The NumberSense Mathematics Programme

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 Mathematics Programme has been created to support children’s development of a robust sense of number and a 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 Mathematics Programme (NumberSense and Companion Workbooks and Resources) 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.

The NumberSense Mathematics Programme 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 Mathematics Programme follows 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.

Grade R

  • Two 48-page NumberSense Workbooks per year.
  • Grade R teachers will have to mediate the activities in the workbooks with the children.
  • A Teacher Guide and a set of classroom activities that assists teachers with measurement, geometry and data handling.

Grade 1 to 3

  • Four 48-page NumberSense Workbooks per year (a page a day).
  • A Teacher Guide and a set of classroom activities for each grade that assists 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

  • 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.

Who can use the NumberSense Mathematics Programme?

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

In all applications, the programme 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 programme. 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.

Support materials and activities

  • Web-based user guides: 
    • User Guides for the NumberSense Workbooks 1-24
    • User guides for the NumberSense Companion activities and workbooks Gr R-7
  • Downloadable print masters of teaching aids
  • Classroom resources:
    • GeoGenius Construction Kit
    • GeoGenius Visualisation Kit
    • NumberSense Companion Activity Kit and resources
    • Number line
    • Flard cards
    • Projection CD
  • Regular teacher and parent workshops in major centres across the country
  • Annual NumberSense Mathematics Programme User Group Conference

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


Check out our collection of workbooks, kits and other resources.


In this section we offer teachers support and understanding of how to use our materials.