The Roots Of Learning Maths Workshop


Target Audience

Practitioners working with students who have learning support needs: Teachers, SENCOs, teacher aides, therapists, RTLBs and specialist teachers.

About the workshop:

The course will focus on the roots of learning for students with complex learning difficulties, from those with the most profound learning difficulties or high levels of autism, through to those who are becoming aware of using practical numeric thinking and representation. 

 The course starts at the beginnings of understanding about quantity, space, and time.  It illustrates ideas and provokes many thoughts about multi-sensory teaching.  It will also explore and illustrate process’s that students use to develop thinking and patterns of learning that help them progress towards useful life skills and the beginnings of practical mathematical thinking and communication.  

Its messages are very applicable to every part of the New Zealand Curriculum because it gets to the roots of the key competencies upon which the curriculum builds.

The knowledge you will gain on this day comes from an internationally respectedauthor.But in addition to theory you can also expect plenty of laughter, practical tips and advice on acquiring, making and using great value resource.

Learning Objectives

Develop a greater understanding of:

  • the role of maths across the whole curriculum

  • the role of mats in the lives of all students – at various levels of disability

  • the roots of learning from which key competencies and other learning grow

  • the roots of learning that are relevant to life of PMLD students

  • sensory approaches to learning

  • how children develop thinking skills

  • how children learn from modelling

  • how I can communicate with special children

  • how I can devise learning situations that motivate special children to develop life skills related to understanding quantities space and time.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the day participants will be able to:

  • create learning situations from practical activities and games

  • devise resources from everyday things

  • find apps that develop fundamental skills

  • see progress in small but important steps

  • plan for progress at very early levels of development


What others have said about this workshop:

Your work featured heavily in informing our thought processes. Using a process central approach and significantly increasing teacher knowledge in what is early mathematical development and what is important in early mathematical and cognitive development we saw a significant increase in both student engagement and attainment.

After sharing this success through improved pedagogical practices at our state conference we received numerous requests from other schools for training.

We have subsequently delivered training to staff from 12 special schools in Southeast Queensland. Your name and your books, the 2001 one and recently the latest book are frequently bandied and waved about. We urge everyone to go out and buy a copy! 

I wanted to write to you to say thank you for your work and the inspiration that you have given us.   

Sue and Bec – Teachers with curriculum responsibilities from the Australian Gold Coast

I love the images of the trees you have given us because they put the whole of our children’s learning into a perspective. I have filled my notebook listening today I was confused and scared before, but I feel prepared to write our maths scheme now. 

Ivana, teacher, London

If the knowledge that you have showed us this morning had been included in my teacher training my teaching life would have been completely different.

Dave, Teacher, Bradford, Yorkshire


Before booking, please have the following information ready:

  • Purchase Order Number (if required)

  • Name / email address of person to invoice

  • Names / emails addresses of delegates

  • Special dietary requirements (if applicable)

Note: If you choose to book and pay by credit card, complete the booking form by clicking the blue BOOK NOW button below. Then please go to your shopping cart (it's in the uppermost right-hand corner of the page) to complete the payment process. Thank you.


When and where?

25 March 2019 - 9.30-3.30

Registration from 8.15am

COST: $200

About LES


Les was the head teacher of an outstanding UK special school and is now an author and consultant with an international reputation. His training sessions which are often described as inspirational and always contain direct examples of children working, strategies and resources for teaching. He has written books curriculum guidance and materials used nationally in schools for pupils with complex learning difficulties. His new book, ‘Very Special Maths, Developing Thinking and Maths Skills Pupils with Severe or Complex Learning Difficulties is hot off the press and was published in August 2018.  Les Staves books have been influential in special education in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. These courses all draw on his new book Very Special Maths.

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