The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series

A strong sense of number is at the heart of being able to do mathematics. Number sense is developed in the early years of schooling.   The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series have been created to support children’s development of a robust sense of number and deep understanding of mathematics. The series is responsive to the developmental needs of children, is informed by current research on how children learn mathematics and provides a comprehensive mathematics solution for Grades R to 7.

In the early workbooks the development of number sense starts with foundational concepts and understandings in a low number range. As children progress through the series they are supported and encouraged to develop increasingly sophisticated strategies and deeper understanding in higher number ranges. The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series provides regular (daily) practice. Children should (if they are working in the correct book) be able to work independently from one page to the next, asking for help and guidance if needed.

Who can use the NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series?

The richly-illustrated and engaging workbooks are used in a wide range of different ways. From schools who use the NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series as their mathematics programme; to schools that use the series as an integral part of both their extension and remediation programmes; corporates and volunteer organisations that provide the series to children and schools as part of their corporate social investment projects; to parents who home school their children; and others.  As the workbooks are being used more widely, the body of both anecdotal and more rigorously researched evidence in support of the efficacy of the series is growing.

The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series is aligned with the South African mathematics curriculum. That said, the way in which topics are addressed does not always coincide with the sequence of the current CAPS document. Concepts in the NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series follow a developmental trajectory and are visited and revisited on a regular basis. With the completion of each workbook a child “covers the curriculum” and by completing the workbooks intended for each year the child does so several times.

The NumberSense and Companion Workbook Series consists of:

Grade R (two 48 page NumberSense Workbooks that are mediated by the teacher).

  • Grade R teachers will have to mediate the activities in the workbooks with the children.

Grade 1 to 3 (available in all South African languages): 


  • Four 48 page NumberSense Workbooks per year (a page a day).
  • A set of classroom activities for each grade that assist teachers with measurement, geometry and data handling.
  • A workbook per term and a page per day. In the Foundation Phase the workbooks are used to consolidate the daily mat work sessions.

Grade 4 to 7 (available in English and Afrikaans):

  • Three to four 48 page NumberSense Workbooks per year (a page a day).
  • Children complete pages in the workbooks in preparation for the focus group sessions with the teacher.
  • An 80 page Companion Workbook for each grade that deals with measurement, geometry and data handling. The workbooks complement and complete the NumberSense curriculum offering for Grades 4 to 7.

See “How it works” for sample pages from the Series

Support materials and activities

In all applications, the series allows for differentiated learning support, independent engagement by children and the opportunity to experience mathematics as a meaningful sense-making activity. Teachers (and parents) play an important role in the success of the series. Not only is there a need to ensure that children are working in the most appropriate workbook, but teachers also need to monitor children’s progress for the identification of problems, misunderstanding and necessary interventions. Furthermore, it is critical that teachers (and parents) discuss the activities with the children: ask children to explain their answers, to describe any patterns they may have observed, and invite them to ask questions. This contributes to their development of a strong sense of number.

See “How to use” for guidance and sample pages to get you started


Brombacher and Associates
17 Oct, 2017