Gillian signed up for an Administration qualification in early 2011. At the start of the programme she was asked to complete an initial assessment to identify which level she was working at for literacy and numeracy. It was identified that she would require additional support for numeracy. It was after this assessment that I was asked to visit Gillian to help her develop her numeracy skills.
When I first met Gillian it was clear that her confidence in numeracy was very low. She was honest with me and when we started discussing numeracy she stated, “I have never been able to ‘do’ maths,” she even told me that she had been having nightmares about the visit ever since it had been booked, as she knew she would have to do some maths.
As part of the first visit, we discussed what Gillian’s strengths and weaknesses were for numeracy. Gillian immediately focussed on her weakness. It was important to boost her confidence so I tried to get her to list her strengths. We discussed what numeracy skills Gillian used in her everyday life. Once she realised that she used a lot of numeracy skills without realising, the thought of working towards a numeracy qualification was less daunting.
The first topics that Gillian wanted to improve on were the four rules of number: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Gillian looked at written methods for each of these rules and was surprised by how some of the methods had changed since she had previously used them. In particular she found the grid method for multiplication much more ‘user friendly’ than the previous methods that she had struggled with for a number of years.
Once Gillian’s confidence grew she felt more able to tackle more complex numeracy tasks and was able to transfer her skills in the four rules of number into topics such as fractions, measurement, reading scales and problem solving.
After 6 visits, Gillian had improved her numeracy skills sufficiently enough to sit and pass her City and Guilds numeracy qualification.
Well done Gillian
Chris Hewitt - Skills for Life Trainer