Dyscalculia Network Logo

Dyscalculia Day Parent/Carer Conference 2024

Summary

Wow! What an incredible Dyscalculia Day Parent Conference! Sarah Jones reports on the day.

Friday 23rd February saw the second annual Dyscalculia Day Conference for parent/carers. The day was ably put together by Cat Eadle and Rob Jennings, co-founders of The Dyscalculia Network with a range of online sessions, recorded for ease of watching and rewatching.

Recordings are still available; drop us an email to [email protected] (£25) 

All About Dyscalculia

Cat and Rob kicked off the day with a session on the role of The Dyscalculia Network, both in raising awareness of dyscalculia and supporting children and adults with dyscalculia and the parents, educators and employers who seek to support them. Cat and Rob shared some of their experience and expertise based on extensive work with people with specific difficulties with number and shared a free screening tool for dyscalculia. This session outlined the key indicators of dyscalculia as well as setting the scene for the subsequent workshops.

Kick starting Key Stage 1 on a secure footing 

Breda McKinney, a specialist dyscalculia teacher and assessor, and teacher and children’s author, Bridget Mather-Scott, provided us with much food for thought in their session on supporting our very youngest children as they begin their educational journey. Breda and Bridget shared their fabulous ideas on how to develop solid number sense in your child, how the indicators of a mathematical difficulty may be recognised in young children, and how parent/carers can help at home through visually attractive, fun activities, books, and games. Bridget treated us to example parts of some of her beautifully illustrated books and, with Breda, spoke about the prevention of raised anxiety in maths and gave attendees a range of ideas to help.

Dyscalculia at Key Stage 2

Next up was dyscalculia specialist, teacher and poet, Sarah Jones, who presented a session on how parent/carers can provide an oasis for children with dyscalculia in key stage two. Sarah not only gave practical ideas for home and supporting homework, but also advised on how to share a dyscalculia diagnosis with school staff and gave top tips on what to ask for in terms of reasonable adjustments within an adaptive curriculum. Attendees heard about how important it is for the adults around a child with dyscalculia to develop and model their own positive attitude towards numeracy and maths, ensuring that their own ‘mathemattitude’ is not detrimental to the child. Finally, Sarah talked about the importance of the language used by adults at home and in school and highlighted the power of adding ‘yet’ when children are despondent about their struggles with numeracy. They say, ‘I can’t do it!’ we respond, ‘You can’t do it yet!’

Base 10 in simple steps 

This input was followed by an interesting workshop with esteemed dyslexia and dyscalculia expert, Kate Papageorgiou, on using manipulatives to cement base ten knowledge. Kate modelled how difficult our dyscalculic learners can find understanding place value, giving us much food for thought, highlighting the importance of concrete learning or using maths resources and apparatus in numeracy learning. Kate demonstrated how we could use play and games to support the development of ideas and shared insight.

Calm parent + calm child = success at GCSE

Specialist dyscalculia and dyslexia teacher and assessor, Sara Watts’ aptly named presentation entitled ‘Calm parent + calm child = success @ GCSE’ gave us a range of stress-reducing strategies to support parent/carers as we support our young people with their formal assessments in key stage four. Sara spoke with authority about the effect that our own subject specific anxiety can have on our children’s feelings about and attitudes to their own learning. She expanded on the impact of maths anxiety on learners with dyscalculia and provided sound advice and practical solutions to help parent/carers to maintain a peaceful environment for revision and homework.

What do dyscalculic learners find so hard about GCSE Maths?

This session was followed by experienced secondary and further education maths teacher and specialist dyscalculia teacher and assessor, Nichola Evans, who asked and answered a range of key questions around what dyscalculic learners find so difficult about GCSE maths. Nichola shared from her vast experience in the classroom and beyond, sharing key information about how GCSE maths is assessed as well as tips on how to approach formal assessment. Nichola talked us through some of the maths problems that our young people may be expected to solve, examining what our dyscalculic students might particularly struggle with and how to help.

Advice for parents from parents 

Our last session together was hosted by The Dyscalculia Network’s very own Rob Jennings, who shared recorded interviews with parent/carers of children and young people with dyscalculia. It was heartening to hear about their experiences and the journeys that they are on with their families and to hear about how much they, as parent/carers, have learnt about the specific learning difference that we call dyscalculia. It was a great privilege to be given such a personal insight into the lives, challenges, and accomplishments of young people with dyscalculia through the eyes and voices of those who know and love them best.

Sarah Jones

February 2024

Recordings are still available; drop us an email to [email protected] (£25) 

Share Online
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

You may also like

Shooting for the Stars: Jo’s Experiences with Dyscalculia, Bookkeeping and Archery

Inspired by seeing a newspaper feature on ‘Neuro-Variety’, Jo Condon shares her experiences of growing up, masking and then coming to terms with her struggles with maths. She tells us how software and applications have helped her qualify as a Bookkeeper and in her hobby of archery.

Read more

Find specialist maths support in your area or online

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Sign up to our Newsletter

Join our Mailing List to receive the latest news, insight and events connected with the Dyscalculia Network.