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Developing Student Confidence in Quantitative Skills and Numerical Concepts: Maths Mondays'

Graham Prior

12th January 2024

At one of our recent CPD events, Cheryl Smith from Greenhead College talked about 'Maths Mondays', where she starts her business lessons recapping a key quantitative skill/numerical concept every Monday.

Like the other attendees, I was 'waxing lyrical' about this simple idea. It even led to the development of the tutor2u Quantitative Skills and Numerical Concepts Activity Packs for AQA A-Level Business, Edexcel A-Level Business and Eduqas A-Level Business.

The recent examiner's report, as have previous examiners' reports, highlighted that this is an area of weakness among many students, the key issues being:

  • Not knowing the formulas
  • Not showing their workings
  • Failing to use the correct units of measurement, such as £, % and units
  • Missing opportunities to use calculations and numerical data to support analysis and evaluation

One of the most significant areas for improvement is using calculations and numerical data to support their arguments. Exam questions often invite students to perform a calculation in the question's stem. Still, many students perform the calculation but fail to use the results of their calculations in the main body of their response.

Students need to recognise that calculations demonstrate application (A02) and that the use of numerical data and calculations can help students strengthen both their analysis (A03) and their evaluation (A04)

So, this takes me back to Maths Mondays.

Weekly practice of quantitative skills and numerical concepts can help build student confidence, which, in turn, can encourage students to use more numerical data and calculations within their answers.

Graham Prior

Graham is an experienced teacher, examiner, moderator and lover of education with a passion for teaching and learning.

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