Have you noticed?

8th September 2000 at 01:00
I NOW know as much as I want to know about the Numeracy Hour.

Our information workshop for parents was surprisingly well attended and the teacher in charge was enthusiastic.

"You can find maths everywhere!" he told us encouragingly. "Even if you are reading

a book you can count the letter frequencies."

"Do you get invited to many parties?" enquired a voice from the back.

The governors too turned out in force, but had to be told off for re-living Leicester City's penalty shoot-outs while Sir was explaining the relationships between fractions, decimals and percentages. The headteacher, when called upon to place her number on the numberline, mised entirely, like a blindfold child trying to pin a tail on a donkey.

The supporting Department for Education and Employment videos purported to show parents helping children with maths: but all we saw were parents testing children who got every question right.

"What do we do when our children get things wrong, or don't understand them, and we don't either?" I asked.

"We are always here to help," said the maths co-ordinator.

"Not in Sainsbury's on a Saturday morning you're not," said the governor with special responsibility for football.

I expect Sir was quite glad to get back to the simple business of teaching kids next morning.

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