Improving numeracy in key stage 2 and key stage 3 - April 2010


Since 2005, there has been very little improvement in standards of attainment at key stage 2 and key stage 3. Overall, girls continue to perform better than boys, although the gap in performance is small. More able and talented boys perform well. In primary schools where standards of numeracy are good, pupils have the opportunity to develop their skills across the whole curriculum. Only a few secondary schools provide the same opportunity.
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Schools should:

  • exploit opportunities for pupils to apply their numeracy skills across the curriculum;
  • plan carefully to make sure that pupils have learned the necessary skills in mathematics before they need them elsewhere;
  • support pupils who make the least progress; and
  • make better use of information about pupils’ achievements in numeracy when they transfer to the secondary phase.

Local authorities should:

  • monitor numeracy intervention programmes in schools more thoroughly to know whether they offer value for money; and
  • make sure that schools track pupils’ progress more rigorously.

The Welsh Assembly Government should:

  • continue to make funding available local authorities and schools to improve numeracy skills; and
  • impress on local authorities and schools the need to develop a strategic approach to planning, monitoring and evaluating targeted numeracy intervention programmes.

For a full list of recommendations, please download the report.