Everyone needs to be numerate to maximise their life chances and to make a positive contribution to society. The effect of poor numeracy on people’s lives is often much less obvious than poor literacy. But there is substantial evidence that low numeracy skills are associated with poor outcomes for many people. The need for numeracy in the workplace is greater than ever. There are fewer unskilled jobs in manufacturing, but there has been growth in the service industry, where roles often require an understanding of IT, target-setting or financial awareness.
This guide has been put together in order to help parents and pupils find their way with the basic numeracy skills required to cope in society today. How this guide is used is entirely personal choice. By parent/carer as a means of staying ‘up’ with the latest methods of teaching numeracy skills in the classroom allowing them to help more confidently at home if a child needs extra assistance with concepts learned in school. By pupil as a means of reminding them how to undertake certain tasks or learning ‘extra’ skills before they face them in the classroom. However this guide is used it’s simple purpose is to raise awareness of what ‘basic’ numeracy skills are and how they work. These skills are used by all of us in a daily basis and the role of learning these skills extends far beyond the walls of Whitburn Academy into everyday life. Whilst pupils may feel that skills such as budgeting, DIY, cooking and getting from A to B are solely the responsibility of much ‘older’ folk than them there is no reason why they cannot gain some experience of them albeit to varying degrees. The list below gives some ideas as to where opportunities arise on an almost daily basis where our youngsters can be given ‘tasks’ or extra responsibilities as to real-life situations they are likely to face in the future :
- Plan the dinner with a budget – buy ingredients, follow a recipe (cost, portion size, weighing ingredients, cooking times …)
- Games – Darts, Snooker, Cards, Quoits - always make them the scorekeeper.
- Make them in charge of totalling/checking receipts, handing over cash & checking change
- Let them check your monthly bank statement – have a discussion about what gets paid in and in and what outgoings there are.
- Have a chat about what your job is, what is expected, the good things, the not so good things, the skills & qualities you need to do it & the realities of working full/part time.
- Allocate a set budget and get your child to plan a weekend away – petrol costs, accommodation costs, meals/entertainment once there. If it’s a success maybe even book up and look at how accurate the budgeting was – any surprises?
- Going on the bus/train – get them to work out which one to go for and which one to get back – what are the costs involved.
- Out for a meal? At the shops? Give them the money to pay for things – count it out, check change, share the bill out amongst a group.
- Want dessert? Recite the 8 times table first!!
These are only a few ideas as to how you can get more involved in your child’s learning but the best way to learn is to actually DO and get experience of all the areas where numbers & numeracy exist. There will be are many more ways to do this, find some that suits you.
If you need more information on numeracy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at the school on 01501 740675 or email email@example.com.
Barry Scobie – PTC Numeracy