You can view all the posts in the epic “Writing a Maths Scheme of Work” series on this page. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones, only with slightly less nudity and dragons.
I remember, with great fondness, the first few years of my teaching career when “gained time” (the term given to the extra time you have once your exam classes have left) actually meant “gained time”. These days, it is more like “gained jobs”. And so it was last year that having said farewell to our Year 11 and Year 13 classes, a colleague and I sat down to completely rewrite our Year 7 and 8 Schemes of Learning. It took most of the summer, and we have been tweaking it all year, but seeing it come to fruition and watching our staff and students embrace and thrive upon the changes, was one of the proudest moments of my career.
And so, having ushered my adorable Year 11s in and out of their AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Maths exam this morning (incidentally, what a tricky paper that was – as one of my Year 11s said on their way out: “so long as they lower the grade boundaries to 6/175 for A, I might be in with a chance”), and seeing as last night’s football result meant that we wouldn’t have to worry about any of our time being unduly taken up watching England progress through the latter stages of the World Cup, three of us began work on a new Year 9 to 11 Scheme of Work.
Having seen samples of the new content of the GCSE, read all the evidence to suggest that they are going to be more challenging than before , we decided that a big change was needed for current Year 8 going into Year 9.
As other maths departments might be thinking of doing something similar in the wake of the new curriculum and the recent release of the draft GCSE specifications, I thought it might be interesting to blog about our experiences, from start to finish.
So, let me start by introducing “Team Scheme” (let’s hope I haven’t peaked too soon and that name doesn’t end up being my most significant contribution to the project):
Karen Wilkinson – Head of Mathematics.
Karen is an experienced (but not old!) Head of Department who will take responsibility for all the assessment in the new Scheme of Learning.
Colm Lynch – TLR holder with responsibility for Key Stage 4.
Colm (pronounced like a newspaper column, just in case you were wondering) is in his 3rd year of teaching, had the dubious honour of being mentored by me in his NQT year, and will be taking responsibility for homeworks.
I will be in charge of the rich content of the scheme.
So, over the course of the next few weeks I plan to blog about our experiences, the decisions we take and the progress we make.
I am very interested in what people’s thoughts are to our approach and if other people do things differently. So, please feel free to share your comments below. And if you come up with a better name than “Team Scheme”, I would love to hear from you.