The 'Essentials of Numeracy for All' maps out the component parts of numeracy and how they relate to each other.
The model was devised by National Numeracy with help from an external expert group and underpins our approach to the teaching and learning of numeracy for adults and children. Its aim in not just to develop specific skills and knowledge needed in everyday life but to encourage numerate behaviour and attitudes.
The model shows the five main components of numeracy.
Central to these is ‘Being Numerate’ - that is, having the mathematical habits of mind needed to reason, solve problems and make decisions. These are essential in order to be confident and competent in the other four areas: ‘Numbers and the Number System’, ‘Operations and Calculations’, ‘Handling Information’ and ‘Shape, Space and Measures’.
Other models, such as the Adult Numeracy Core Curriculum in England, delineate the separate skills that everyone needs and the processes that they must learn but do not relate these to the central skill of ‘being numerate’.
‘The Essentials’ underpin all of National Numeracy’s practical education work and apply equally to children at school and to adults improving their skills. For example, the Challenge Online Check-Up and our learning resources are mapped against the five areas of this model. The approach is also being increasingly adopted in a number of external settings.