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Numeracy Skills

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 7 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
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In short numeracy skills are the basic mathematical skill sets required by any pupil in primary and secondary education. These numeracy skills are designed to help with the more advanced levels of mathematics that pupils will encounter during the school lives and also into their adulthood.

Adding and Subtraction

Obviously these are the two most important aspects of numeracy that must be taught from an early age. It is an important mathematical grounding for a child to be able to add and subtract. This encourages them to work with numbers and to enjoy working with numbers and also allows them to gain an understanding as to how numbers are used in everyday situations such as the use of money and the telling of time.


Multiplying - and the ability to multiply - is seen as the next step in the numeracy skill sets. Being able to multiply and complete the times tables are important and very useful for a child during both their education and in later life. Children are encouraged to learn their multiplication tables from the lowest common denominator upwards, starting with one multiplied by one, two multiplied by one and so on.


Being able to divide is something again which is very useful during all manner of everyday life. From shopping to telling the time, the use of division is a prerequisite and something which maths teachers spend a lot of time teaching their pupils.

Long division is still taught but it must be said not to the same degree as was perhaps taught when our mothers and fathers were at school. It must be said that with the advent of the pocket calculator the need for long division is perhaps not as relevant as it once was.


Percentages are everywhere now; in shopping, paying bills, measurements; it is important to teach our children how to read and use percentages to their fullest. Simple examples of this would be; what is 25% of 100? Obviously during the course of our everyday lives percentages can take on more difficult forms to calculate but it is hoped that by teaching our children how to calculate percentages from a relatively early age that they can grasp the requirements of such calculations before reaching adulthood.


Again fractions are not as popular as they might have been when our parents or grandparents were at school but they are still a necessary part of mathematical life. The teaching of fractions is designed so that our children can understand such things as pie charts, league tables, and other statistics. It is common place for the media for example to use such phrases as 'two thirds of the population' and it is useful for our children to be able to express these figures as fractions.

All in all the numeracy skills set is designed to firmly instil in our children the need for understanding when it comes to mathematics and numbers. It is also designed to allow our children to express themselves not only through the use of the English language but also through equations and formulas.

All schools in the United Kingdom now operate numeracy skills learning with the intention of helping improve our children's use of numbers in everyday life with confidence and accuracy.

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