of number. At Moon Hall, we have small, differentiated classes and as such we are able to focus on using concrete apparatus to help our dyscalculic students improve their mathematical understanding. Our aim is to allow the dyscalculic learner build a visual picture of number properties and so improve their general understanding of number and size.
- Associated difficulties
It is not unusual for dyslexia to be accompanied by associated difficulties such as developmental language difficulty or dyspraxia. Each difficulty can result in a unique set of challenges to learning mathematics. At Moon Hall the teachers liaise closely with speech and language therapists as well as occupational therapists in an effort to understand and work with the difficulties our students may face.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 we follow the National Curriculum with an emphasis on continually reviewing basic number skills.
- Using and applying mathematics
- Counting and understanding number
- Knowing and using number facts
- Understanding shape
- Handling data
Our aim is to develop a student’s ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. We encourage students to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives.
We use a key skills testing program which highlights particular difficulties and provides teachers with a tracking system and allows students to set targets on areas of concern.
Key Stage 4
Although there is a continued emphasis on building and securing the Key Skills in Year 9 Maths, the Year 9 content is increasingly focused on preparation for the GCSE exams. For many of our students remembering content covered previously remains difficult and as such all GCSE preparation will actively encourage each student to become an independent learner, able to access a variety of online resources both at home and in the classroom. This independence of learning allows them to frequently revisit topics with the aim of mastering the GCSE content.
We have chosen the Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) program as the most appropriate for our students. As always the needs and abilities of each individual will be assessed and where it is appropriate for the student, the Foundation IGCSE exams will be sat with the option of sitting the Higher paper for those who are able.