What is Numeracy
Numeracy is the everyday knowledge and understanding of number and reasoning skills required to access and interpret the world around us.
Being numerate means having the confidence and skill to use numbers and mathematical approaches in all aspects of life - at work, in practical everyday activities at home and beyond, as consumers, in managing our finances, as parents helping our children learn, as patients making sense of health information, as citizens understanding the world about us.
Being numerate means being able to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts and to apply these in a range of contexts and to solve a variety of problems. Being numerate is as much about thinking and reasoning logically as about 'doing sums'.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/HGHS_Maths
Numeracy at hazel grove high school
At Hazel Grove High School our aim is for all pupils to be Numerate and confident with dealing with numbers. We want our pupils to be able to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts and to apply these in a range of contexts and to solve a variety of problems.
To help our pupils achieve this we have created the Calculations Policy which will support our pupils to become more confident in these essential skills.
Here is a readable copy of the calculations Policy for you to view: or click here to download a copy
It covers the key skills of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division and also demonstrates how we use Percentages and Fractions in a variety of ways. The Calculations Policy outlines the “whole school” approach to these skills including teaching and support staff.
How can you support your child at home?
Support at home is invaluable to a pupil’s development, you can support your child in numerous ways to become more numerate, such as:
- Practice times tables
- Questions on topics from the Calculations Policy
- Discuss the cost of shopping or goods whilst at the shops
- Guide your child to Maths websites such as MyMaths and MathsWatch.
Top Tips From The Maths Department
Department staff tips
- “Try to visualise and think about how small or large an answer might be! It’s a useful way to look back over your work to see whether it makes sense!” – Mr Clarke
- “The more you practice the more confident, accurate and quicker you become! Practice really does make perfect!” – Mrs Franklin
- “You cannot learn maths just by watching and listening, you have to actively be involved in the learning process. Maths is not a spectator sport!” – Ms Zubair
7 tips on how to improve your Numeracy skills and be confident at Mathematics..
- Do all of the homework. Don’t ever think of homework as a choice. It’s the most important way that you will practice and master the concepts taught in class. Set up a regular time and place that make doing the homework feel automatic.
- Try not to miss a lesson. Maths topics move fast, teaching a new concept every lesson. What students do in 1 lesson builds towards the next. Maths punishes absences; to keep up, you have to make time to come back and learn what you have missed.
- Analyse and understand every mistake. Our culture has become perfection- focused, and it’s tempting to ignore our mistakes. It is important to fix mistakes and understand why they were made; otherwise we’re doomed to repeat them. Take time to figure out the thinking behind a mistake, and figure out how to do it right.
- Get help fast. If you realise that something is difficult, seek as much help as possible as quickly as possible. Straighten out misunderstandings before they start to snowball.
- Ask questions. Questions are the vehicle by which we learn. If you have one, ask it. Chances are that other pupils have the same question. Asking good questions is a lifelong skill, and school is a safe place to practice. The more questions we ask, the easier it gets.
- Basic skills are essential. Quick: what’s 9 times 7? To be successful, you must be able to answer this correctly. Times tables are the basis for most maths problems. If your child doesn’t know them, practice! Make flash cards, practise online.
- Understand what the calculator is doing. It’s not enough to know how to use the calculator; students need to know what the answer means. They should ask themselves what the calculator is doing for them, and always analyse the calculator’s answer. For instance, if the teacher asks for “the square of negative three,” many students will type in “-3^2” which gives the answer “-9.” But the real answer is “(-3)^2”, or 9. Students should play around with their calculators and become familiar with the way they work.
These are our very own Top tips from the teachers in the Maths department...
‘Always keep practising. The more you practise the same skill the more it becomes habit and the longer you remember it for.’ – Mr McCulloch
‘To improve at anything, I think it is key to practice it each day to make it stick.’ – Mrs Pope
‘Times tables are the foundations of mathematical reasoning, we use them when dealing with Fractions, Algebra, Volume, Ratio...the list goes on. Make sure you know them and practise them.’ – Mr Roberts
‘Realise that it’s ok to make mistakes, and that you can learn from these and find a better, more successful method.’ – Ms Jennings
‘Resilience is the key - If you don't get an answer correct the first time don't give up, try a different method, you will get there eventually!’ – Mrs Nash
‘Use MyMaths lessons if you are struggling with a topic, then attempt the online homework to practice’ – Mr Robinson
‘Identify something you aren't good at. Spend 15 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week practicing problems on it until you have it sorted. Then have another look 3 weeks later. Can you still do it?’ – Mr Hinton
Black box thinking - we always get things wrong, learn from your mistakes try and fix them, take time to understand why you got a question wrong don't just ignore it and move on, use all the resources you have available (teachers, books, websites) to work it out’ – Mr Locke
Useful websites we Use at HGHS
The following websites can be extremely helpful to building your child’s numeracy ability:
MyMaths is where the maths department set homework for pupils in years 7-9, and your child should be familiar with its use and how to log in.
Also on MyMaths are some great resources for improving your basic maths skills, such as maths games and booster packs, the latter being aimed at improving a pupil’s particular grade.
Mymaths can also be used to view online lessons on all topics in KS3 and KS4.
MathsWatch is another website that the school can offer our pupils which has video tutorials on every topic in both KS3 and KS4. The videos are quick, interactive and have questions for you to try with solutions. We generally wait for year 10/11 for pupils to access this but if your eager to progress then please ask your maths teacher for a login.
MethodMaths is where the maths department set homework for pupils in years 10 and 11, it is a website that contains electronic versions of GCSE past papers.
Mock papers are unlocked by a class teacher and Pupils can login and attempt questions, pupils are given instant feedback on marks per question and will receive an overall grade for the paper that they have attempted.
We now have access to KS2 assessments for pupils in KS3 who want to practise their problem solving – a password can be obtained from your maths teacher.
Corbett Maths is a free website that contains video tutorials, worksheets and exam questions on nearly every topic in KS3 and KS4. It also has revision tips, practice questions and past exam papers for you to attempt. We think it’s an excellent website!
We recently had the pleasure of BBC Bitesize at our school to observe maths teachers delivering the new curriculum, the BBC are currently updating Bitesize with new tutorials and content and wanted to see how we approached these new ideas at Hazel Grove High School.
BBC Bitesize is a free website that offers support to pupils on all subjects offered at KS3 and KS4, the maths website is very good. Supportive tutorials with differentiated tasks makes this a must for any pupil to visit who is looking to improve in Mathematics.
Star Dash Studios:
Be a film studio runner, jumping obstacles, collecting stars and practice your Numeracy skills whilst having some fun!
Star Dash studious is a free game to play on your phone and tablet, it’s been created by the National Numeracy strategy as a fun way of practicing and improving your numeracy skills.
“I could play this all day”, “Really fun and helps with my maths skills”, “Very addictive”