Numeracy at Belvidere School
Numeracy is the ability to understand and use Maths in daily life, at home, school or work. Numeracy skills are intrinsic in many aspects of life and across the curriculum at Belvidere. Each term we have a numeracy focus where all staff promote a specific numeracy skill such as dealing with money or telling the time. Every job requires some element of numeracy, whether it be calculations, problem solving or reasoning. We therefore recognise the importance of giving our students the skills they need, to equip them for adulthood.
At Belvidere, we think that having a positive attitude towards Maths is the key to success. This is something that we try to promote across the school by running creative house competitions such as the ‘Numeracy Advent Calendar’ at Christmas. The overwhelming number of entries for this particular competition was a fantastic representation of how our students embraced the challenge and enjoy numeracy, regardless of their academic ability.
To improve confidence in Maths, we are able to provide many of our students with extra support in the form of small intervention groups. In the academic year 2021-22, 48% of our Year 7 students received extra Maths intervention. During this time, misconceptions were identified and consequently rectified. By having small groups of students with similar abilities, children are encouraged to speak up about any questions they may have or discuss any areas of Maths they are particularly struggling with. By enabling students to have strong building blocks in their mathematical skills, they are forming a solid foundation to build upon, throughout their 5-year journey at Belvidere.
The number of students that talk so positively about Maths is testament to how much they enjoy Maths at Belvidere. However, Maths anxiety is a very real issue that can affect children and adults of all mathematical abilities. We do our best to support students in overcoming this anxiety at Belvidere but a holistic approach from both school and home is the most effective method. You can find out more about Maths anxiety here https://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/what-issue/about-maths-anxiety
Tips for parents:
- Be positive about Maths – try not to put any negative past experiences you may have had with Maths onto your children. If you say you ‘didn’t like it’ or ‘couldn’t do it’ your children may start to believe the same. Success relies on a positive mind-set towards the subject. If a child believes they can achieve, they will.
- Point out Maths in your everyday lives – this could involve a project you are doing at home, could they help with measuring or costing a home-improvement project? When cooking, talk to your children about timings, temperature of the oven and the weight of ingredients. The cost of living is affecting everyone, talking about money will not only give your children the skills they need numerically when they are older, but also an appreciation of how much things cost. We are increasingly living in a cash-less society, teaching young people about different methods of payment including dealing with cash is a useful skill for when they are older.
- Talk about the time - we are finding that an increasing number of children are struggling to tell the time on an analogue clock due to the number of digital clocks taking precedence in our lives, on mobile phones, computers etc. By having an analogue clock in your family home and talking about the time with your children, you are helping them with a skill they will use throughout their lives.
- Praise your child for effort – a child shouldn’t just be praised for being ‘clever’. If a child knows that their effort is being recognised, they will be encouraged to try again. We want to show our young people that through trying hard, they will always improve and make progress.
- More information on how you can help your child with their numeracy skills can be found at https://www.familymathstoolkit.org.uk/