It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world transferring essential key mathematical skills into other curricular areas but also into everyday life. Maths is used to analyse and communicate information and ideas and to tackle a range of practical tasks and real-life problems. Maths is not confined to just acquiring mathematical skills but about fostering enquiring minds, inciting enthusiasm and valuing curiosity.
To equip all learners with confidence, skills, resilience, and high aspirations in order to lead happy, fulfilling lives in an ever-changing world.
- ‘Bring Life to Learning and Learning to Life’
- Social Capital
- Quality of Life
Why do we provide a 'Skills for Life' curriculum for our learners?
Our students acquire skills at a rate slower than their neurotypical peers. Therefore, their preparation for adulthood, and life skills learning is lifelong, and so a school long process.
Contextual learning and real-life rehearsal of skills provides a less-abstract and more concrete way of learning. This enables the generalising and maintaining skills.
While the emphasis in this wider curriculum offer is for skills development using curriculum vehicles, within the life skills curriculum there are opportunities to scaffold specific life skills to rehearse and repetition to reach mastery. These include life skills such as cooking, health and safety, shopping, community access and vocational skills. Using these to also engage pupils’ motivation (to shop for a desired item, to take part in a gardening activity that also meets sensory needs and regulation) will best ensure that these core life skills concepts become embedded.
Mathematical knowledge should be embedded and reinforced in all aspect of life skills learning, for example sorting, categorising, counting, weighting and measuring items and objects to support independent learning. However, these skills may need to be taught discretely as standalone concepts in order to reinforce understanding alongside contextual application.
Key mathematical language:- (to be rehearsed and reinforced in all contexts and activities as part of life skills work)
Maths knowledge should be reinforced throughout the curriculum. Therefore, it is vital that the vocabulary and the references are consistent throughout all context and learning opportunities.
Throughout the maths skills guidance, it details that skills may be taught as discrete skills, but every opportunity should be taken to apply these to real life learning and daily rehearsal within routines and learning delivery, both on and offsite.
Number acquisition (Gelman and Gallistel) – mathematical concepts are largely linear and hierarchical — i.e. must be acquired in order.
The one-one principle — one, and only one, unique number tag must be assigned to each item counted
The stable order principle — count words must be produced in the same order for each count
The cardinality principle — the final word of a count denotes the total number of items counted.