Literacy for Mathematics


This three-hour workshop has been designed to help teachers in Key Stage 3 meet the literacy demands of mathematics.

Literacy has historically been seen as a less significant contributing factor to achievement in mathematics in comparison to other subjects. However, with changes to GCSE exam specifications, and the styles of assessment in 2010 and more recently in 2016, literacy in the context of learning mathematics has become a more significant indicator of success.

About the course

  • Understand the specific literacy skills required for pupils to achieve in mathematics

    Decode and understand problems which involve large amounts of text.

  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of carefully constructed classroom activities

    Develop students' understanding of mathematical concepts through talk.

  • Develop a toolkit of strategies and resources to develop literacy for mathematics in the classroom

    Support students to construct clear responses to multi-stage problems and questions which require reasoning and explanation.

  • Understand the role of vocabulary acquisition in responding to mathematical problems

    Enable students to engage with key vocabulary and associated words in a meaningful way.


Course structure

Introduction: objectives and outcomes of the training

  • What do we mean by literacy in mathematics?


  • Learn how to effectively decode questions.
  • "Warming up the text" - find the right information to help solve the mathematical problem

Mathematical talk

  • What are the ground rules for mathematical talking?
  • Understand the importance of collaborative learning


  • "ABCD explain" - turning talk into writing
  • Learn about the importance of drafting and redrafting


  • Explore the use of word games as an aid to students trying out different words
  • Understand the importance of context
  • Word families: explore common word roots as a means to helping students make connections

Training availability

Owing to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, delivery of face-to-face training has been suspended. Please explore our online training opportunities. If you have a specific query about our face-to-face Literacy for Mathematics course email Marlene Vasquez-Cain.