Using Mathematics

Using Mathematics

On this page

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.

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

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

Across the curriculum, at a level appropriate to their ability, children should be enabled to:

  • choose the appropriate materials, equipment and mathematics to use in a particular situation;
  • use mathematical knowledge and concepts accurately;
  • work systematically and check their work;
  • use mathematics to solve problems and make decisions;
  • develop methods and strategies, including mental mathematics;
  • explore ideas, make and test predictions and think creatively;
  • identify and collect information;
  • read, interpret, organise and present information in mathematical formats;
  • use mathematical understanding and language to ask and answer questions, talk about and discuss ideas and explain ways of working;
  • develop financial capability; and
  • use ICT to solve problems and/or present their work.

Teachers can measure standards of pupil competency in numeracy through the Cross-Curricular Skill of Using Mathematics. Depending on the pupil’s ability, they will demonstrate their competency through structured activities and activities with some structure.

Teachers can use the Levels of Progression for Using Mathematics as a progression framework for all Areas of Learning. This can help pupils to develop their numeracy skills across the curriculum and acquire the mathematical skills relevant to other Areas of Learning.

See Assessment and Reporting at Key Stages 1 and 2 for more details.


For more information on Using Mathematics, contact: