Get It & Get It Across: Mathematics

A Social Language Scheme for Maths

Get It and Get It Across (GIGIA) is a scheme to help pupils understand language concepts underpinning core subjects and to communicate what they’ve learned – to teachers, family and friends! It is designed for pupils aged from around 4 up to 13+. It is suitable for pupils who have moderate to severe learning needs and more able children who have specific learning/communication needs, some of whom may have been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder or be on the autistic spectrum. I have also designed it to appeal to pupils who have become ‘disengaged’ with learning perhaps because of emotional- behavioural problems.

GIGIA draws upon the ideas of the linguist David Crystal who identified the importance of teaching related vocabularies in sets or categories and the linking of concepts the child already knows to learn new ones. It incorporates a metacognitive approach (knowing what you know) so that pupils appreciate the purpose of activities and also conceptual links within and across themes including 'chaining' to help pupils understanding more difficult or abstract concepts; this gives them a fuller understanding of the subject as a whole.

GIGA incorporates interactive games, picture sequences and cartoons to up the fun. Teachers can use GIGIA with individual pupils (the social component is then between teacher and pupil) but it is best taught with pupils in pairs or small groups. The GIGIA Maths assessment enables you to check for gaps in the pupils' understanding and use of language and monitor their progress.

GIGIA Maths covers the following themes and concepts :-

It all begins with Size! Basics/back to basics - size concepts including comparison.
All Things Numerical: quantity, number (from counting to place values and calculation), fraction, decimal, percentage.
Money Matters
Meaningful Measures: size dimensions, weight/mass, liquid quantities, volume & capacity, temperature
Getting Time together
Going Geometrical: position and direction, shapes and properties, angles and turns, lines, translation, rotation & reflection.
The Statistic Strand: data, categories, scores and tallies; showing what you see – tables, charts and graphs; probability.

Each theme is followed through to a level that is appropriate considering the pupil’s development and National guidelines.

What’s different about GIGIA? GIGIA emanates from Wendy’s earlier work Language Concepts to Access Learning and incorporates strategies from her work on organisational language/planning. Both of these schemes have been commented upon favourably by Ofsted as having a positive impact on standards and they have proven effective with children who have special needs at primary and secondary school, including students who have struggled with Maths for a number of years. Baseline and on going assessment in line with teaching targets showed substantial progress maintained at the end of a two year period. Children developed their understanding and use of concepts, from concrete to abstract, and word finding abilities also improved. GIGIA is compatible with other Maths schemes but focuses more on the language concepts before linking these to Maths concepts – in this way it has helped pupils with special needs gain more from other schemes being used. The emphasis on interaction and communication to others reviews and extends the application of skills included in the Social Use of Language Programme.

Wendy has just started to present GIGIA as part of her practical study day on social communication and emotional wellbeing and here are a few of the evaluation comments relating to GIGIA: As a Maths subject leader, I’m very interested in GIGIA and I can see this being very beneficial in my own school to help youngsters understand the meanings behind the vocabulary. Vicki Turner, Vice Principal. Every lecture was great but Get It and Get It Across was particularly helpful – the approach of helping children to understand abstract concepts needed for curricular subjects. Alison Roberts, Speech-Language Therapy team leader.
I was very interested in the GIGIA Maths & Science schemes. I think they could completely change the approach to teaching these subjects. Gill Ashley, Education Dept Speech and Language Advisor.

GIGIA Maths comprises the following components – you can click on the headings below to see more:

Teaching Manual and lesson records
Picture books in colour
Book of interactive focus games to start each session
Concept stories (when you buy GIGIA for primary school children)
Picture Plays (when you buy GiGIA for secondary school/college students)
Assessment Manual, Assessment Picture Book, record booklets and summary profile

Click here for the GIGIA pricelist (pdf)



The GIGIA Maths Teaching Manual explains the principles and rationale
underpinning the programme. It lists all the activities, in the order they should be carried out for effectiveness. The manual comes with lesson plan records for three stages of teaching:

Stage 1: Get It (comprehension of concepts and vocabulary; inference)

Stage 2: Get It & Get It Across (meaningful use of vocabulary, including word finding strategies)

Stage 3: Get It Across (pragmatic language for explaining concepts, including planning and organisational skills)

The index is included on the adjacent slideshow

You can book an introductory online session with Wendy who will take you through the principles of the programme including some takeaway tips.

Click here for package options and prices or scroll down to find out about resources that are used with the teaching manual.


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The GIGIA Maths Picture Books 1 and 2
contain 400 pages of A4 pictures
in colour. The pictures are used in conjunction with the activities
described in the manual to introduce and check concepts.
You can view some sample pictures by clicking on the adjacent picture
but please note that it’s hard to represent these bumper books adequately
with samples!

If you would like to additionally show the pictures on a screen there is an
option to buy  an encrypted PDF file at a small additional charge.

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The GIGIA Maths Focus Games Book contain fun, interactive games to focus concentration at the start of each session.

A sample sheet may be viewed  by clicking on the adjacent picture



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The GIGIA Maths Early Learning Concept Stories are supplied with
GIGIA when you buy it for children at primary school.
If you would like to additionally show the pictures on a screen there is an
option to buy  an encrypted PDF file at a small additional charge.
The pictures are in black and white and colour (on file).

Click on the adjacent picture to view a few sample pages from
The Number Cruncher.

Story Titles:

The Number Cruncher

The Shape Fairy

Size Magician

Pippa Positions


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The GIGIA Maths Picture Plays are supplied with GIGIA when you buy it for pupils at secondary school and feature the popular characters,
Jeff & Kate.

The Time Teller covers the concepts and conceptual links that have proved successful in enabling students to get to grips with time for every day living – from the smallest units to the time of day and year. It comprises over 350 A4 pictures with a cartoon text style, some with colour to highlight key information. Some pages are interactive - the students are asked questions to help them to think about their own experiences in relation to the characters.

The Money Helper covers concepts and conceptual links to enable students to understand monetary values, including change. The final chapters on bank accounts, cards and bills relate to the day-to-day management of money. It comprises around 200 A4 pictures with a cartoon text style, some in colour.

Click here to view sample pages

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The GIGIA Maths Assessment enables you to identify gaps in the pupil’s comprehension and language use/word finding and monitor effectiveness of
the GIGIA Maths teaching programme. The summary profile enables you to share findings at a glance with colleagues, pupils and parents to show the
areas you need to work on with the pupil and their progress. The picture book assessment checks the pupil’s understanding and use of language with
picture pointing and naming/explaining.

The GIGIA Maths Assessment comprises:

Manual and picture book with full instructions on how to use the assessment and what to say to the pupil.

Pack of 20 record booklets

An example summary profile is included adjacent – the boxes coloured green indicate how many items the pupil knows on first assessment; the boxes coloured orange show the progress on a second assessment carried out on completion of the teaching programme.

Please note that the profile adjacent is a real example and typical of the results obtained towards the end  of the programme – we haven’t selected the best one!


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