VoicED #3: The importance of numeracy skills

Hooks for Science and Maths lessons

Welcome to VoicED, your newsletter from Oxford, bringing you educational policy, news, views, resources and articles relevant to your classroom – Issue 3

The Autumn term has been an opportunity for pupils to refresh their knowledge and re-engage with learning. ‘Core skills’ had mixed recoveries in the final months of the 20/21 school year, let’s look at some of the key talking points:

  • The Education Policy Institute found that children entering secondary school are estimated to be 2–3 months behind previous cohorts in numeracy, and 1–2 months behind on their literacy skills.
  • Research from the EEF and NFER found that the gap between those who are and are not on the Pupil Premium scheme in key stage 1 has widened since 2019, which may indicate similar patterns across all key stages.
  • Simon Cox and Craig Barton sum up how the recovery of numeracy skills has been non-uniform, with high-attaining pupils recovering better than average but lower-attaining pupils performing worse than average across the country, and that boys have suffered more on average than girls. Could this pose a challenge for maths teachers who have a wider range of abilities in their classroom?

This article from National Numeracy explains why numeracy skills have such wide-ranging benefits; not only in STEM but also via transferable skills such as perseverance, confidence and motivation. Resilience in maths can benefit pupils in ways they might not yet realise, but small changes in perspective can make a big difference.

Since parents/carers are a vital contributor to attainment recovery, encouraging parental support and cultivating a growth mindset, especially when tackling the jump from primary to secondary education, are vital to showing that maths is a subject anyone can be good at and even enjoy. These resources from the EEF look at home learning approaches that can help.

You might also like…

  • Quick summary: A survey of teachers conducted by the Royal Society summarises the impact of Covid-19 on maths education for 3–19 year olds.
  • Ready-to-use resources: These resources from NRICH help teachers and parents to support maths education.
  • Thinking differently: This blog outlines ways you can encourage parents and pupils to adopt a growth mindset and identify where they are limiting their potential.
  • Practical work suggestion: The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics gives tips and guidance on how to adapt maths teaching for the return  to the classroom.
  • Metacognition in STEM: These EEF case studies look at how metacognition can support independent learning and revision across STEM subjects.

And finally… Listen to Craig Barton and Resourceaholic blogger Jo Morgan discuss sequencing in the maths curriculum.

You may also be interested in:

  • Read the latest blogs from Oxford Secondary Education here
  • Read the latest blogs from Oxford Primary Education here
  • Read the latest blogs from Oxford Home here