The National Curriculum for mathematics is statutory in all maintained, mainstream schools up to and including key stage 4. An appropriate version of the curriculum is used in maintained special schools.

These pages look at the physical issues you will need to consider when including a child with a physical impairment in the classroom. For communication aids read the communication difficulties section.

The things to consider will be similar; the differences are in the enhanced level of support needed and the opportunities that can be created.

Begin by reading the information on challenges faced by children with physical impairment across the curriculum and at all levels, plus the suggestions for inclusion.

At KS1 the requirement is to work co-operatively with other children. Use this as a positive opportunity for pair working – the non-physically impaired child can take the lead on the more practical tasks, with suggestions and discussion from their partner. This will take preparation to set and will need a mature approach from the partner or buddy.

You can:

  • Use large-scale equipment for the pupil who has gross motor control challenges, working with other pupils to help provide the finer control for activities – for example use large-scale wooden, plastic or magnetic numbers on a magnetic white board – the large numbers should be held easily, or moved on a magnetic board easily. A ‘sum’ could be written down and the pupil supplies the answer through selecting the numbers.
  • Use a computer and prepare the sums in advance so the pupil can complete them with minimum physical effort. Look at adapting the equipment needed, try a puff / suck switch, a joystick mouse, or whatever helps accessibility to the computer for the pupil.
  • Try using voice recognition software to record the pupils' answers.
  • Look at practical ways for the pupil to best use their hands and have an optimum reach – this may be through using equipment such as an Acheeva bench or a standing frame to enable the pupil to reach more easily and have more arm control.

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