Special Needs © Oxford University Press

Numicon is for ALL, but of course it must have a particular strength of place in the special needs classroom, or the resource & learning support rooms.

The teaching programme which accompanies the Numicon apparatus has been developed by the authors as they work with children and teachers on a daily basis. The teaching activities are described within a series of illustrated / stepped tasks which are in the teaching resource manuals, of which there are eight e.g. ‘Number, Pattern and Calculating Teacher Resource Handbook 1 has 200+ tasks to develop number and number bonds to 20.

The teaching activities use the structured Numicon shapes showing the Numicon patterns. Numicon patterns are arrangements of holes in plastic shapes that correspond to the numbers 1 to 10. The pattern of the holes for each number follows the same basic system of arranging holes ‘in pairs’. So when Numicon patterns are arranged in order, pupils begin to notice important connections between numbers for instance that each number is one more than the last and one fewer than the next, odd and even numbers and place value.

Numicon illustrates number bonds, addition and subtraction, place value, doubling and halving, estimation, division and multiplication. Pupils actively enjoy using Numicon, either independently or in groups. The colourful and durable pieces are ideal for whole class mental maths activities. As teachers begin to work with the materials they quickly find further ways of using Numicon

Numicon’s strong visual imagery with emphasis on pattern, multi-sensory approach and ‘small steps’ teaching programme is proving successful for pupils of all ages with many different special needs including those with language delay, sensory impairment, Down’s Syndrome Association (UK), Dyslexia and autism.




For further information on the Numicon resources and approach, please see the Oxford University Press website – www.oxfordprimary.com.