Numeracy is a key life skill which will improve student’s employability and enable them to deal with many situations they may encounter throughout their lives. As with literacy, we are all, regardless of our role or specialism, responsible for improving the numeracy skills of those we teach. Improving numeracy skills will enable our students to cope with the mathematical demands of everyday life as well as contributing to raising standards across the academy.
Outlined below are some activities that students should expect to encounter in their studies that would allow them opportunities to develop their numeracy skills:
•The student develops the skills to allow them to make regular and accurate use of key numerical terms e.g. units of measurement, time and distance in the lesson to reinforce learning and understanding of their application to real life situations.
•Students will be encouraged to be less dependent on simple words e.g. exposing them to the word multiply as a replacement for times
•Mental arithmetic will be encouraged at all opportunities as the strategy to solve a numerical problem, with calculators only being used for awkward or particularly time-consuming calculations.
•Students will be reminded of the core skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division where appropriate in lessons.
•Students will be asked to explain how they worked out their calculation to encourage problem solving skills. This is a key transferable skill across the curriculum.
•Students will be encouraged to seek and compare a range of calculations methods. By asking students how they have worked out a calculation and insisting everyone listens and responds positively the student is embedding the knowledge into long term memory. This links with communication skills for literacy across the curriculum.
•Students will develop their own methods of calculation and setting out their working out down the page rather than across to ensure consistency.
•When using statistics, students develop using a range of representations of data such as barcharts, piecharts and scattergraphs and remind students of key terms such as mean, median and mode.
•Emphasis is put on the importance of secure numeracy skills for coping with the mathematical demands of everyday life.