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How can The Number Box help struggling learners in your school?

by | Apr 30, 2023

Improving Maths Confidence: Why Early Intervention is Key


We all know the widely used trope of maths being difficult. It is prevalent amongst adults and passes on to children. However, we cannot ignore the fact that so many children experience early ‘failure’ in maths, then begin to believe they are no good at it. It’s a spiral that is difficult to escape unless someone, or something, intervenes to break the cycle.

This is why maths interventions are widely used in schools, with positive effects on both attainment and attitudes. There’s no single programme that works best for all pupils in all situations, but one approach that is recommended by Dyscalculia experts, is use of multisensory teaching methods. These ensure that learners can access key maths concepts in a way that works for the individual, without relying on purely looking and listening.

What is The Number Box?


The Number Box is a multi-sensory teaching programme and maths resource. It was designed for children who are not accessing classroom teaching in maths for a variety of reasons.  The Number Box is a bright yellow briefcase containing colourful resources and full instructions to be used in individual support sessions alongside an adult. Sessions are intended to be short and snappy, around 5-10 minutes, to include a new skill and revision of learned skills each time. Students leave their sessions with a feeling of knowledge, making progress at their own pace. A full list of contents can be found on our website here.

Who is it suitable for?


The Number Box aims to benefit any learner who is at an educational disadvantage in a classroom setting. This can be for a range of reasons. Dyslexic children find sequential skills, organisation and spatial operations in maths more challenging, and require resources and patient teaching. Students who find it hard to retain skills through listening alone are helped by learning through all the senses, and those who require concrete manipulatives benefit from the materials and activities provided. Children who have Speech, Language and Communication Needs may take longer to understand and use the complex maths vocabulary. Those with English as an Additional Language also benefit from the repetition. Dyscalculic children have great difficulty understanding the concept of number at all and may stay working with the resources and programme of The Number Box through the Infant school and on into Junior school.

The Number Box design makes it suitable for any primary-aged child, although secondary schools also make use of the resource for students with gaps in early maths skills.

What makes it an easy resource to implement?


The Number Box includes the earliest mathematics concepts covered in the National Curriculum, so it sits well alongside class-based learning. Once purchased, there are no ongoing costs or subscriptions, making it reusable, great value and budget-friendly. Everything you need is in the box to maximise your teaching time. Sessions can be timetabled for individual learners on a regular basis. The Education Endowment Foundation recommends You don’t need the Five Minute Literacy Box to implement the Ten Minute Box. Lessons can be taught by TAs, teachers or SENCos.

How does Ten Minute Box engage and motivate learners?


Learners struggling with digraphs can become frustrated and lose self-esteem. Ten Minute Box eliminates frustration as the pupil controls the pace. Learning is cumulative, gradually increasing in difficulty. Students who find it hard to memorise sounds are helped by learning through all the senses. Children enjoy being a ‘Digraph Detective’ while they play a fun game at the end of every session to reinforce previous learning of a particular digraph.  The short sessions appeal to those who find it hard to focus, allowing them a sense of achievement and creating positive associations with learning. Children also enjoy being responsible for organising the box contents, setting up and tidying away at the end of a session. This gives them ownership over the intervention.

How can I track progress?


The Ten Minute Box allows you to record both qualitative and quantitative information on student progress. Detailed initial and summative assessments are included and these can be administered in sections, according to the learner’s attention and listening abilities. The assessments are easily adapted to the level of each student, ensuring no gaps in learning. A record of achievement allows professionals to monitor student progress in small increments on a session-by-session basis.

What do professionals say about the Ten Minute Box?


“We have used The Number Box for a number of years; it is a great resource to support children with Maths and also supports teachers to recommend next steps with the areas where children are having difficulties.”

JK, SEND Specialist Support Services, Sunderland
 “I like when it’s my turn to go with the Number Box, it helps me with counting and knowing my numbers”
P2 learner, East Ayrshire


“I think it represents good value. After all you’re paying for expert guidance, as well as the resources. It’s a clever programme because it allows children to progress at different rates in different areas of maths, helping to build their maths confidence and self-esteem through regular small steps so that strengths are built up and weaknesses erased.”
John Dabell, Number Box review, Teach Primary magazine

@fiveminutebox my son has gone from struggling with maths to being described as a competent mathematician thanks to your resource“
E.H., parent, via Twitter


See Teach Primary magazine’s review of The Number Box here.

Find more testimonials on our website.


Start a FREE TRIAL in your school today. Visit our website for details or email [email protected]

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