At St. Robert of Newminster RC School, we understand the important role that parents and carers can play in helping their child to develop confidence within applying numeracy and mathematics skills across all subjects and in daily life.
Numeracy skills are used in almost every subject that pupils learn at school, in some form, and are vital to helping them build a successful future beyond their school years. It is imperative that pupils leave school with numeracy skills that can help them in their daily life. Some of the most important examples of this include maintaining a good job and dealing with home-owner responsibilities, such as paying bills and finding the best deals. According to the National Numeracy Organisation, better numeracy skills are linked to improved health and wellbeing, as well as better employment and higher wages. Workplaces name numeracy skills as being one of the most common skills gaps in their employees. It is therefore crucial that every child can develop the confidence to tackle numerical problems with a positive attitude. We appreciate the important role that parents may play in helping to develop this confidence and engagement.
“88% of children say their maths confidence improves when parents become more involved in their learning.”
National Numeracy Organisation
“What parents do with their children at home is much more significant than any other factor open to educational influence.”
Desforges and Abouchaar
“Believing that you can do maths is half the battle – your mindset is key to success or failure.”
“Why is it not okay to say “I can’t read”, but okay to say you can’t do maths?”
Parent Guide to Numeracy and Maths
Here at St. Robert’s, we want parents and carers to feel confident in helping their child with maths at home. We are fully aware that some methods that may have been used when you were taught mathematics may be different to those that your child uses. With this in mind, we have created this booklet with a range of common methods and approaches that we use to teach mathematics. We hope that this can help you to support your child with applying their numeracy skills in whichever subject it may be needed.
Numeracy in the World Around Us
Numeracy is everywhere. Everything you do contains some element of numeracy. Below are some ideas for ways you can help support your child in developing numeracy in everyday life and foster a positive “can-do” approach.
Baking and cooking: How much of each ingredient will we need if we want to make half of the recipe, or double, or for a certain amount of servings? What time will we need to start cooking if we want to finish by a certain time? How many chocolate buttons will we need if we put three on each cupcake?
Shopping: If the sale has 25% off, how much will I save? How much will the item now cost? Which item has the best value? How much will 5 of these cost? How many packs will we need? What change will I get from a £5 note?
Sports: What is the score? How many more goals do they need to win? What is treble twenty? What do these statistics mean? How long is left of the game? When will it be half time?
Games: How many more jumps do I need to get to that position? How can I move 12 steps by rolling a double? If we roll two dice, how many ways could I move 6?
One key aspect to remember is that maths shouldn’t be associated with how quickly you can do something. It is better to have a deeper understanding and a slower approach, rather than a rushed approach with little method.
The following websites may help if you are wanting advice on supporting your child with numeracy or would like to improve your own numeracy skills.
Family Maths Toolkit: Advice on how to support your child with maths. There is also a section with activities for children.
National Numeracy: How to feel good about maths and access home learning materials.
The Open University: Free everyday maths course 1.
The Open University: Free everyday maths course 2.
Maths on Toast: A family maths charity with activities that can be done at home.
NRICH Maths: Lots of maths activities, with a ‘maths at home’ page.
You Cubed: Tasks for pupils to try to develop a sense of empowerment linked to maths.
Corbett Maths: An excellent website for both parents and pupils, containing videos that explain each topic in depth, as well as basic and exam-style questions with corresponding worked solutions.
- The most important thing is to help your child develop a positive attitude with maths and numeracy and to not ‘fear’ the subject. Maths is a subject that improves with the more practice we get, and we all have different starting points. Seeing you being positive about numeracy and maths will likely make them feel positive too.
- Help your child to develop curiosity and link numeracy with things that interest them.
- Praise your child for their efforts with maths. It is much more important for them to feel empowered and positive about maths, rather than focusing on their ability. By working hard and feeling positive about it, they will automatically strive to improve and gain confidence. Developing a ‘can-do’ approach, no matter how tricky the topic, is essential.
- Encourage your child to use their maths book to help them with their homework. Not only does this encourage them to be independent and resourceful, it also means that they are consolidating the methods that they have been taught.
- Have a look at our “Numeracy Guide for Parents” (linked above) to help with methods that we teach at St. Roberts.