Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired


The Maths department aims to give all students the essential skills in numeracy to prepare them for successful independent living beyond NCW.
The department will also prepare students for national exams using teaching methods adapted to give vision impaired students full access to all the five areas of Mathematics, which are:

  • Number – Arithmetic, fractions, percentages, money
  • Shape and Space – Angles, 2D and 3D shapes, measures, accurate drawing
  • Data Handling – Averages, probability, displaying data, surveys
  • Ratio – Proportion, comparison, sharing, number patterns
  • Algebra – equations, solving, plotting graphs, sequences and series

Head of Department:

Sue Lock, Head of Maths
Mrs Sue Lock

Examples of adaptations for vision impaired students

In order to access exams successfully, students are taught using adapted methods that give them the best possible chance of achieving at their full potential. Some of the methods taught include:

  • Pin boards for graphs and transformations
  • Tactile diagrams for angle and 2D shape problems
  • Use of talking calculators
  • Use of ‘German film’ to access accurate drawing tasks
  • Use of models for 3D representation of shapes

Many of these skills are shared amongst teachers of the vision impaired from across the country in outreach training sessions. A popular theme in these sessions is training in the use of technology to create mathematical worksheets and diagrams efficiently and accurately.

General - teacher with student


Years 7 and 8

  • Preparation for exam courses, focusing on numeracy, shape and space and tactile skills

Years 9 to 11

  • The new Edexcel 9 to 1 GCSE is commenced in year 9 to allow time to complete the larger syllabus content and higher level of difficulty included at level 9
  • The Edexcel Entry Level and Edexcel Entry Level Functional Skills courses are offered for students to gain a valuable certificated qualification in mathematics

Years 12 to 13+

  • We offer the Edexcel specification at A level giving access to AS and A2 mathematics or Further mathematics
  • The Edexcel level 2 BTEC award in Money and Finance offers students a vocational qualification in key areas for independent living such as budgeting, saving money, using financial institutions and managing an enterprise
  • Students who have not achieved a grade 4 GCSE previously in mathematics are given the opportunity to re-sit the exams during year 12
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