Numeracy is the ability to use numbers and solve problems in real life. Numeracy is everywhere and essential for modern life. It is needed for solving problems, making sense of numbers, time, patterns, and shapes. Numeracy is therefore essential for activities such as cooking, reading receipts and instructions, and even playing sport.

People who are not confident and capable with numbers are estimated to be worse off than those with good numeracy skills. A 2014 National Numeracy report found that the average cost to individuals with poor numeracy is £460 a year.

At Bedford High School we appreciate the importance of numeracy and the role it plays across all of education. It is our mission to:

  • Share our enjoyment of maths and highlight when we have used it in everyday life.
  • Dispel the myth that only a few people are “naturally” good at maths
  • Encourage parents to be positive about maths
  • Be aware of what we say about our ability with maths, especially around children.
  • Challenge people that make negative comments about maths
  • Discuss with pupils if we hear celebrities saying they “can’t do maths”

Read below or follow us on social media to find out more about numeracy at Bedford High School

Facebook: Search “Bedford High School Numeracy”

Twitter: @Bedford Numeracy

  • Numeracy Word of the Week
  • Numeracy Challenge of the Week
  • Problem Solving Club
  • Maths Career of the Term
  • Pi Day
  • Numeracy Lessons
  • KS4 Form Time Intervention
  • I use numeracy for…
  • Reading List

Numeracy Word of the Week

Every week, all our staff and pupils will be given a Numeracy Word of the Week. This will use the Frayer model, which has been repeatedly demonstrated to improve the learning and usage of vocabulary. Pupils will be encouraged to use the word as much as possible in the appropriate contexts.

Numeracy Challenge of the Week

Every week, all our staff and pupils will be given a Numeracy Challenge of the Week. The pupils that solve the most problem every half-term or any pupil that solves a particularly difficult problem will receive a reward.

Problem Solving Club

Every week, pupils will have the opportunity to attend problem solving club where they will work together to work on various engaging numeracy problems.  This will include maths games, puzzles, quizzes, codebreaking, and maths investigations designed to improve numerical ability and provide enjoyment.

Maths Career of the Term

Every term, Key Stage 3 pupils will be asked to complete a project identifying the maths involved in a specified job. This can be in the form of a poster, a booklet or even a model.

Numeracy Ninjas

During form time, Key Stage 3 pupils will work on Numeracy Ninjas. This is designed to promote growth mindset, fill in gaps in pupils’ mental calculation strategies and promote the maths fluency they will require when they move on to studying for their GCSEs.

Try it now by clicking on this link –

Pi Day

Pi Day is an annual international celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the American month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is probably one of the most well-known and important  constants in mathematics.

Pupils will take part in cross-curricular activities celebrating and investigating the widespread use and importance of Pi.

Find your birthday in Pi here:

Learn more about Pi Day here:

Numeracy Lessons

Identified pupils receive numeracy lessons targeted to their needs in maths. Pupils will work through work designed to identify and address gaps and misconceptions that they will require to succeed in their wider maths education and across the curriculum. The approach in numeracy emphasises ongoing assessment, careful observation, gauging student’s current knowledge and strategies, and building on them to increase their ability and self-confidence in mathematics.

KS4 Form Time Intervention

Identified Key Stage 4 pupils will receive additional maths intervention during form time to support their preparation for sitting their GCSE in maths. This approach will be based on using Corbett Maths 5-a-day for assessment and correction of misconceptions, and the provision of exam strategies to allow pupils to increase their ability and self-confidence in GCSE-level mathematics.

Use this link to find out more about Corbett Maths 5-a-day:

I use numeracy for… 

Teachers will display “I use numeracy for…” posters in their classrooms. These will detail the various ways they use numeracy in their everyday lives in order to promote discussion with their classes.

Reading List

The following books may be of interest to pupils who enjoy maths or who want to develop their knowledge of maths in history and in real life. There are many more than are featured here!

  • The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
  • Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
  • The Colossal Book of Mathematics by Martin Gardner
  • 17 Equations That Changed the World by Ian Stewart
  • Humble Pi by Matt Parker
  • How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg
  • Euclid in the Rainforest by Joseph Mazur
  • Four Colours Suffice by Robin Wilson
  • What is Mathematics Really? by Reuben Hersh
  • Games of Life by Karl Sigmund
  • Weird Maths by David Darling