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Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Numeracy is a proficiency that involves confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires an understanding of the number system, a repertoire of computational skills and an inclination and ability to solve number problems in a variety of contexts. Numeracy also demands practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.

Mathematical skills can be consolidated and enhanced when pupils have opportunities to apply and develop them across the curriculum. Poor numeracy skills, in particular, hold back pupils' progress and can lower their self-esteem. To improve these skills is a whole-school matter. Each department should identify the contribution it makes towards numeracy and other mathematical skills so that pupils become confident at tackling mathematics in any context.  

This blog by Mr Collins explains how he is going about dealing with the issue of Numeracy Across Curriculum at his school, I really like the use of the logo to raise awareness - Click here
You can get a copy of the poster referred to:    PPT Version Click here              pdf Version Click here

Click here for the PowerPoint that was used at St Alban's to raise the issue of Numeracy Across the Curriculum.

Click here for Estimation Game
Click here for Estimation Game - Answers
Click here for Brainteaser 2
Click here for Calculator Questions
Click here for Key Skills Certificates which can be used to acknowledge pupil achievements in numeracy across the curriculum

Numeracy Policies

Numeracy is a key skill in students' learning and all students are entitled to quality experiences in this area and that the teaching of numeracy is the responsibility of all staff and the school's approaches should be as consistent as possible across the curriculum.

Curriculum areas will endeavour to ensure that materials presented to students will match their capability both in subject content and in numerical demands. They will liase with the Special Needs and Mathematics departments when appropriate in order to support their teaching of numeracy.

All teachers should consider pupils' ability to cope with the numerical demands of everyday life and provide opportunities for students to:

  • handle number and measurement competently, mentally, orally and in writing;
  • use calculators accurately and appropriately;
  • interpret and use numerical and statistical data represented in a variety of forms.

St Alban's High School Numeracy Across the Curriculum Policy Outline version please click here.  For an extended version which complements the first then please click here.
Hyde Community College
@MrsHsNumeracy has produced a really detailed policy document click here
Numeracy Across the Curriculum - click here


Mathematics in other Subjects

This is an excellent set of posters by Mrs Howard @MrsHsNumeracy with examples of maths across the curriculum - Click here

MATHS CAREERS have also produced a range of free Postcards and Posters related to the applications of Maths in different subject areas - Click here

You need to look for opportunities for drawing mathematical experience out of a wide range of children's activities. Mathematics contributes to many subjects of the curriculum, often in practical ways. Activities such as recording the growth of a plant or an animal, measuring temperature and rainfall, or investigating the cog wheels in a bicycle can provide data or starting points for discussion in your mathematics lessons as well as opportunities to apply and use mathematics in real contexts - click here for a word document giving examples of numeracy in a range of subject area



Mathematics lessons can help to develop and support pupils' literacy skills: for example, by teaching mathematical vocabulary and technical terms, 

Almost every scientific investigation or experiment is likely to require one or more of the mathematical skills of classifying, counting, measuring, calculating, estimating, and
by asking children to read and interpret problems to identify the mathematical content, and by encouraging them to explain, argue and present their conclusions to others.  Equally, English lessons can support your mathematics lesson. For example non-fiction texts can be chosen in which mathematical vocabulary, graphs, charts and tables have to be interpreted.   recording in tables and graphs. In science pupils will, for example, order numbers, including decimals, calculate means and  percentages, use negative numbers when taking temperatures, substitute into formulae, re-arrange equations, decide which graph is the most appropriate to represent data, and plot, interpret and predict from graphs.   

Art, Design & Technology  

Information & Communication Technology

Measurements are often needed in art and design and technology. Many patterns and constructions are based on spatial ideas and properties of shapes, including symmetry. 

Children will apply and use mathematics in a variety of ways when they solve problems using ICT. For example, they will collect and classify data, enter it into data handling software, produce
Designs may need enlarging or reducing, introducing ideas of multiplication and ratio.  When food is prepared a great deal of measurement occurs, including working out times, adapting recipes, and calculating cost; this may not be straightforward if only part of a packet of ingredients has been used.    graphs and tables, and interpret and explain their results. Their work in control includes the measurement  of distance and angle, using uniform non- standard then standard measures. When they use computer models and simulations they will draw on their abilities to manipulate numbers and identify patterns and relationships.

History, Geography and Religious Education  

Physical Education and Music

In history and geography children will collect data by counting and measuring and make use of measurements of many kinds. The study of maps includes the use of co-ordinates and ideas of angle, direction, position, scale and ratio.   

Athletic activities require measurement of height, distance, time and speed, while ideas of time, symmetry, movement. position and direction are used extensively in music. dance, gymnastics and ball games. The key to making the most of these opportunities is
Historical ideas require understanding of the passage of time. which can be illustrated on a time line. similar to the number line that they already know.    to identify the mathematical possibilities across the curriculum at the planning stage. You should also draw children's attention to the links between subjects by talking frequently about them, both in Mathematics and in other lessons.