National Numeracy is excited to support the launch of Norfolk County Council’s new campaign, ‘Count on Norfolk’, which promotes learning at home as a way of increasing children’s numeracy rates. Launched on 30th May, the campaign aims to show parents and carers that numeracy is all around us, and learning opportunities are consistently present, such as when cooking, shopping or watching sports.
The council has unveiled a new website, which provides useful links to other sites, giving parents ideas for teaching numeracy to their children, with a focus on fun and games as tools for learning. The goal is to create a “can-do” attitude for both parents and kids, helping to foster a lifelong growth mind-set which is essential for learning.
The focus on parental engagement ties in wonderfully with previous research done by National Numeracy, ‘The Parent Factor’. This study demonstrated that parental involvement plays a pivotal role in the development of children’s numeracy.
As part of the campaign Norfolk County Council is promoting the Family Maths Toolkit, which is designed to help parents and children develop their numeracy. The toolkit includes many resources, such as workbooks for different age groups, and gives advice on how parents can talk about maths with their kids.
Radio Norfolk supported the campaign launch during the half term week (beginning on 30th May), using Nick Conrad’s breakfast show to highlight how regular people use numeracy in their daily lives. They interviewed people such as firefighters and bakers, and discussed how they use maths day-to-day, to demonstrate that numeracy is an essential life skill for every career.
The council has the backing of local celebrity, former MasterChef contestant, Tim Kinnaird, who runs a bakery in Norfolk. He supports the campaign, pointing out how useful numeracy is in his career, “day-to-day I use fractions, ratios and percentages to convert temperatures and tin sizes, and I also have to do VAT calculations, staff salaries and costings for cakes”. He also points towards inventive uses for maths, “recently I had to calculate the surface area of a cone to work out how many choux buns I needed to make a croquembouche for a wedding”.
By encouraging parental engagement, Norfolk hopes to make numeracy activities at home as much of a regular activity as reading activities are. This is a superb goal, and the council suggests methods that parents can use, all with a focus on fun, which will encourage positive attitudes towards numeracy. Campaigns like this are important in shifting the UK’s culture towards being more positive about numeracy, and we are delighted to support them.