The experiences of both teacher and learner play a significant part in the acquisition of numeracy skills. The teacher’s own ability and confidence with numeracy affects planning, delivery and assessment of these skills and this should be recognised and effectively managed though continuous professional development (CPD), a whole-school approach to embedding numeracy across the curriculum and support from external partners.
The learner needs to acquire the necessary procedural skills at the correct time in their education, maintain these skills and develop numerical reasoning skills such that they can transfer and apply them to real-life contexts; preparing them for progression through formal education and adult life. The environment in which they learn must be stimulating and rich in opportunities for numeracy skills to be learnt and enhanced and, above all, relevant to every learner.
The National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) is statutory from Reception to Year 9 providing a focus for schools, and other adults involved in the learners’ education, to structure learning, assess and review numeracy learning and teaching. The national tests will provide a measure of success. The introduction of a new Numeracy GCSE and the raising of the bar for entry and progression through initial teacher training (ITT) highlight the importance of numeracy and its priority for the Welsh Government. The raising of standards is at the heart of this reform, for individuals, society and Wales as part of the international community.
A lot of energy has been placed into driving up the quality of post-16 numeracy/mathematics delivery in Wales including the development of:
- specialist post-16 numeracy/mathematics PGCE and Cert Ed teaching qualifications for new and in-service teachers
- numeracy practitioner qualifications at Levels 3 and 5
- numeracy support qualifications at Level 2.