• Podcast

Teaching maths in a special school

A maths lead tells us how she teaches maths to pupils with varied needs, and supports her colleagues and other local teachers to do the same

Teaching maths in a special school
  • Published: 20/10/2021

In either a special school or a mainstream setting, no two pupils with special needs have the same abilities or difficulties. A secondary maths lead in a special school explains how she and her colleagues adapt maths teaching so that all pupils can engage and learn, and tells us about a Maths Hub Work Group which focuses on ways to teach maths to pupils with SEND.

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Sophie Cocker, secondary maths lead at Ravenshall School, a special school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
  • Beth Goodliff, NCETM Communications Manager.

Episode chapters

  • 01:02 – The characteristics of the pupils at Ravenshall School and how these shape teaching
  • 01:46 – Pupils’ starting points in the maths classroom
  • 02:44 – Semi-formal classroom settings and finding ‘mathematical moments’
  • 03:26 – What a maths lesson might look like, and cross-curricular maths activities
  • 06:59 – Sophie’s experience of moving from a mainstream maths PGCE to teaching maths in a special school, and engaging with her local Maths Hub
  • 10:16 – Making elements of teaching for mastery work in a special school
  • 12:41 – The manipulatives and resources used
  • 15:04 – Training other teachers in the school to teach maths
  • 17:16 – Taking part in, and leading, a Work Group exploring maths teaching in special schools
  • 22:02 – Plans for the Work Group this year

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