Support students' mathematics learning for numeracy

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by education support workers to work with teachers to support students developing their mathematics skills for numeracy, including using number, measurement, estimation and problem solvingThe unit provides skills and knowledge to enable education support workers to work with the teacher to develop resources to reinforce mathematics skills for numeracy across the curriculum and to support students during various phases in the acquisition of numeracy competence


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Facilitate application of mathematics skills for numeracy

1.1 Identify and explain a variety of numeracy demands and opportunities in daily life

1.2 Demonstrate the different functions of mathematics using activities and examples

1.3 Monitor students' understanding and use of mathematics through observation, listening and conversation, and provide information to teachers to inform planning

1.4 Identify factors affecting acquisition of mathematics skills for numeracy and discuss with the teacher/s

1.5 Develop numerate understandings appropriate to students' culture, age, abilities, interests and needs

1.6 Use examples and activities to highlight and explain applications of mathematics for numeracy to scaffoldlearning

1.7 Model use of mathematics skills appropriate to a range of life and workplace situations relevant to specific students

2. Support students to develop mathematics skills for numerate understanding

2.1 Determine strategies for supporting students in the application of mathematics skills for numeracy in consultation with the teacher/s

2.2 Implement planned strategies to enhance the abilities of students and address their individual needs

2.3 Encourage students to problem-solve using mathematics knowledge and skills in everyday life contexts

2.4 Use explicit talk to focus students on specific mathematics knowledge and skills to be numerate

3. Enhance students' mathematics knowledge and skills through structured activities

3.1 Use accurate mathematics terminology and concepts, as planned with teacher/s, to support students' learning

3.2 Implement strategies devised with teacher/s to develop students' skills in the use of mathematics for numeracy understanding

3.3 Use planned strategies to engage students in identifying mathematical knowledge and skills for numeracy across all key learning areas

3.4 Encourage students to improve mental computation and calculation skills using strategies appropriate to students' developmental levels

3.5 Ensure students check for reasonableness of solutions when calculating, using a range of strategies including estimating and technology

3.6 Encourage students and build their confidence to attempt problem solving that requires the use of mathematics knowledge and skills

4. Design resources to support mathematics learning for numeracy

4.1 Plan learning environments and activities in advance with the teacher/s

4.2 Design resources, in consultation with teacher/s, to reinforce mathematical knowledge and skills, while fulfilling curriculum requirements

4.3 Design resources to suit the developmental level of the students, as determined by the teacher/s

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge and understanding of:

Mathematical knowledge and skills appropriate to the students being supported

The differences between the roles and responsibilities of teachers and education support workers

Mathematical concepts and operations relevant to the year levels and the needs of students

Language associated with mathematics and numeracy as used by supervising teacher/s

Questions to encourage critical thinking about mathematics and its use as a learning tool

Policy, procedure and legislative issues affecting performance as education support workers

The role of education support personnel in implementing planned mathematics activities with students

A range of basic communication strategies

Questioning techniques that scaffold learning and assist students to problem-solve

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Collaborate with teacher to analyse student needs in relation to development of numeracy understanding and apply an appropriate model of learning to develop the student's mathematics knowledge and skills

Implement support strategies appropriate to the year level in collaboration with the teacher

Implement programs that support a range of students who may be at various levels in collaboration with the teacher

Maintain and complete workplace records

Adapt examples and activities to meet the specific needs in mathematics knowledge and understanding of individual students

Apply knowledge of stages of development in mathematics knowledge and skills

Use specific strategies to scaffold student learning as directed by a teacher

Use a range of strategies to support students with the acquisition of mathematics skills and knowledge

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to demonstrate application of skills in:

Application of mathematical concepts applicable to the year levels in which they operate, i.e. early childhood, primary, secondary

Identification, collation and development of resources to support development of mathematics skills and knowledge for numeracy

Effective interpersonal communication (e.g. active listening, giving clear directions and/or instructions, expressing an opinion, suggesting improvements to strategy/methods for assisting/supporting students and teachers

Time management to provide support to learners as guided by teachers

Consulting with the teaching team and other education support workers on workplace procedures and new approaches to accommodate individual student requirements

Problem-solving and scaffolding problem-solving

Initiative - to use appropriate support strategies when opportunities arise and to inform teachers of student abilities

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit may be assessed either on the job or off the job through an appropriate workplace simulation

Assessment should ensure the candidate addresses the elements and performance criteria on at least three occasions, over a period of time

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Assessment requires access to a range of opportunities defined in the Range Statement, including access to:

an educational work environment or simulation of realistic work environment to enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills while working with teachers and students

mathematics and numeracy terminology used in the educational organisation

Method of assessment:

Assessment methods suitable for valid and reliable assessment of this competency may include, but are not limited to, a combination of two or more of:

case studies



questioning - oral and written

scenarios, simulation or role plays

workplace projects

authenticated evidence from the workplace and/or training courses

Assessment methods should reflect work demands, such as literacy, and the needs of particular groups, such as:

people in rural and remote locations

people with disabilities

people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people


young people

older people

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Applications of mathematics knowledge and skills for numeracy may include:

Using mathematics in real life contexts:

Operations and calculations

Measurement of area, volume, length etc

Reading and interpreting data displays



Reading maps, driving, navigating

Timetables and timelines

Planning use of spaces

Explore situations with money

Working mathematically to solve problems

Factors affecting acquisition of mathematics skills for numeracymay include:

Limited opportunities for practice

Health issues

Socioeconomic issues

Home language other than English

Scaffold learning involves providing temporary support to students to enable their progress toward independent thinking and learning

It may include:

Relating new knowledge to student's current knowledge

Breaking new information into smaller chunks

Approaching new information in a familiar way or by referring to known information

Encouraging students to concentrate on new information through the use of concrete or real life materials

Providing achievable challenges with opportunities for thinking and reasoning mathematically

Encouraging students to communicate their mathematical thinking both orally and written

Recognising and encouraging attempts to use new information

Encouraging repeated use of information to achieve automaticity in mental computation

Encourage students to problem-solveby:

Modelling problem-solving strategies aloud (talking the talk)

Accepting and valuing students' attempts to solve problems

Encouraging self-help

Using open ended questioning

Referring to similar problems and how they were solved

Encouraging risk-taking

Allowing sufficient thinking time (wait time)

Not interrupting the child's reading

Offering support which provides least support first, and moving to most support only if required

Accurate mathematics terminology and concepts may include:

Vocabulary - mathematics context versus real world contexts


Displays (graphs, tables etc)

Units of measurement

Mathematics specific conventions

Strategies to develop students' confidence and positive attitude to use their mathematical knowledge and skills (for numeracy) may include:

Hands on activities

Activities for real life purposes

Using technologies

Active engagement in learning

Creative problem solving activities

Investigations and open ended questions

Opportunities to pose and solve questions

Learning environments may include:

Use of a variety of spaces to indicate mathematics is evident everywhere and across all learning areas:




Outdoor areas

Community spaces

Art areas

Parks and gardens

Resources may include:




Concrete materials





Reference materials

Online and digital resources


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable