We all use numeracy in daily life at home and work. Whether that be budgeting household finances, helping children with homework, making more sense of the stats and facts in the media, or using numeracy skills specific to employment.
However, many adults are fearful of maths having struggled with the subject in school and now avoid it. By improving numeracy skills people are more likely to gain employment, have higher wages, and better wellbeing, and able to progress to higher levels of training to secure skilled jobs.
As part of the national initiative, WM College started delivering the Multiply Maths programme in 2022. The programme provides regular FREE maths workshops held at the College as well as within the community to help adults improve their understanding of numbers and finances for everyday life.
In November, WM College Principal Dipa Ganguli OBE accompanied officials from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Department for Education (DfE) on a visit to a few Multiply sessions that WM College were running within the community. The first visit was to Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School where the Multiply team ran a session for parents using numeracy to create Japanese Rice Bags. The team then went onto Castlehaven Community Centre where they ran an Eat Well, Pay Less session helping participants with numeracy skills to plan shopping budgets, measure ingredients, and control portion sizes to support healthy eating for the whole family.
A participant of the session, Felicia said:
“I enrolled on the Eat Well, Pay Less session to help manage my obesity and general bad food habits. I needed to think about portion sizes and understand what 10g looks like and general cooking knowledge like how big a teaspoon measurement is. When we used the scales, I saw 3.6g and realised that I don’t know what that looks like.
Having completed the course at Castlehaven I felt more confident and inspired to visit WM College. In the past it’s been too big a step – I’ve tried lots of times to enrol but decided it’s not for people like me. Having had bad experiences of education in the past I was put off going back into it and it’s affected lots of things in my life. But I’m proud to say that I’ve just started a maths course at WM College, through the Multiply scheme, which will prepare me to move on to a GCSE maths course. Not having a maths qualification has held me back in lots of ways in life such as applying for jobs, so it’s brilliant now that I’m here and I shall encourage others to do the same.”
Dipa Ganguli OBE, Principal of WM College said: ‘Multiply gives us the flexibility to enhance adult learners’ ability to work with numbers, mathematical concepts, ideas and solutions without the constraints of qualifications and exams. Our learners are developing a way of thinking that is valuable across various aspects of life without realising it is maths!
Our mission at WM College is to provide diverse, enriching, and enjoyable lifelong learning, including skills for work, in a supportive environment for adults in Camden and the local area.
The Multiply scheme is the perfect example of how we achieve this. The team work very hard to ensure the workshops are easily accessible and help integrate maths in creative fun ways. Their support and encouragement makes maths much less scary for the learners and we’ve seen many progress onto further maths studies as a result.’
If you’ve ever struggled with maths or want to improve your numeracy skills for life and work, WM College Multiply team can help. All the courses are free to London residents who do not have the basic UK maths qualifications that most employers require. Click here for more information or contact Peter Whitehead at email@example.com.