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Numeracy @ Cardinal Heenan

Numeracy across the Curriculum

Cardinal Heenan continues to drive forward with monitoring and implementation of numeracy across the curriculum. A subject audit was initially carried out across all subjects detailing where elements of numeracy interlinked with each specific subject. This was also highlighted in the each subject’s scheme of work. This allows the identification and monitoring of agreed strategies of mathematic teaching to ensure a consistent approach is adopted across whole school.

Instances of pupils using numeracy skills in subjects other than mathematics are praised and rewarded with positive points via classcharts. Pupils identify the positive reward and encourages them to practice and apply their numeracy skills in other subjects apart from mathematics.  

“Liverpool Counts Days” where introduced to Cardinal Heenan in 2017 and to this day they are still a success. Liverpool Counts Days take place five times a year. They provide pupils with the opportunity of completing fun numeracy based activities in each of their lessons for the day. Puzzles and activities are selected/designed and evaluated by our very own Numeracy Committee and each teacher incorporates them into their lessons. This allows pupils to use their problem solving, logic and number skills in each lesson of that day. It also allows pupils to witness other teachers promote a positive attitude towards numeracy.

Liverpool Counts Quality Mark

In July 2019, Cardinal Heenan achieved the gold status of the “Liverpool Counts Quality Mark”. During the assessment day Dave Carden (Liverpool Learning Partnership) assessed all the evidence that was submitted from the numeracy champion and spoke to a variety of pupils and staff from the school community. Ben C, Adam H, Roman B, Charlie J and Josh N, (members of the Numeracy Committee) spoke with confidence and enthusiasm to the assessor as well as Ben and Roman taking the lead on a learning walk around the school highlighting the essence of the quality mark in the school environment.

Some of comments made in the report by the assessor were as follows:

  • “The work of the Maths Champion was key in driving forward many of the QM criteria with consistency and enthusiasm. The co-ordinator had regularly kept the key figures informed of the progress of the QM and their responsibilities in supporting her and the Numeracy Committee.”
  • “The ethos of the LCQM was firmly embedded in the school and aspects of Key Theme 6 (family and community involvement) were being further developed in order to strengthen links with the local community.”
  • “The introduction and monitoring of the work of the Numeracy Links in other departments had provided a strong platform for supporting the work of the Maths Champion and the Numeracy Committee”
  • “The LCQM had strengthened and developed problem solving skills. It had also provided direction for more challenging and engaging maths tasks within a fun environment.”
  • “The Teacher Governor was kept well informed of the progress of the LCQM. The Governing Body also benefited from having a governor with the key role of liaising with the Maths Department and feeding back to the GB.”
  • “This group talked confidently and enthusiastically about the impact the LCQM was having on many aspects of teaching and learning and the evidence given supported and strengthened those criteria which moved the original Silver Award towards Gold.”

A huge congratulations to team numeracy.

Help your son enjoy mathematics / numeracy

We often get asked as teachers, “How can I help my son enjoy mathematics/numeracy?”

Our most valuable tip is to be positive about the subject, try not to say things like "I can't do maths" or "I hated maths at school" - your child may start to think like that themselves. Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving numbers and measuring, such as shopping, cooking and travelling. Praise your child for the effort, rather than being clever. This shows them that by working hard, they can always improve (National Numeracy). Take a look at the Family Maths toolkit for advice for families.

If any parents/carers are looking to boost their confidence or refresh your numeracy/mathematical skills, there are  courses available from Liverpool Adult learning Service (ALS) and Knowsley Community College (KCC). 

We have a designated “Numeracy Essentials Guide for Teachers and Parents” detailing methods we use. An electronic copy is available here and paper copies are available in reception. 

We run a variety of extra-curricular clubs to improve or develop your sons numeracy skills, including the chance for your son to be a member of the school wide Numeracy Committee, chance to attend the “Classic Games club” and selected students are chosen to attend “Aim Higher” club. Past years have also incorporated the chance of competing in the UKMT competitions, where we have achieved significant success’.

What we offer our pupils?

At Cardinal Heenan the chances for numeracy opportunities does not stop in the maths lesson for your son. We have a vast amount of celebration days, workshops, guest speakers, visits and fundraising opportunities calendar wide. 

Liverpool Counts Days

Liverpool Counts Days still prove to be a huge success. December’s LCD centred on the topic of axes and co-ordinates. The day allowed misconceptions to be addressed as well as understanding to be strengthened. Activities throughout the day included:

  • an interactive game from  “Co-ordinate Alien Attack”;
  • spot the errors (drawing axes);
  • a murder mystery;
  • ‘popcorn’ reading from “A fly on the  ceiling” by Julie Glass, and
  • a co-ordinate code breaker.

The numeracy coordinator stated; “It was lovely to see our year 7 students get excited and talk about the activities from previous lessons when they met with me, they had never experienced a Liverpool Counts Day before. There was certainly a buzz around the school that day! We continue to look forward to many more Liverpool Counts Days.”

NSPCC Number Day 2020

Cardinal Heenan took part in its fourth successive NSPCC Number Day on Friday 7th February. This was the NSPCC’s 20th birthday of the numeracy filled day. The numeracy committee ran lots of fun ‘mathstastic’ activities including:

  • How many sweets where in the jar, winner Peter H guessed the exact number – 211;
  • How long is a piece of string, winner Mr Melia was by far the closest with 1400cm;
  • Average age of the PE department, winner Alfie N (9EDH) with a very insulting age;
  • Teacher number hunt, joint winners Harry S and Dylan T (9ERY) who were the first ones to return it correctly, and
  • Form Time Grid winner James J (8EJW) with the lucky number 16.

Prizes where donated from Dominoes West Derby for Peter and Mr Melia and our PTA funded the Liverpool One vouchers for the other prize winners. A huge thank you to Dominos West Derby and our PTA.

As well as the activities going on outside of the classroom, all lessons started with a short numeracy related activity which were indeed a good way to start the lesson off.

Overall, we managed to raise £325.00 for this wonderful charity.

Pi Day 2020

For the last three years Cardinal Heenan have celebrated “Pi Day” in conjunction with the school’s Liverpool Counts Day.  Just because it was on a Saturday this year did not mean we were going to miss this opportunity. A number of teachers quickly volunteered to be “pi’ed” if their forms raised their targeted amount of £25.00 for the Nugent Good Shepherd Appeal during the period of Lent.

The aim of the day is for students across KS 3 and KS 4 to gain a deeper understanding into the concept of pi. As a maths department we believe the better the understanding through enjoyment, the more likely it will be retained.

We used;

  • YouTube clips “Pi explained with Pie” 
  • Songs... 
  • Books, “Sir Cumference and the dragon of Pi” by C. Neuschwander
  • A substitution activity using pi with a value of 3
  • Pi day dingbats and jokes.

Dragons Den 2020

Cardinal Heenan have been finalists in Liverpool’s Learning Partnership’s competition “Dragons Den” for the last two years. This year we were required to create a game to support maths on the playground or in the park.

A YouTube style video submission was required to be uploaded with the idea. A big thank you to Nathan G and Ben C (not to forget, Mr Egan for his dazzling editing skills and YouTube experience), after submitting this we were informed that we had been shortlisted and got through to the final. The final has presently been postponed, but we look forward to presenting our proposal in front of the Dragons as soon as we get chance in the LACE centre. Please check out and “like” our video.


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