More money for teaching Maths, English & SEN in FE Colleges

I am grateful to Jean Hutchins for bringing this to our attention:

31 July, 2013 at 11:15pm

Money to improve numeracy and literacy teaching to young people was
announced by Vince Cable.

Press release: Bursaries of up to £20,000 offered to teach maths,

English or Special Educational Needs (SEN)

‘Moving Numeracy’ by Sue Peace

“Movement is the Door to Learning” Dennison creator of Brain Gym®

Moving Numeracy (MN) addresses the physical movements that are the
foundations for all learning skills including maths: visual, auditory, tactile and
proprioceptive. The aim of Moving Numeracy (MN) is to co-ordinate the body to
be able to concentrate and develop new and effective maths learning. Moving
Numeracy is aiming at “making a match” between the maths concepts necessary
to learn and the movements which can support this learning.

As an example have you ever taught a pupil who cannot tell the time?

Time and Movement

This is one of the least understood areas of learning in relation to poor binocular
vision. With poor binocular vision any learning involving vision will be more
difficult. Stein ¹ explains how the behaviour of the eyes skews the numbers on
the clock to one side of the clock, along with the reversals of numbers.

The clock face is distorted for these individuals and to tell the time will probably
be impossible. Hence eye behavioural correction exercises are top of the
priorities in MN for these types of students. Developing tracking skills for reading
from left to right along with eye hand co-ordination for recording are fundamental
principles of MN.

Often the confusion with direction such as left/right and b/d can extend to
confusion with concepts such as clockwise. MN encourages the pupil to
physically move up and down, left and right, clockwise and anticlockwise and in
other ways to address the development of the directional senses. How can you
tell the time from a traditional clock face if you cannot tell which direction is

Number and Movement

In discussion related to dyscalculia, Professor Brian Butterworth, a leading expert
on numeracy, reminds us of how children spend hours
playing and counting with their fingers. Muscle movement
is an aspect of this task. Historically “how long” could
have been described as a measure of a foot, or 3 foot or
7 feet etc. In times gone by a yard was the measure of
the king’s arm length. Hence, historically, arithmetic and
moving part of the body has been an accepted aspect of numeracy.

The Moving Numeracy program begins with the concept of the quantity of “five”
and uses visual, tactile, auditory and proprioceptive stimulation. Pupils are
touching, seeing, talking about and moving shapes based on the “X” movement.

 “Thinking of an X” is one of the basic 26 Brain Gym® movements” (Dennison).

Looking at the X includes 5 points on the X and involves crossing the visual
midline essential for visual co-ordination.
This technique is extended to cover the concept of other quantities hence
enabling the dyscalculic pupil to grasp the meaning of number, size and the
concept of counting. This “X” pattern is a foundational aspect of the Moving
Numeracy program.

Memory and Movement

“Memories that are movement and sensory based (tied to specific senses as
vision, hearing and touch) are more likely to be retained and retrieved”

For practise, revision and memory support these quantity and number patterns
which are continually revisited, stimulating both short and long term memory. The
same pattern structures are used to teach concepts of length, weight, currency,
area and volume.

Physicist and mathematician Katy Bowman explains that correct alignment or
posture leads to more oxygen flow, more support for the body’s organs, and
motor skills which are vital for cognitive function.
“A typical classroom experience lacks the quantity of movement required for healthy physiological development” (Bowman)².
With this in mind it makes movement a sensible part of a numeracy teaching

Sue Peace: BSc; BEd, MEd, AMBDA, SpLDPAC, KFRP, Brain Gym® Instructor

Email: Tel: 07786068097

² Dennison, P and G, Brain Gym® Teacher’s Edition, 2010, California, Hearts at Play, Edu-Kinesthetics.
Pages 3, 7, 50

¹ Fawcett, A., and Nicholson, 1994, Dyslexia in Children, Essex, Pearson Educational Limited. Page 152,

Butterworth, B., 1999. The Mathematical Brain. London, Papermac-MacMillan