Investigation into the development of numeracy across the curriculum in a south Wales comprehensive school
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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In 2012, the Welsh government attempted to address the age-old problem of Welsh pupils underachievement in key skills by introducing the Literacy and Numeracy Framework, becoming statutory in 2013. One aspect to the improvement of mathematics skills of Welsh pupils could lie in cross-curricular work to develop the pupils’ application of numeracy skills. This small-scale case study looks at how one school approached this development and attempts to identify areas where cross-curricular numeracy could be further developed. The study comprised four main elements, a literature review, a survey of all school staff, an interview with the numeracy coordinator and an analysis of pupils’ national numeracy test results. The literature review showed that the performance of Welsh pupils in Numeracy is below that of the other U.K. countries and under performing in the international PISA tests. Responses from the staff survey showed a lot of positive aspects with regards to the appreciation of the need for a focus on numeracy, but also highlighted a number of issues, which could prove to be stumbling blocks to effective development of pupils’ numeracy skills. These issues were further emphasized through the interview with the numeracy coordinator although again there were a number of positive responses. The numeracy coordinator gave a number of suggestions of how the situation could be improved which agreed with elements of the literature research. Despite the negative aspects and the potential to further develop the aspect of numeracy across the curriculum, the analysis of results showed that there is a positive trend of improvement in these skills. In conclusion, the study shows that the numeracy skills of pupils appears to be improving and this could be due to the emphasis given to these skills through the LNF and the work done by the numeracy coordinator in developing the cross-curricular aspect of numeracy. At the same time, the study highlights a number of ways that the delivery of numeracy across the curriculum could be further enhanced but only if the will of school leadership lies in the same direction.
MA Education - Dissertation
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