At St Piers School our students are supported in their ability to use and understand mathematics in their everyday lives. Our mathematics curriculum is based on numeracy interactions using concrete activities involving people, objects and events which empowers all our students, regardless of their stage of cognitive development, to experience, learn and apply their learning in a variety of situations. Students at St Piers have a wide range of abilities and needs leading to unique learning patterns and personalised learning.
Maths is a fundamental part of developing independence and life skills that are relevant and functional. The delivery of mathematics at St Piers is adapted to ensure that it is accessible and ambitious for all students on whatever learner journey they are following. Our staff use a range of strategies and motivators which challenge and extend our students skills ensuring that they are as prepared and independent as possible for their futures.
A three-tiered curriculum is used to enable students to progress within or through the three learner journeys as they progress through the phases from lower school to middle and into the upper school. Our curriculum has been modelled in a way that provides a highly therapeutic and an informal approach to mathematics through to a more formalised curriculum that takes account of the National Curriculum.
Learning For Life – Therapeutic Numeracy
Students are given the opportunity to take part in therapeutic and early developmental mathematics built on a sensory approach to learning where the focus is on developing the students’ understanding of number concepts, basic calculations, shapes, measure and through cognition related to space and their environment. Problem solving linked to sequencing, routines, and the ability to organise information is also worked on through a multi-sensory approach to learning.
Teachers work closely with our therapy teams i.e. Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Physiotherapy to deliver appropriate and relevant content through the use of individual and groups sessions or by following therapy guidelines.
The facilities available at St Piers such as. a sensory integration suite, designated therapy room, multi-sensory rooms, swimming pool, extensive grounds and access to offsite facilities enable our learners to experience all elements of early mathematical development and are key in the multidisciplinary delivery of mathematics. For example, numeracy through movement may take place with education and physiotherapy staff in the swimming pool, exploring movement and position or in our wellness room with education staff and speech therapists, developing early maths through communication i.e. making choices, understanding instructions and so forth.
Skills for life and Specialist Skills - Numeracy/Mathematics
Mathematics in these learner journeys has been mapped to build upon and begin to formalise the concepts introduced and developed through the therapeutic numeracy covered in the learning for life curriculum. Mathematical understanding is developed through practical activities, stories, songs, games, real life experiences and through structured and cross curricular lessons.
At St Piers our students are provided with opportunities to experience Mathematics using ICT: interactive teaching software and subscriptions such as active learn primary, BKSB and twinkl go, each classroom has access to an interactive whiteboard, a number of laptops and iPads that enable our students to access online learning tools. Each class is equipped with the resources specific to their student’s needs and level of cognition with additional shared resources meaning that lessons are differentiated and personalised to provide challenging but achievable targets.
The delivery of mathematics at St Piers is designed to progress students as they mature through the school, providing the students with opportunities to practice and apply these skills in real life contexts. The teaching of mathematics in our upper school therefore includes a greater emphasis on applied maths skills and preparation for adulthood through our life skills programme. The content is delivered through the functional skills programme where lessons cover real life circumstances and feed into cross curricular areas such as life skills, home management and enterprise.