We develop our students’ natural urge to explore, to inspire numeracy at The Redway, through cause and effect activities, problem solving skills and developing an awareness of time through routines and timetables. Numeracy at The Redway is always fun with a very practical focus on our students achieving their potential enabling them to be prepared for life after school.
Each child will have differentiated outcomes to meet their individual needs. The focus for each child will be what is going to be useful for them in the future; destination led. For example, for some students it will be to use switches effectively which can then be developed to control the environment e.g. turning on a fan if they are hot which is connected to a switch, for others it may be developing their 1 to 1 correspondence so that they can help to count out the correct number of objects e.g. helping to set the table and for others it will be learning to use money in practical situations e.g. knowing if they gave over a £5 note and were buying a packet of crisps then they should expect change. Activities are fluid across the key stages so that needs can be met, however, the following is a guide to what students will cover.
In the Foundation Stage our pupils follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and Numeracy is one of the specific learning areas. Although numeracy is taught as specific focus activities throughout the week it is also integrated into all aspects of the day and is learnt through sensory exploration and play. Through exploring sand and water pupils are beginning to learn about capacity, full and empty, heavy and light, shapes and sizes. Through following routines pupils begin to gain an understanding of what happens at different times of the day. Through exploration of toys with buttons and toys that move and through ICT and computer equipment pupils begin to learn about cause and effect. Through nursery rhymes and songs pupils begin to hear and may become familiar with numbers, saying numbers by rote and counting activities. Problem solving is introduced through playing with dolls and tea sets, cars and garages, simple inset puzzles and just through exploring and having fun.
In our Primary Department we continue our enjoyment of numeracy through exploration and play but it begins to take a more formal structure with a numeracy lesson being part of the daily planning but as with the Foundation Stage it also links across the curriculum. Pupils have a constant focus on number work in a variety of both play and practical situations through number songs and lots of opportunities to involve counting in everyday situations. Pupils continue to develop their understanding of maths through problem solving in play and real life situations, so we have enough cups for the teddy bears or do we have enough plates for everyone at snack time. We continue to develop our understanding of cause and effect using a range of toys and equipment with buttons and switches. Pupils are gaining more understanding of time and daily routines by following a daily timetable.
In Key Stage 3 the previously learnt skills are built upon, beginning to focus on the idea that numeracy has a real purpose. We begin to problem solve what we may need to complete an activity, for instance finding the equipment for cooking. Weighing out the ingredients and following recipes to cook. We continue learning about the importance of numbers and using that knowledge and understanding to ensure we have enough resources for everyone for instance does everyone have a paint brush when painting, or enough snack has been made for everyone to have some. We begin to go to the local shops to buy snack to gain an understanding that you need money to buy what you need. Some of our pupils may be able to follow the timetable by telling the time, others by following the school routine.
As our students progress through Key Stage 4 and Post 16 we follow the Asdan Transition Challenge and Towards Independence accreditation schemes to focus on numeracy as a life skill. So, here we have frequent opportunities to go shopping for ourselves and make snacks and drinks. Key Stage 4 pupils are given the opportunity to gain more of an understanding about money and shopping by running a weekly stall in school. Each week pupils will be given the opportunity to go and buy products to sell and help run the stall, taking and sorting out money and dealing with the transactions. Post 16 students help to run a school Cafe once a week. Again students will go shopping to buy the ingredients, they then help to set tables and then take orders and wait on the tables as well as taking money. Both the stall and the Cafe is an important way of developing Maths as a life skill.
Students have access to our wonderful MiLE Room (multisensory interactive learning environment), dark room and hydrotherapy pool with a lighting system where students can use switches to create their own environments learning about shape, colour, distance and measure.
We see Numeracy in the Redway School very much as a cross curricular subject which is reflected in our medium term planning, as stated in The National Curriculum (2013:9) states that ‘every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency’. So every opportunity is capitalized upon to develop basic skills in Maths. This also includes our frequent outings to the local community. When out on walks to the local lakes and canals we have fantastic opportunities to explore shapes and space in our community. Local shops and supermarkets are used to develop life and money skills.
DfE. (2013). The National Curriculum