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RECORDING ONLY - Leading Revolutions and Creating Solutions: Exploring the individual experiences of dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties Virtual Conference 2021

Our Dyscalculia and Maths Difficulties Virtual Conference will be available as a recording if you missed the conference!


Tuesday 25th January 2022


Virtual / Online
United Kingdom

We explored the realities of living, learning and working with dyscalculia and addressing the often hidden anxiety associated with maths learning difficulties. After a year of added pressure and challenge, this conference aimed to shine a light on the personal impacts of dyscalculia, and the resilience, compassion and courage shown by those it affects.

The virtual conference took place on 14th October 2021. The recording will be available from Monday 25th October. To purchase the full recording, you’ll need to order it from this page.

You will receive a email with a link to access the recording. To ensure the video is only used by the purchaser, you will be provided with a unique password to access the recording. This will allow you to access the recording up to three times within 30 days of you receiving your password.

The login you are provided with is for the sole use of the purchaser. The recording is copyright British Dyslexia Association 2021.

You will be sent your 5.5 hour CPD Certificate with the recording once completed.

Our fantastic Line-up of Speakers!

Author and Broadcaster

'Just Because You Can't Count Doesn't Mean You Don't Count'

To explain the nature of dyscalculia from an acute sufferer's point of view. It is hereditary and there is no simple cure. But many ways of coping that often help to turn sufferers into successful mavericks. Humorous and contrarian approach. Some personal examples.

Target Audience: Teachers - primary and secondary; parents, SENCOS. Academics of special needs

"Professor Paul Moorcraft had specialised in the field of communications for many years. As someone who has dyscalculia, he is passionate about raising its awareness. He received extensive recognition upon publishing his book ‘It Just Doesn’t Add Up: Explaining Dyscalculia and Overcoming Number Problems for Children and Adults’ in 2014.

This revolutionary book not only increased awareness of dyscalculia but was written from the perspective of someone who themselves is dyscalculic. Through his philanthropic work, he actively shares his philosophy of “Just because you can’t count, doesn’t mean you don’t count”."

Adelle Tracey - Team GB Athlete

Against All Odds: My Journey with Dyscalculia

Adelle Tracey, talented Team GB athlete and British Dyslexia Association Ambassador has made a career out of overcoming obstacles and beating the odds – but this is something she’s been doing long before her career began. In this session, Adelle will explore her own journey with dyscalculia and the ways in which she has learned to adapt throughout her life.

Adelle has represented Great Britain at different age levels for more than a decade, and finished 4th in the 800m final at the 2018 European Championships and is a past British 800m indoor champion. As talented school athlete she was mentored by Dame Kelly Holmes who chose her, alongside six other young rising sports stars, to light the London 2012 Olympic flame.

Adelle is grateful that her dyslexia was recognised early on: "Dyslexia has played a big part in shaping who I am today. I feel grateful that I had a good understanding of what dyslexia was growing up and that I was given the guidance to see this as a strength. I hope, by being an Ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association, I can instil the same confidence in others."

Dr Dominic Petronzi - Lecturer in Psychology, University of Derby

Understanding Maths Anxiety in Children

Maths anxiety – or a fear of working with numbers - has been well researched in adult populations and has a strong association with lower maths performance and may even define career decisions. But we’re only just beginning to understand how and why this develops in children.

Research suggests that this can be when numbers are first encountered, and many children’s performance starts to decline from as early as 4 years of age. This session will look at the distinctiveness of maths anxiety, the range of factors that contribute to its emergence and the complexity of these on an individual basis, as well as understanding the emotional element of maths anxiety and how important brain components are compromised by intrusive thoughts that lead to a performance deficit.

We’ll also discuss the measurement of maths anxiety and explore direct insight from young children surrounding a range of factors that influence their early experiences and attitudes towards maths. Finally, we will consider strategies in the area of maths anxiety and the focus and effectiveness of these.

Target Audience: Primary Education Teachers / Maths Specialist Teachers / Maths Co-ordinators / Head of Maths / Special Education Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) / Teaching Assistants / Trainee Teachers / Teaching and Training Professionals / Parents

Dominic Petronzi is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning. He is a member of the University’s Mathematics Anxiety Research Group (MARG) and his PhD focused on exploring and understanding when mathematics anxiety develops in children and what contributes towards this.

This work led to a valid and reliable assessment measure for children’s mathematics anxiety. Since then, he has continued to research this area, publish research and deliver training sessions. His more recent work is based around a self-written children’s mathematics anxiety storybook approach as a strategy that aims to reduce this anxiety.

Dr Thomas Hunt - Associate Professor in Psychology, University of Derby

Measuring Maths Anxiety

A range of measures have been used to implicitly and explicitly assess maths anxiety. These carry various advantages and disadvantages. In the presentation I will introduce some of these measures, with a particular focus on the many self-report measures available. I will highlight how these are useful for a number of reasons, in addition to some limitations. Furthermore, the presentation will enable attendees to consider the utility of such measures in their own field of work. Finally, future plans will be presented, including a call for teachers who may be interested in supporting new developments in this area.

Target Audience: Primary and Secondary

Tom Hunt is an associate professor in psychology at the University of Derby. He leads the University’s Mathematics Anxiety Research Group (MARG) and his PhD, completed in 2011, was titled “An exploration of the mechanisms underpinning the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: the relevance of event-related potentials, intrusive thoughts and eye-movement.”

Since then he has continued to research this topic, including more applied work. Tom regularly acts as a consultant for organisations wishing to address maths anxiety and he enjoys working in partnership with a range of stakeholders. He has published several scales to measure maths anxiety in its various forms and has conducted work in schools across the UK and abroad.

His current focus is on research and supporting attempts to understand and tackle socio-emotional-cognitive barriers to maths education in the least developed countries as defined by the United Nations.

Associate Professor Sue Johnston-Wilder - Mathematics Education, University of Warwick

Tackling the Maths Monster: Addressing Maths Anxiety and Developing Maths-Specific Resilience and Coping Skills

Mathematics anxiety is prevalent in young people learning mathematics and is also prevalent amongst the teachers, support staff, parents and carers who are close to young people. Anxiety can be emotionally contagious and, for many decades, there have been calls to address mathematics anxiety in adults as well as learners. The term 'taming the maths monster' was used by an adult on one of our 'maths with chocolate' courses.

In this presentation, I present 4 tools that can be used by everyone to address any maths anxiety they may encounter, and release what is essentially an 'emotional handbrake in order that more people can develop the maths skills they need. The presentation will include accounts from our many research and development projects.

Target Audience: All teachers; primary, secondary, FE, HE / Parents and carers / Learning support staff / Older learners

Sue taught secondary mathematics in London, and then moved into curriculum development with a particular focus on making maths accessible, linked, inclusive, valued and engaging; this has included incorporating history of maths and ICT.

Since 2008, Sue has sought to reframe the problem of maths anxiety with positive psychology, focussing on how we might develop resilient learners of mathematics who know how to manage the emotions they may encounter and continue to progress as learners of maths.

Brenda Ferrie - Lead Tutor Level 5 and 7 Course in Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties; Support and Intervention

Clarifying Assessment Requirements for Dyscalculia

There is some confusion about who can assess for dyscalculia. In this short session, Brenda Ferrie, Lead Tutor for the BDA will clarify the qualifications, skills and experience that assessor’s should have in accordance with SASC guidelines. She will also outline the pathways to achieving an AMBDA/Dyscalculia to include training at level 7 and APEL.

Target Audience: Qualified dyslexia assessors with a maths teaching background

Brenda Ferrie qualified as a teacher of maths but realized that many of her students who excelled at maths had difficulties with reading and writing which lead her to do her Level 7 in dyslexia. There were other students who had no difficulties with reading and writing but struggled to understand relatively simple maths concepts, which this lead Brenda into the world of dyscalculia.

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