Making Britain Numerate and Making Britain Literate 

Author: Kevin Norley

Author: Kevin Norley
Published by twentyfivefiftytwo
Available to order online


The third editions of Making Britain Numerate and Making Britain Literate are now available. Both editions contain additional worked examples and resources which help support achievement of functional skills and GCSE, and can be used as self-study guides and/or in-class support. In each of the books, the focus of some of the resources is on engagement with contemporary social issues. The books are designed both to support learners directly and to support tutors in supporting their learners. 

"The books contain a detailed analysis of the main issues surrounding the development of learners' literacy, language and numeracy skills as well as a wide range of ideas, methods and up-to-date contextualised materials. The resources offer worked examples and a step by step guide through all areas required for achievement of functional skills maths and English (including numerous reading, writing, discussion and presentation exercises)."

Campaign for Learning (Learning at Work Day E-Newsletter, 'Functional Skills: essential resources', May 17th 2012)

The books focus on the areas of difficulty that many learners face with numeracy, literacy and language, and offer solutions in the form of a range of ideas, methods and resources to resolve those difficulties. 


Making Britain Numerate

  • Offers a range of clear, direct and contextualised methods and strategies together with detailed explanations as to how and why such methods and strategies should be used and reinforced.
  • Comes in the form of a workbook which offers a step by step guide for learners to progress from L1 numeracy to L3 numeracy.
  • Contains L1, L2 and L3 practice questions (along with answers at the back), with each question supported by one or more worked examples.
  • Offers a critique of, and an alternative to, current initial and diagnostic assessments (paper or computer-based) in the form of a learning assessment together with a rationale for its use.
  • Sets a minimum level and standard for tutors supporting learners with their numeracy.
  • Contains extension work in the form of a L3 numeracy learning guide (also with a step by step guide and worked examples).
  • Acts as a guide and support for tutors to help them develop their learners' numeracy skills.
  • Was developed as a result of working with a wide range of learners from a wide range of backgrounds in a wide range of environments.
  • Is suitable for learners studying functional skills on work-based or college apprenticeship programmes.
  • Draws upon studies, from employers' organisations and government bodies, detailing the effects of poor numeracy skills upon individuals and employers.
  • Considers the needs and concerns of employers with regards to developing their employees numeracy skills
  • Considers the language needs of ESOL learners (e.g. see rationale behind part A of the learning assessment.)
  • Took some inspiration from the numeracy subject specialist course at Bedford College.
  • Is rooted in a high level of expectations of students and tutors.
  • Gives learners the opportunity to demonstrate, and compare and contrast, methods (a useful skill for the functional skills mathematics papers) and tutors the opportunity to check them and engage in their learners' learning, and in so doing serves as a motivational tool for learners.
  • Focuses on developing everyday numeracy skills and gives learners the opportunity to learn from the assessments and guides, and from their own mistakes.
  • Adopts an integrated approach to learning numeracy whereby conversions are illustrated and used to solve a range of problems.
  • Features a range of very favourable reviews.

"This is a superb book which can be used as a study guide for anyone wishing to improve their own numeracy skills, or help someone else with theirs. I have used the book with many of my staff, and all have commented at how easy it is to grasp the concepts within it. All have shown improvements in their numeracy skills."

S Winch, Area Manager, East of England, VT Training

"The level 3 numeracy staff training carried out by Kevin Norley was based on a range of strategies that built on clear and precise methods, all of which are detailed in his book, 'Making Britain Numerate.' "

Kevin George, Internal Verifier, Babcock International Group

"The exercises are good, and the text is very easy to read. I like the topics for some of the questions - for instance I doubt if you have seen a question on trans-gender issues before in a maths text book....this book is a must read for Numeracy teachers in FE and work based learning."

Maths with Graham (blog) - see full review


Making Britain Literate

  • Offers a range of ideas and strategies for improving learners' literacy and language skills.
  • Comes in the form of a workbook which contains a range of L1 and L2 literacy exercises (including spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar).
  • Considers (through examples and exercises) how tenses can be learnt in the context of comparing the use of one tense in relation to another.
  • Offers a critique of, and an alternative to, current initial and diagnostic assessments (paper or computer-based) in the form of L1 and L2 learning assessments together with a rationale for their use, and the answers.
  • Acts as a guide and support for tutors in developing their learners' literacy and language skills.
  • Is divided into 2 sections, entitled, 'How is English used today?' and 'English as an Additional Language (EAL), English for Speakers of Other Languages.'
  • Examines the effects of social class on language and learning.
  • Reflects on the theory and practice of learning English.
  • Was developed as a result of working with a wide range of learners from a wide range of backgrounds in a wide range of environments.
  • Is suitable for learners studying functional skills on work-based or college apprenticeship programmes.
  • Draws upon studies, from employers' organisations and government bodies, detailing the effects of poor literacy skills upon individuals and employers.
  • Is rooted in a high level of expectations of students and tutors.
  • Took some inspiration from the literacy and ESOL subject specialist courses studied at Bedford College.
  • Features a range of very favourable reviews.
  • Reached the final of the people's book prize for non-fiction in 2009/2010 (see www.peoplesbookprize.com)

"Making Britain Literate and Making Britain Numerate by Kevin Norley cover key requirements for teaching basic literacy and numeracy. Suitable for professional teachers and homeschoolers, both books include helpful examples and exercises."

Newsletter No 70, Spring 2010, Campaign for Real Education

"One of the things I find interesting about 'Making Britain Literate', is that it attempts to address both the literacy and language needs of native speakers and ESOL students in one book. It values, for example, the importance of the understanding of grammar and word classes in developing literacy and language skills."

Michael Murphy, English Language Tutor, Challney Community College, Luton


How to buy

Both books are available to order online.

Click here to order Making Britain Literate

Click here to order Making Britain Numerate 



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