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What Matters Statement 1

The number system is used to represent and compare relationships between numbers and quantities.

Numbers are the symbol system for describing and comparing quantities. This will be the first abstract concept that learners meet in mathematics, and it helps to establish the principles of logical reasoning. In mathematics the number system provides learners with a basis for algebraic, statistical, probabilistic and geometrical reasoning, as well as for financial calculation and decision-making.

Knowledge of, and competence in, number and quantities are fundamental to learners’ confident participation in the world, and provide a foundation for further study and for employment. Computational fluency is essential for problem-solving and progressing in all areas of learning and experience. Fluency is developed through using the four basic arithmetic operations and acquiring an understanding of the relationship between them. This leads to preparing the way for using algebraic symbolisation successfully.