‘We use mathematics as a tool to make sense of and understand the world around us.  We need mathematics to help us put events and trends into perspective, to look rationally and reasonably at aspects of these events that may not appear on the surface.  Mathematics helps us go deeper.’ – Paul Reimer

Being numerate means having the confidence and skill to use numbers and mathematical approaches in all aspects of life: at work; in practical everyday activities at home and beyond; as consumers; in managing our finances; as parents helping children to learn; as patients making sense of health information; and as citizens understanding the world about us.

Being numerate means being able to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts and to apply these in a range of contexts and to solve a variety of problems.  Being numerate is as much about thinking and reasoning logically as about ‘doing sums’.

It means being able to:

  • Interpret data, charts and diagrams
  • Process information
  • Solve problems
  • Check answers
  • Understand and explain solutions
  • Make decisions based on logical thinking and reasoning.

Numeracy involves skills such as the ability to use numbers and solve problems in real life.


Numeracy at Shuttleworth College appears not just in mathematics lessons but at some point in almost every subject, most prominently in science and geography.  We aim to ensure that whenever numeracy appears in college it is taught with consistency to enable understanding in all areas.  We track what numeracy is used in other subjects to ensure that you can see this first in mathematics lessons, which will support your numeracy understanding and progress.

Numeracy is delivered by all teachers, not just mathematics teachers.  Some is delivered by form tutors in a morning, where numeracy based problems are solved.  The financial capability side of numeracy is also delivered in mathematics lessons as well as PSHE, to prepare you for your lives outside of college.  If you enter college in Year 7 and need more help with your numeracy skills, you will be offered additional support and intervention through the SEND faculty.

There are regular opportunities for you to develop your numeracy skills around college, for example through extra-curricular activities organised by the UKMT (UK Mathematics Trust) and ‘Mathletes’ challenges throughout the year.

Key contact name, role & email

Mr P Harrison

Lead Practitioner – Maths


01282 682300