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Handwriting intervention 

We use a dysgraphia programme which focuses on drawing, writing and planning. Drawing is the first step to overcoming dysgraphia as it exercises and develops the fine motor skills, which are essential to handwriting.  The writing sections revisits many of the simple concepts of forming letters. Planning is vital for organising ideas before students start writing in order for them to focus on their handwriting.  This programme takes approximately 12 weeks.

Talk-about skills programme

This programme teaches social and relationship skills to teenagers. Designed specifically for teenagers, this practical workbook provides ready-made material for running social and relationship skills groups with older children and young adults.  Divided into five, hierarchical modules - self awareness and self-esteem; body language; conversational skills; friendship skills; assertiveness skills.  Students take part in the intervention in a small group 1x/ week for the school year. 

Fresh Start

Fresh Start is a reading intervention offered to learners whose reading age in our internal screening tests is 8 or below. This is a phonics program which targets areas of difficulty related to phonological awareness. The delivery of the programme is designed with the purpose of addressing the gaps in phonological awareness rather than reteaching the phonics course. 

Fresh Start is a 1:1 intervention based on the “little and often” principle. The learners are taught in 15-20 minutes sessions 3 to 4 times a week. They are assessed regularly and leave the intervention when they have achieved the required standard. The learners will then be offered a follow-up reading programme if their reading age is still below their chronological age.


Numicon Big ideas is a numeracy intervention which starts at different times of the year and is taught until the learner achieves the minimum number of marks needed to graduate. There is a possibility that the intervention will run for a year, depending on the needs of individual learners.

Each of the Big Ideas units contains four sessions. 

Unit 1: These sessions lay the foundations for later work in the programme. The sessions can be used with all pupils starting the programme, whether or not they have previously used structured apparatus or experienced the Numicon approach to mathematics. The activities introduce pupils to the equipment and help them to see how it can be used to show mathematical ideas. The sessions also help to build pupils' belief in their ability to do mathematics, by giving them an opportunity to work together and to take a fresh look at some mathematical ideas that they might already be familiar with.

The sessions in Unit 1 gives the teacher and the pupils the opportunity to get to know one another in the context of the programme, and to establish rules to ensure the activities are of benefit to all. This is particularly relevant to how the pupils are encouraged to communicate with each other, and the positive attitude to maths that should be fostered as part of the group culture. 

The activities in Unit 1 provide further opportunities to make initial assessments of each pupil’s understanding in addition to the findings from Assessment A.

Units 2-11: These units contain the main mathematical content of the programme; the big ideas of place value, adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, fractions and working with fractions, decimals and percentages. These concepts are retaught, so that pupils who might not have benefited from using the Numicon approach when they first encountered these ideas are able to deepen their understanding of these key areas.

Ideas are revisited throughout the programme. For example, in Unit 3, pupils work with adding and subtracting whole numbers up to 4 digits, applying the place value concepts that were retaught in Unit 2. Pupils first consider the importance of estimating, and then use concrete resources to support column methods for calculating. They also explore inverse relationships and use these to work on missing number problems, using mental and written methods.

In Unit 8, pupils return to adding and subtracting. They now work with whole numbers beyond 4 digits, and numbers to 3 decimal places, building on the extended place value ideas from Unit 7. Contexts involving money and mass, and the use of the inverse operation to support problem-solving, are also presented for pupils to work on together.

Similar links between units are made throughout the teaching programme, providing pupils with opportunities to explore mathematical relationships further and to generalise across abstract and real-life mathematical contexts.

Unit 12: During the final week of the programme, pupils review all the big ideas, bringing them together to apply their understanding  through further problem-solving activities. The focus here is on supporting pupils to make connections and to explore the relationships between these mathematical ideas, thus securing their learning. 

This unit also provides important opportunities to celebrate the progress pupils have made since the start of the programme, encouraging them to reflect on their individual learning journeys, sharing their learning logs with the group, and their increased confidence and belief that they can do mathematics.