Maths and Numeracy


Mathematics is the study of the properties, relationships and patterns in number and shape, and the application of this knowledge to analyse, interpret, simplify and solve problems.

Mathematics is a rich and stimulating subject with the capacity to engage and fascinate learners of all ages, interests and abilities. Learning mathematics develops logical reasoning, analysis, problem-solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways, as well as offering opportunities for creativity. It is a universal language of numbers and symbols which allows us to communicate ideas in a concise, unambiguous and rigorous way.

Mathematics is important in everyday life, allowing us to make sense of the world around us. It gives us confidence in dealing with number and in understanding shape, position and movement. It enables us to think abstractly, model real-life situations and make generalisations, and equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, assess risk and make informed decisions. Mathematics can enable us to contribute effectively in the workplace and gives us the capacity to be both creative and logical when enjoying the challenge of solving problems, tackling puzzles or playing games. It has the ability to fascinate and stimulate and is as important to adult learners as it is to children and young learners.

Mathematics plays an important role in other areas, such as science and technologies, and is vital to research and development in fields such as engineering, computer science, medicine and finance. Learning mathematics gives pupils access to the wider curriculum and the opportunity to pursue further studies and interests.


When educators in all sectors find ways of developing numeracy skills as a natural feature of their work, children and young people can recognise that these skills can help them to solve problems and interpret the complex information they come across in their everyday lives. In this way they can become better prepared to apply their skills.

Contexts include:

• managing money and financial planning
• understanding and managing earnings, benefits and credit
• managing a budget in household and work-related situations
• estimating and calculating
• reading timetables, calculating distances and journey times, reading maps
• interpreting information in a variety of graphs and tables.

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