Teachers' Role

Numeracy education is every teacher’s responsibility. The key to successfully addressing numeracy across the curriculum is for teachers to understand the mathematical demands of the work they set students, the potential difficulties of the numeracy aspects students may experience and knowledge of various strategies to assist students.

The NSW Department of Education, Numeracy K-12 Policy describes the role of teachers in developing students’ numeracy skills across key learning areas. The policy specifies that school and state numeracy data be used to guide teaching programs and to obtain information about each student’s numeracy achievement for reporting. According to the policy, teachers are to identify and support the specific numeracy demands of the Key Learning Areas leading to knowledge, skills and understandings in:

  • Mental computation and numerical reasoning
  • Patterning, generalisation and algebraic reasoning
  • Applying measurement strategies
  • Spatial visualisation and geometric reasoning
  • Data analysis, including tables
  • Graphical representation and analysis
While the majority of the responsibility for the enhancement of mathematical skills lies within the mathematics classroom, numeracy skills can only be developed when numeracy is implemented across the curriculum and across a range of contexts. This involves a whole school focus, with numeracy skills explicitly taught through every syllabus and by every teacher. The Quality Teaching framework is a valuable tool to refer to when planning numeracy activities.

Quality Teaching Framework

Quality Teaching

Linking student activities to the Quality Teaching dimensions ensures that important elements have been addressed as areas for further consideration

Intellectual quality
  • Deep knowledge
  • Deep understanding
  • Problematic knowledge
  • Higher order thinking
  • Metalanguage
  • Substantial communication
Quality learning environment
  • Explicit quality criteria
  • Engagement
  • High expectations
  • Social support
  • Student direction


  • Background knowledge
  • Cultural knowledge
  • Inclusivity
  • Connectedness