Headache navigating new numeracy maze

17th August 2007 at 01:00
TEACHERS ARE sounding alarm bells on The TES website forum over the new framework for maths, which starts in September.

Helen Barnes, a Year 34 teacher at Edenham primary in Lincolnshire, said: "The numeracy framework is a minefield. It is not easy to follow and not an improvement on what we had before.

"I wish they would just leave us alone for a little while. It is as if they feel that if they don't write it down for us to follow, a generation of children will not get educated. Well, that's not going to happen."

The national numeracy strategy was launched in September 1999. An official evaluation in 2003 discovered it was more popular with teachers than the literacy strategy because it was easier to implement and had more impact on pupils.

But the renewed framework has not proved as welcome. Teachers commenting on The TES primary forum said that while literacy lessons have become more flexible, the numeracy framework is difficult to follow.

One poster on the website said: "The maths seems really confusing to me. As a staff we decided last term that we were sick of spending hours trying to use the new framework, only to feel that what we delivered was inferior to what we were doing before."

Another said: "The objectives are all over the place for numeracy. You don't seem to have the chance to go over anything in detail and make sure the children have grasped it before you move on."

A spokeswoman for the national strategies said: "In September schools begin the process of using the frameworks. They will become fully embedded over the academic year. There is a programme of professional development to support this process."

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