“Numeracy is an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgements and to use and engage with mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen”.

At Harris Academy Merton we aim to ensure that all students are able to develop their understanding of cross curricular Mathematics.  The development of these skills takes part in all subjects across the Academy as well as in Mathematics lessons.

The emphasis on Mathematics at the academy is strong and students receive 4 lessons a week in years 7, 8 and 9.  This is then enhanced in years 10 and 11 to 5 per week.  All students work towards a GCSE Mathematics qualification with 86% of our students achieving an A* to C in 2012.  Further to this some students have the chance to study GCSE Statistics and Additional GCSE Mathematics, a course that carries UCAS points.

Further to the commitment to Mathematics lessons our students are provided a wide range of opportunities to develop Mathematics in all subjects.  Whether it is ratio and proportion in Art, measuring of heart rates in PE or Chemical equations in Science; our teachers use every opportunity to enhance their pupils’ understanding of Numeracy.  This commitment is further boosted with regular in service training for all our non- maths specialist staff.

Staff at the Academy aim to develop confidence and capability with Number, Shape & Space and Data with all students by utilising opportunities to do so in their own subject areas.  This will give all students the chance to go on and be proficient in their chosen careers or higher education.

Maths Month – March 2012

Numeracy photo

Maths month draws our attention to the significance of numeracy across the curriculum. Maths month was used as a launching board to raise the profile of numeracy as well as to convince teachers that the use of Mathematics Across the curriculum is also their responsibility.

 Accepting the importance of Numeracy, subject teachers were asked to plan a series of lessons with specific demands on numeracy. This tied in nicely with the numeracy challenge the students across all year groups had to complete.

To further promote Mathematics across the curriculum, teachers were given a numeracy sign-off sheet at the start of the Spring Term that is being used to evidence when they use numeracy in their lessons.

During the month, students in Mathematics lessons were treated to a myriad of fun activities ranging from pi discovery to Pascal’s Triangle. The students really enjoyed these activities and showed their enjoyment by making various posters. This is what one student had to say about the importance of Mathematics across the curriculum and Maths Month in particular: ‘Being able to use my maths skills in my other lessons certainly gave me a better understanding of various Mathematical concepts.’

There was also a Literacy-Numeracy display board competition between the Faculties to further highlight the significance of both across the curriculum. The boards across all four Faculties were of the highest standard with lots of creative and dynamic pieces of students’ work. The Art Department had a magnificent display on the Golden Ratio showing the Mathematics of the human body. This shows the effort that staff is making to raise the profile of Mathematics across the curriculum. Numeracy across the curriculum is now a big focus in lesson observations and there were two twilight sessions held in the Spring Term looking at how to incorporate numeracy in lessons. The feedback from staff is that these sessions were very productive and they are positive that these sessions will help them to deliver more engaging lessons.

To top the month off, there was a maths quiz for year 7s and 8s that they found really enjoyable. It was the Blues vs. the Greens in the final but the Greens narrowly won by 1 point on the final buzzer.

We at Harris Academy Merton recognise that, while mathematics can be taught in the context of mathematics lessons, the development of numeracy requires experience in the use of Mathematics beyond the Mathematics classroom, and hence requires an across the curriculum commitment.

Austin Sheppard

Cross Curricular Strand Leader for Numeracy


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