Teachers at a primary school and a special school in the City of York have developed a programme of independent activities which special needs pupils in key stage 2 can work on while the teacher is working with other groups and no support assistant is available. With the support of the Mathematics Enhancement Programme Primary (MEPP) and the Gatsby Technical Education Project, Pam Lund of Copmanthorpe Primary School and Kathy Stubbings of Northfield Special School have developed "Spaced Out!", which uses space as its theme.
They considered attainment level of their pupils, and took the KS1 curriculum on counting, addition, subtraction and place value and stretched it out. They broke down the learning objectives from the National Numeracy Strategy into mini-objectives, each one a key objective for a special-needs pupil. These objectives have been further broken down into seven stages, each one named after a colour of the rainbow; each colour stage inter-relates the objectives from key topics.
Each set of activities for each colour stage can be photocopied and put in an individual folder. Just a few seconds of the teacher's time can ensure that the pupil can work independently for a short time on consolidation activities. Many activities use the same format, so when an activity is understood it can be repeated with a different objective.
The materials are free on MEPP's website, which also includes information on assessing and identifying a pupil's special needs and on writing specific targets for mathcs as part of an Individual Education Plan. www.mepp.net