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									                                    Education Services

Curriculum Policy
                                             February 2001

                    Catholic Education Office
                         Diocese of Wollongong

                        Numeracy Policy

                                         “I have come so that they
                                         may have life and have it
                                         to the full”
                                                       John 10:10

                                          CATHOLIC E DUCATION

                                         DIOCESE OF WOLLONGONG
                       PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS

The Catholic school is founded on the Gospel values of justice, equity and
transformation. Catholic schools are concerned with the formation of questioning
Christians who have
    “respect for others; conscientious responsibility; a sincere and constant
    search for truth; a calm and peaceful critical spirit; a solidarity with, and
    service toward all other persons; a sensitivity for justice; (and) a special
    awareness of being called to be positive agents of change in a society that
    is undergoing continuous transformation” (Lay Catholics in Schools:
    Witnesses to Faith. n.64).

Consequently, the development of a high standard of numeracy is an essential task if
students are to become active participants and shapers of society. Catholic educators
believe that:
• to participate effectively in society, individuals need to develop an innate
    numeracy that allows them to use their mathematical skills to interpret
    quantitative information, perform mental calculations, estimate and measure
• numeracy learning is lifelong and extends beyond the school context to the wider
• numerate individuals are better equipped to effectively participate in a
    technologically advanced society
• all students should be given the opportunity to develop their numeracy levels to
    their full potential
• explicit teaching and efficient use of time are necessary for effective numeracy
    learning to occur
• well-developed literacy skills enhance further numeracy learning across all Key
    Learning Areas
• literacy and numeracy involve complementary skills
• the early years of schooling are critical in the shaping of effective numeracy

What is Numeracy?

Numeracy (mathematical literacy) refers to the individual’s ability to use
mathematical ideas efficiently to make sense of the world. It makes use of number
and spatial sense combined with critical mathematical thinking involving
measurement, chance and data.
To be numerate, is to use mathematics effectively to meet the general demands of life
at home, in paid work and for participation in community and civil life.
A numerate individual is one who has the ability to interpret, apply and communicate
mathematical information in commonly encountered situations to enable full, critical
and effective participation in everyday life.
School Numeracy Policy

Systemic schools will develop a numeracy policy in consultation with teaching staff
and the wider community that reflects the expectations of the Diocesan numeracy
policy. School numeracy policies will take account of each school’s circumstances
and needs and will contain a statement that describes the values, beliefs and
understandings, underpinning the policy. The statement will reflect the priorities
developed by each school community through a consultative process.

School Numeracy Plan

In consultation with Catholic Education Office, teaching staff and the wider
community, schools will develop a numeracy plan. Schools are encouraged to design
their own numeracy plans, that:
•   identify key focus areas
•   have an agreed set of outcomes
•   outline the strategies that will be used to achieve these outcomes
•   detail how the effectiveness of strategies will be evaluated
•   identify the indicators that will be used to measure student achievement
•   detail the personnel responsible for each focus area
•   are signed off with the appropriate Head of Cluster Services
•   are published and made available to the school community


Systemic schools will employ a range of tools to assess and report on student
achievement. The following measures must form part of the school’s overall
assessment and reporting procedures:
•   Primary
       o Starting with Assessment – Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Stage 2
       o Basic Skills Test (BST)
•   Secondary
       o Secondary Numeracy Assessment Project (SNAP)
       o School Certificate Mathematics Test

All assessment information collected will form part of the ongoing assessment and
observation that teachers use to:
•   monitor and report on students’ progress at system, school and community levels
•   evaluate the effectiveness of learning/teaching programs and
•   design more effective learning/teaching programs
Learning and Teaching

All schools are expected to implement relevant Diocesan numeracy strategies
including Starting With Assessment and, where necessary, individual learning
programs for students with specific numeracy needs.

All primary and secondary schools must ensure that numeracy strategies that support
students’ numeracy development are embedded in learning and teaching programs
across Key Learning Areas.

Time Allocation

All primary school teachers will allocate a daily numeracy block of approximately
one hour. This will allow schools to meet the requirements of the Mathematics K- 6
syllabus while providing scope for the integration of other Key Learning Areas.

Professional Development

The Principal and school leadership team will, in consultation with teaching staff,
devise and implement a plan for professional development in response to numeracy
needs that is embedded in the School Strategic Plan. This will include participation
in Diocesan professional development activities.

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