Numeracy, or Mathematical Literacy, is a vital skill for our students to be successful in the modern world. We are all able to use a calculator to complete simple calculations, but the skills needed to solve a variety of real world situations, at home and in the workplace, as a consumer or a parent, need to be developed and honed. Confidence and competence in numeracy affect all aspects of our lives, every day.” (The Mathematical Journey-National Numeracy)
What do we mean by numeracy?
Put simply, it is defined as the ability to solve everyday problems through the application of basic mathematical skills and understanding.
An example may be when working out which is the best mobile phone deal, or the best package price with discount for a holiday, or the best mortgage deal over the course of its life.
These skills are more than just what is taught at GCSE, they are developed in the whole curriculum. The expected level of Numeracy skills in the newly reformed GCSE’s from Geography to Design Technology has increased, emphasising the importance of these skills across all subject areas.
Wade Deacon places importance on the development of these skills through cross curricular activities in subject areas, during SMSC days, tutor time and whole school activity days. Methods used across the school are developed to ensure they are consistent and students can make the links necessary to embed understanding.
Why is it important?
Traditionally, it has been socially acceptable to say ‘I’m rubbish at maths’ and the mistaken view that maths is a can-do/can’t-do subject.
Of those 16-24 year olds with a grade C or above in GCSE maths, less than a quarter were at an equivalent level when their numeracy was tested - suggesting that GCSE is no guarantee of good numeracy.
49% of the working-age population of England have the numeracy level that we expect of primary school children.
Therefore, we all need to support our children to be exposed to opportunities that will encourage their enquiry and help them to develop their all-round numeracy skills.
How can you support your child or develop your own numeracy?
National Numeracy Challenge is a charity which looks to improve the life chances of adults across the country.
By signing up online, you are able to complete a number of tasks which will support you in the type of problems that we all face in everyday life. There are opportunities to then develop skills in those areas which are identified. http://www.nnchallenge.org.uk/
Further, we have developed a guide to methods used in school, whereby you can support at home with the methods we use in school. This is available here.
Please continue to check back for additional support available e.g. Parent workshops which have successfully run in previous years.