Numeracy is a life skill.
Being numerate goes beyond simply 'doing sums'; it means
having the confidence and competence to use numbers and
think mathematically in everyday life.
Why is numeracy important?
Everyone needs to be numerate
to maximise their life chances and to make a positive
contribution to society.
The effect of poor numeracy on people’s lives is often much
less obvious than poor literacy. But there is substantial
evidence that low numeracy skills are associated with poor
outcomes for many people. This has a negative impact on them
and their families – and on society as a whole.
Examples of Numeracy
· Being able to
critically assess statistics used by advertisers or
· Being able to manage
family budgets – credit cards, offers at supermarkets and so
· Being able to
estimate – in all kinds of situations, e.g. journey speed,
time and distance, roughly how much a bill will be or your
expected bank balance at the end of the month.
What can parents/carers to
do help their child with numeracy/maths?
The most important thing to do
is help your child to feel positive about maths and have fun
with it whenever possible. In the UK people are often
negative about maths and this makes it harder for children
to understand the reasons why we need to learn maths. Follow
these top tips and help your child develop maths confidence.
Don’t say things like ‘I can’t
do maths’ or ‘I hated maths at school’… your child might
start to think like that themselves…
Do talk about the maths in
everyday life, and ask your child how they work out problems
Do praise your child for
effort, rather than talent.
Do use time at home to
practise practical maths like shopping or cooking.
The other really important
thing is to give your child the opportunity to use and talk
about maths every day. This will help them to become a
mathematical problem solver, and develop lifelong skills
· Measuring e.g. when
cooking, decorating etc.
· Using money e.g.
splitting food bills, estimating total cost etc.
· Calculating –
adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing etc
· Making sense of and
checking information – learning to ask ‘is this answer
Playing Card and Board Games at home is
really important as it helps develop communication skills as
well as approaches to strategy [Stuart
There are so many excellent games out
there that, if children played them frequently, they would
help them develop strategic and mathematical thinking
skills. I want to quickly highlight some board games, where
the Maths is not obvious, that I would recommend people buy
to play with their families -
Click here [Stuart
I have placed a link to a lot of free strategy games which on this page
- Click here
A pack of cards can be used creatively
to engage your child in a wide range of interesting
activities - for some suggestions -
Click here 
Support for Parents
Guidance and Ideas from Jo
Boaler as to how parents can support their children
Parents Numeracy Booklet
pdf version -
publisher version - Year 7's Ash Mistry
Parents Numeracy Booklet - Primary DfES
Revision Materials including
video tutorials, exam papers, topic tests for all
GCSE content can be