Numeracy is a skill for life, learning and work. Having well-developed numeracy skills allows young people to be more confident in social settings and enhances enjoyment in a large number of leisure activities. For these and many other reasons, all teachers have important parts to play in enhancing the numeracy skills of all children and young people. Being numerate helps us to function responsibly in everyday life and contribute effectively to society. It increases our opportunities within the world of work and establishes foundations which can be built upon through lifelong learning. Numeracy is not only a subset of mathematics; it is also a life skill which permeates and supports all areas of learning, allowing young people access to the wider curriculum.

 Numeracy skills are embedded into all lessons in an everyday context as part of the ethos and life of the school.

Students should be confident in using the skills of numeracy in different aspects of life and work. General contexts of the types of numeracy skills are:

  • Managing money and financial planning
  • Understanding and managing earnings, benefits and credit
  • Managing a budget in a household and work-related situations
  • Measuring, estimating, rounding and calculating
  • Reading timetables, calculating distances and journey times, reading maps
  • Understanding and working with time - centuries, decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds as well as durations of time.
  • Interpreting information from a variety of graphs, charts and tables
  • Use of percentages, fractions and mental strategies in a variety of contexts



The Eight Areas of Emphasis

The Eight Areas of Emphasis

Education Scotland has recently issued guidance and a Professional Learning Resource which splits Numeracy and Mathematic Skills into eight areas of emphasis.

  • Linking Mathematical Concepts
  • Mental Agility
  • Mathematical Vocabulary and Notation
  • Interpreting Questions
  • Select and communicate processes and solutions
  • Justify choice of strategy used
  • Algebraic Reasoning
  • Determining the reasonableness of a solution


Useful Links

A really good glossary for parents on numeracy and mathematics from Education Scotland. http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/parentzone/learninginscotland/curriculumareas/mathematics/glossary.asp