At Hillside we place an extremely high value on the delivery of numeracy for all our pupils. Being numerate is essential for all pupils enabling them to access several key areas of the curriculum, and for day to day life in the world outside school. Strong numeracy skills are key to securing the best college places and workplace opportunities.
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. Here are some examples of what we mean by numeracy:
Being able to manage family budgets – credit cards, offers at supermarkets etc.
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.
Being able to critically assess statistics used by advertisers or politicians.
In order to give our pupils to best possible chances to develop strong numeracy skills we aim to develop and improve standards of numeracy through providing models and opportunities for pupils to practise using number in a range of lessons; not just mathematics.
Each classroom has numeracy displays which outline the basic skills in addition and subtraction. We also have a numeracy logo displayed in all classrooms to make numeracy links explicit across the curriculum.
Teachers will plan to develop and improve standards of numeracy through providing good models and opportunities for pupils to practise their skills. This could be through a range of activities including: retrieving information from graphs and charts, putting events in chronological order, using timetables to plan journeys, costing holidays and other events, measuring ingredients and materials, making scale models, using co-ordinates etc. Pupils will be expected and encouraged to use a range of mental mathematics strategies to answer simple questions outside of mathematics lessons. Where more complex calculations are needed, pupils will be expected to clearly show each stage of the working out leading to the final answer.
Most parents will encourage their child to take maths seriously and try and help in the best way they can. However, not everyone has a natural talent for maths and along with the different methods that are being used today it may be difficult at times to help your child with their work at home.
Even if maths is not your strongest subject there are still ways in which you can support your child. Family maths toolkit gives plenty of information and advice on supporting your child at home with their maths work. The website contains information on the following topics:
Maths 4 Mums and Dads explains some of the key milestones that children make between the ages of 3 and 11 years old. Even though the website is aimed at KS2 pupils there are skill important tips that will support numeracy development.
Numeracy Ninjas is a numeracy intervention designed to fill gaps in students’ basic mental calculation strategies and also to empower them with the numeracy skills and fluency required to fully access GCSE Maths concepts. Through growth mindsets and the promotion of regular practice, we want to ensure students’ perception of maths is positive and one in which they take pride and enjoyment.
Numeracy Ninjas is a project driven by the belief that all students can leave school functionally numerate.
In year 7 and 8, one form time a week pupils complete a 5 minute skills test which includes: 10 questions on mental numeracy calculation strategies, 10 timetables questions and 10 questions on key topics that must be mastered.
The questions are marked in class by the pupils who record their Ninja Score out of 30. This corresponds to a particular colour Ninja Belt.
Only a Ninja Score of 30 will earn students the coveted Black Ninja Belt! This little-and-often approach supports the research that constant revisiting of topics ensures that pupils numeracy skills and fluency are retained over time.
The UKMT Individual Maths Challenges are lively, intriguing multiple choice question papers, which are designed to stimulate interest in maths for the most able pupils. The three levels cover the secondary school range 11-18 and together they attract over 600,000 entries from over 4,000 schools and colleges. Here at Hillside we offer the Junior and Inter-Mediate levels from 11-16.
For more information on the Trust please follow the link below.