Puffin Maths

Puffin Maths Assessment

Puffin Maths Assessment has been developed from research and learning from neuroscience, assessments, early childhood development and education.

Age: Assessments can be used for pupils between the ages 6 to 15.
The standardised assessment is baselined for ages 6, 7, 8 and 9. For pupils above the age 9, age 9 baseline will be used.

Administration time: The assessment can be administered online and takes approximately 30 minutes.
Whilst this is a guideline, the time taken is driven by the unique neurodevelopmental profile of the pupil.

Whom is it for? The assessment can be used:

  • to screen for pupils at risk of dyscalculia.
  • by teachers, specialists, advisers and educational psychologists to support the decision making on the specific areas of intervention
  • to capture a pupil’s number sense developmental profile.
  • and to identify areas of strengths and the specific areas of number sense development.

Period: The assessment lasts 365 days and schools can re-assess up to four times during the year to compare Before and After scores.

Puffin Maths Assessment can be used to screen pupils for symptoms of dyscalculia and as an early preventative tool so that pupils can be supported during their early formative years.

The strength of Puffin Assessment lies in the way it captures and profiles the pupil’s individual variation in their number sense development. It enables pupils at risk of developmental dyscalculia to be identified and serves as a basis for tailoring an individual and purposeful intervention.

This individual-difference approach used by the Puffin Maths Program is proving that children with developmental dyscalculia are making significant gains.

Overview of the NumberSenseMMR® Framework

Puffin Maths Assessment is a dynamic, standardised, online  assessment that has been developed to identify pupils at risk of developmental dyscalculia using the NumberSenseMMR® framework. The scores in the assessment are reported within three areas: Meaning, Magnitude and Relationship.

Speed of Processing

Number Meaning:

  • Numbers as symbols
  • Subitising and counting

Number Magnitude:

  • Number comparison
  • Estimation
  • Approximation
  • Ordering
  • Sequencing

Number Relationship:

  • Place value
  • Number bonds and facts
  • Mental strategies
  • Problem solving
  • Time measurement
  • Multiplication

The Meaning and Magnitude scores indicate symptoms of Developmental Dyscalculia and the Relationship score indicates Maths Developmental Delays.

Framework Validation: The study by the University of Oxford (Dowker, 2016) conducted an entry-type multiple regression analysis on the three stages of the NumberSenseMMR® framework.

The analysis confirmed that the Number Meaning and Magnitude components are highly significant (p < 0.001) independent predictors of Number Relationship (Foundation maths). The results confirmed that Age is also a significant (p < 0.014) independent predictor of Number Relationship. Furthermore, the basal set were then established for each set of age groups and scores normalised with a mean of 100 and SD of 15. NumberSenseMMR® validation technical details…

Assessment Validation: The psychometric validation procedure used a large data sample of 3465 pupils from 368 schools in the UK (2014-2015) and representing a population of 72,000 pupils.

This sample included pupils with a neuro-diverse profile. Of these pupils, 35% had a range of learning difficulties. Assessment validation technical details…


The test results are presented in three simple and easy-to-use reports.
These reports, which bring all the assessments results and supporting information into one complete SEND report, can be presented to the stakeholders to support the Intervention strategies.

1. Number Sense Profile Report:

The bar chart provides a summarised profile of the underlying individual number sense development and the variation across the three areas within the NumberSenseMMR™ framework. These are:

  • The Number Meaning and Number Magnitude: these provide the focus areas for dyscalculia symptoms, and
  • The Number Relationships: this provides focus areas for developmental delay in maths.

The individualised Number Sense Developmental Profile shows pupil’s strengths and specific areas of development. It also differentiates pupils at risk of developmental dyscalculia from those with maths developmental delays.

2. Standardised Score and Ranking:

The overall total number sense raw score, standardised scores, SD+9/SD-9 confidence intervals and percentile rank are presented.

2. Standardised Score and Ranking:

The overall total number sense raw score, standardised scores, SD+9/SD-9 confidence intervals and percentile rank are presented.

3. Scheme of Work:

This report provides a Scheme of Work tailored to the child’s individual differences. It provides:

  • a description on the area assessed.
  • a performance commentary on the score achieved for each area of assessment.
  • colour-coded score achieved, and
  • signposts to the multi-sensory triple-pathway intervention and remediation modules in Dynamo Intervention.


Comparing Before/After intervention scores:

The school assessment allows the pupil to be re-assessed so that the pupil’s number sense change in profile can be monitored. This is hugely empowering for the interventionist, pupil and parent as development and progress is visible through the Number Sense Developmental Profile.

A small change in the profile indicates clearly the level of intervention that has taken place. Profiles can change, they can move up or down. When progress is not sustained, the profile will reflect this.

Best practice shows that typically a re-assessment should be carried out after a 12-week period.

SEN Support

Integrated within the assessment are Support Tools that ensure that the pupil’s developmental profile is captured so that the necessary adjustments to access the assessment can take place. Tools to capture observations during the assessment are included along with a template for pupils to record their working-out during the assessment.

Inclusive SEN Support Tools: The Dynamo Assessment includes tools to capture the pupil’s learning difficulties and observations during the assessment, providing templates to administer and audit the impact of the intervention within the Graduated Process


  • Student Profiler Questionnaire: captures the pupil’s developmental profile and engages all stakeholders.
  • Observation Notes: a tool and guidance notes to capture observations during the assessment.
  • Working-out Notes: a printable template to allow children to show their working-out.
  • Resource Utilisation: a tool to assist the Review process of capturing the fidelity to intervention.

Dynamo Maths Assessment can be used to screen pupils for symptoms of dyscalculia and as an early preventative tool so that pupils can be supported during their early formative years.