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Fuel for Numbers


The ‘Warmth without Waste project delivered in East Essex (East Essex Adult Community College, 1997) demonstrated that the topic of home energy conservation could be successfully built into adult basic skills classes. The project’s final report recommended that this approach should be tested in different settings, such as urban locations, and with different client groups, such as people with English as an additional language (EAL).

Key research Question

To design a learning resource with a home energy conservation theme for teachers delivering Basic Skills classes (literacy, numeracy and communication), which would be effective in urban settings and with EAL students.

Summary of activity

The teaching package is structured in the form of eight sections comprising a total of 65 worksheets. These suggest a series of practical activities and exercises for students to undertake, mainly aimed at improving their mathematical skills, including recording energy consumption on meters and radiator thermostats, how to understand light bulb ratings and fuel bills and comprehension pieces on topics such as indoor temperatures and health. The package was based on extensive consultation and advice, including input from Basic Skills experts. The content was devised to align with the City and Guilds Wordpower and Numberpower accreditation levels.

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