Numicon Information

Numicon is a MASTERY approach utilising these skills:
  • Communicating mathematically - collaboration, conversations to solve problems
  • Exploring relationships - learning through play
  • Generalising - inquiry approach to investigating problems

Numicon follows the principles of learning described by Guskey, Bloom, Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner. 

Children learn best with three representations used together to create meaning, language and conceptual understanding. 

By using concrete structures more than pictures and abstract representations at each step in their learning journey, children are able to access number knowledge and the relationships of number and all the strands of mathematics easily.

Bringing Maths to life!

What do children think of Numicon?

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What about an inclusive approach?  How do I differentiate?

Differentiation can exist within a mastery approach and these appear to be the key strategies:

·       Skillful questioning within lessons to promote conceptual understanding (Drury, 2014, Jones, 2014, Guskey, 2009)

·       Identifying and rapidly acting on misconceptions which arise through same day intervention (Stripp, 2014, MathsHubs, 2015a) (ARK, 2015).

·       Students who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. (NCETM, 2014)

·        Use of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations according to levels of conceptual development (Jones, 2014, Drury, 2014)

This last point is sometimes linked to differentiation and to a view that ‘less able’ children are more likely to need ‘concrete’ apparatus, while more able children can move straight to a pictorial or even abstract representation. In our view, skilful use by teachers of a variety of representations for pupils, enabling pupils themselves to represent mathematical in different ways, is part of effective teaching. Use a variety of representations for everyone this prevents a fixed ability self-theory (Dweck, 2000) and not conducive to student effort and to learning.

For further information please visit:

Numicon NZ Information website click here