Developing "Number Sense"

Special Educational Needs

Basic numeracy programs available

Last updated 08/05/2019

The NumberBeads game is now available at - we welcome your feedback to

Unfortunately, the previous games offered on this site are no longer available, due to the software being out of date. 


Laurillard, D. (2016). Learning number sense through digital games with intrinsic feedback. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(6), 13pp. doi:

Butterworth, B. Varma, E. and Laurillard, D. (2011) Dyscalculia: From Brain to Education. Science 332: 1049-1053.

Adaptive learning games for handheldS  A presentation* delivered at Learning Without Frontiers conference (10/01/2011). 

[Funny Numbers, Autumn Edition - 2009 Teaching Time Magazine

Becta Project Report



*  We recommend running it to see the animation, and to look at the notes in the pages to see the text of the talk.



The Digital interventions for dyscalculia and low numeracy project was originally funded by Becta and developed at the London Knowledge Lab.  

Current project: Translational Specifications of Neural-Informed Game-Based Interventions for Mathematical Cognitive Development of Low-Progress Learners, with national Institute of Education, Singapore, 2018-2021.


The magazine Nature is interested in doing a news piece on the use of these programs in schools or with learners who are having difficulty with maths. The reporter would like to talk to the people who have used them about their experience. So we are looking for anyone who has used any of these programs, or will do so in the near future. If you would not mind being contacted, could you please email Diana Laurillard ( at the Institute of Education? We would very much like to hear from you.



Numberbonds is a game that mixes education with great fun as it teaches youngsters all the way up to adults the relation between size and numbers. Developed as a joint effort project between IdInvest, Wougglers and London Knowledge Lab. This game is available now in the AppStore as 'Number Bonds by…


Created by Hassan Jan 17, 2012 at 1:17pm. Last updated by Hassan Feb 3, 2012.

Relevant Links


Articles and interviews on dyscalculia by Professor Brian Butterworth. Put 'dyscalculia' into the search  facility' to find relevant articles.
The website is specialist in dyscalculia.
The website contains a forum for discussing Dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.
The website provides access to a library of free interactive learning resources.
EMERSON HOUSE is a place where people can be tested for dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. Emerson House was set up in 1991 by Jane Emerson and Dorian Yeo and is a centre for primary-age children aged 5 to 11 who need extra help with Literacy and Numeracy and for those who would benefit from learning to Touch Type.
The Dyscalculia Centre has published a range of resources for teachers and parents which are used across the UK in work with dyscalculic pupils. The resources allow users to find out where the particular problems of the users are, and then address them through the use of a wide range of multi-sensory activities.


DynamoMaths contains 230 + maths activities for people with dyscalculia.


New Publications

Dyscalculia: From Brain to Education 

Brian Butterworth, Sashank Varma, Diana Laurillard 
Recent research in cognitive and developmental neuroscience is providing a new approach to the understanding of dyscalculia that emphasizes a core deficit in understanding sets and their numerosities, which is fundamental to all aspects of elementary school mathematics. The neural bases of numerosity processing have been investigated in structural and functional neuroimaging studies of adults and children, and neural markers of its impairment in dyscalculia have been identified. New interventions to strengthen numerosity processing, including adaptive software, promise effective evidence-based education for dyscalculic learners. [science-magazine]

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