Numeracy support at home

Numeracy capability is not inherited but attitudes are contagious

Why is numeracy important?

  • Numeracy is necessary for everyday living. From daily activities like telling the time, cooking and setting the table to more difficult tasks such as understanding mobile phone plans, planning a trip, reading a map and understanding timetables.
  • Employers see numeracy as important in the workplace.
  • Research shows that higher numeracy skills lead to higher levels of health and wellbeing.
  • Having higher numeracy skills also leads to better decision making and financial independence.
  • For enjoyment.
  • Understand the world around us and the complex issues we have to deal with in life.

Mathematics and numeracy

The words mathematics and numeracy are often used interchangeably. They are however different.

Mathematics is the study of number, shapes and patterns.

Numeracy is the application of mathematical knowledge and concepts in the real world. Therefore, mathematics is found within numeracy.

As students enter secondary school from primary, a key difference is the way in which mathematical concepts are used. Your child moves from solving problems in the traditional format, to being fluent and needing to reason with possible ideas and justify their thinking in more detail. These are numeracy skills. This is because being a numerate individual means a person can:

  • Understand the problem
  • Reason and ask questions about the problem
  • Be fluent in choosing appropriate procedures or formulae
  • Attempt to solve the problem using their prior knowledge.

The skills required to be numerate individuals are required in every subject and in all aspects of society.

Supporting your child in Numeracy