Secondary need for numeracy

28th January 2000 at 00:00
NORMAN Edwards suggests that the Year 7 framework for teaching maths was hastily assembled from the primary version.

He may not have seen the introduction, which explains that it has been developed over the past year by representatives from several education authorities and trialled by practising teachers in a sample of primary, middle and secondary schools. It will be piloted in a wider sample of schools in the coming year and extended to Years 8 and 9. As always, we will welcome constructive comment.

Mr Edwards suggests also that the principles of the numeracy strategy do not need to be extended to secondary schools, since they are staffed by trained specialists, who have for some years increased the amount of whol-class interactive teaching, have numeracy policies in place and plan coherent approaches to the teaching of mental and written calculations.

I am sure that this is true in some secondary schools. We will aim to reflect their good work in any training materials, videos and case studies we produce for key stage 3. However, if the practices were as widespread as Mr Edward implies, surely they would be reflected in better curriculum test results at key stage 3, which have remained almost static since 1995, and in relatively better performance by English 14-year-olds in international tests of maths?

Anita Straker


National Numeracy Strategy

London House

59-65 London Street, Reading

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