Maths Support

Maths Support

At Yes@ Areté Learning Trust we aim to highlight the importance of effective observations and assessment to identify the underlying reason or reasons behind a maths difficulty. Not all maths difficulties are due to dyscalculia; they may stem from difficulties in other areas such as difficulties with visual perception, motor skills, memory or language.

Dyscalculia is a condition that affects the ability to acquire Mathematical skills. Dyscalculia learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures.

Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.

Dyscalculia is a heterogenic condition which affects 3-6% of the population.

Karagiannakis and Cooreman (2015) proposed a classification model of mathematical learning difficulties as:

  • Core number - difficulties in the basis sense of numerosity and subitising.
  • Visual-spatial – difficulties in interpreting and using spatial organisation and representation of mathematical objects
  • Memory – Difficulties in retrieving numerical facts and performing mental calculations accurately
  • Reasoning – difficulties in grasping mathematical concepts, ideas and relations and understanding multiple steps in complex procedures

It has been identified that 50-60% of students with dyslexia have maths difficulties. It should be noted however that 10% of students with dyslexia can be extremely high achievers in maths.

  • Confusion between directional words
  • Sequencing difficulties – left/ right, DOW, MOY.
  • Word finding difficulties
  • Ordering of figures – 92 for 29
  • Difficulties remembering tables
  • Needs finger marks to make simple calculations.
  • Processing difficulties

Mathematics is a necessary skill that people use throughout their lives, such as when they travel, use money, or keep track of time. Therefore, mathematics is an important skill to learn at school. Unfortunately, many children and adults feel stressed and anxious when they have to do maths. People who experience feelings of stress when faced with maths-related situations may be experiencing what is called “math anxiety.” Math anxiety affects many people and is related to poor math ability in school and later during adulthood. Researchers have studied how maths anxiety first appears, what is happening in the brain when people experience math anxiety, and how to best help people who are suffering with math anxiety.

There is a recognition that people with maths anxiety are not stuck with it for life.

Strategies to support maths anxiety include encouraging pupils to write about maths related worries and breathing exercises.