March TeachMeet: Literacy and Numeracy in unexpected places


There was another good turnout for TeachMeet, with about 15 teachers representing Business and Economics; English and Media; Humanities; Psychology, Philosophy and Law; Physics and Computing, and Visual and Expressive Arts curriculum areas plus Academic Support.

The topic under discussion was how to develop literacy and numeracy, particularly in areas where the connections are less obvious.


Discussions included:

  • Use of statistics in economic history, percentages etc
  • How to involve numeracy in A+D, Law, Drama – some ideas including emphasis on the business element
  • Physics – asking “Is This A Sensible Answer?” (ITASA) to develop estimation, order of magnitude understanding. How to extend this to other subjects?
  • In Accountancy and Psychology, numeracy important, but literacy felt to be the limiting factor


Discussions included:

  • Physics, use of word walls, short spelling tests, modelling written answers – Accountancy and Psychology did similar
  • Art use writing frameworks and also “box full of words” which can be given out or chosen as stimulation for discussion and writing. Also used bank of examples
  • Music had a simple toolbox of vocabulary, set phrases etc
  • Drama work on paragraphs, agreed that this was a key skill limiting progress in many subjects
  • In History, deliberately badly worded paragraphs are used for criticism. “What is wrong with this?”
  • Intensive teaching of exam technique for written questions used in many subjects, including apparently literacy-light ones (Electronics, Accountancy)

There were free discussions at the end about the future use of BKSB and about the impact of EAL.


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