What is Numeracy?

We think of Numeracy as proficiency in “everyday” mathematics. Success in this area is the responsibility of every student, member of staff and parent - not just Maths teachers!
Mathematics is an enabling subject. In addition to what they study in their Maths lessons, we aim to equip students with the fundamental skills that they require for their studies across the school and beyond. Our vision is for every student at Edgbarrow School to leave the school equipped with the numeracy skills that they need outside of a school environment. Being numerate in today’s society is, put quite simply, essential. Whether you are shopping for groceries, paying household bills or planning a budget the numeracy and problem-solving skills that students develop now are incredibly important.

What do we do now?

Mathematical Vocabulary and Notation

In Maths lessons, students are explicitly taught mathematical vocabulary and notation.

Vocabulary is taught to enable students to have a common framework to discuss problems. All members of the Maths department encourage students to use correct mathematical language in each lesson.

We expect the highest levels of mathematical notation from our students. The standards of notation required for A-level study are familiar to all members of staff in the department and we bring this expertise to all Mathematics lessons beginning in Year 7. Our high expectations of notation are reinforced throughout the Key Stages.  At Key Stage 5, we have developed a marking shorthand that is shared with students and aims to focus their attention on language, layout and syntax.

Calculator use

All students have access to a calculator in Mathematics lessons. These are used, not to remove the need for numeracy, but to reinforce numerical principles. Students use their calculators to reduce the cognitive load to allow them to better reflect on the numerical ideas on which they are focusing.

UKMT Mathematics Challenges

Every year, students across the school take part in both the individual and team Math competitions run annually by the UKMT and AMSP. This promotes an innate understanding of numeracy coupled with a problem-solving focus.

Numeracy in other subjects

Students are taught skills in Mathematics lessons which are required across the school. Fundamental numerical principles underpin elements of each subject and competency and fluency with these are essential. Whether considering calculation skills required for Science or measurement and proportion skills in Art it is clear that mathematical principles are used across the curricula. Numeracy is also taught as part of the PSHE curriculum covering a wide range of topics including income tax, mortgages and loans and budgeting.

The Maths department teaches a range of topics to support this throughout Key Stage 3 and, where possible, use examples of these techniques from different subjects.


We recognise that numeracy is not something that comes easily to all students. We ensure that our setting structure allows students who need more support are placed into smaller groups. In addition to this, we run regular interventions for identified students to boost their achievement in Mathematics as part of our ongoing commitment to ambition and success for all.

Moving forward?

Co-curricular opportunities

We will increase the availability of co-curricular Mathematics for students across the school. We will be relaunching our whole school Numeracy competition during the next academic year and this will be available to all students.

Numeracy in other Subjects

To further develop consistency across different subjects, we are continuing to include specific references in our schemes of work to applications in other subjects. This will enable us to make it more explicit to students when and where they will use the skills and processes across the school.

Continuing discussions between Heads of Department and the Maths team will increase the links between Math lessons and content in other lessons.


We will continue to work proactively with the Progress team so that identified students are suitably supported in developing their numeracy.


Time Tables Rock Stars - a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice.

Edgbarrow School
24 May 2022