Using Mathematics

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Using Mathematics is one of the three Cross-Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum. It is the skill of applying mathematical concepts, processes and understanding appropriately in different contexts. Ideally, teachers will use relevant, real-life situations that require mathematical thinking.

Pupils are likely to develop and consolidate their mathematical knowledge and skills within the Mathematics and Numeracy Area of Learning and related qualifications. Teachers should also give them opportunities to transfer their understanding, as appropriate, to other contexts across the curriculum.

Pupils can demonstrate their mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of ways to communicate, manage information, think critically, solve problems and make decisions.

Teachers should enable pupils to develop skills in:

  • using mathematical language and notation with confidence;
  • using mental computation to calculate, estimate and make predictions in a range of simulated and real-life contexts;
  • selecting and applying mathematical concepts and problem-solving strategies in a range of simulated and real-life contexts;
  • interpreting and analysing a wide range of mathematical data;
  • assessing probability and risk in a range of simulated and real-life contexts; and
  • presenting mathematical data in a variety of formats that take account of audience and purpose.

It is likely that most schools will address their key statutory obligations for Using Mathematics by providing qualifications in Mathematics. However, there are opportunities to develop this skill across a range of qualifications; these are outlined in our specifications.

At Key Stage 3, teachers use the Levels of Progression to assess pupils in Using Mathematics. Teachers do not have to use the Levels of Progression at Key Stage 4. However, teachers can use them to support ongoing teaching and learning, especially where pupils are working up to Level 7.

See Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Key Stage 4 and Assessment and Reporting at Key Stage 4 for more details.


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