Writing a new Scheme of Work – Part 10: An Alternative View!

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.

The reason I starting writing this series of blog post was because I thought other teachers around the country might also be in the same position as our department – given all the changes to maths that are coming our way, having both the challenge (or on good days, the opportunity) to do something different with our Schemes of Work. And it seems I was right, because I have been contacted by lots of teachers, sharing their thoughts and ideas 🙂

I was recently contacted by a reader called Alex, who not only described how his school are setting about creating their scheme, but also was prepared to share what he has done so far. Moreover, there is the promise of more to come as the scheme develops 🙂

I thoughts this was useful sharing with everyone, as it is fascinating to get someone else’s perspective. I will let Alex explain his thinking, and then I will return at the end of this post with a few thoughts of my own…

Alex’s Maths Scheme of Work

We are also going through a complete change in SOW, well it’s more me alone… And we are moving to mastery curriculum, and have also used kangaroo maths as a base point…

It’s still a work in progress, but I thought you could look at and share my ‘vision’ of what the SOW could look like, just to give a few more reflection points for people reading this blog…

I imagine most of our lowest ability pupils would start at stage 4, but I will complete the SOW down to Stage 3…


Some screen shots:

1 2

I have used the previous stage for the prior knowledge, and then separated each stage’s outcomes into three categories ‘key fluencies’, ‘applied areas’ and ‘problem solving’… I have added a further section for broadening and deepening understanding, and hope that this will be filled in over the first year of teaching the SOW…

I have formatted each section as an arrow to imply that each series of lessons needs to have the hierarchy of conceptual understanding – fluency – reasoning and applying – problem solving…

Finally I have decided on a rough order with the intention to revisit the most important topics twice in the year.

Another key point to note is that I have tried to separate fractions into two units, one where the pupils are asked to consider them to represent a size or a position on a number line, and one where they are to consider them as an operator (thanks to Mr Reddy for that inspiration)…

When I finish all stages, I will share it… And then again when it has been supplemented with resources and links…

Hope it’s useful for the readers…

My thoughts

Firstly, a huge thank you to Alex for sharing his work. I love the fact that teaching is a sharing profession, more so than any other I know.

I find it fascinating that this us yet another example of a maths scheme of work based around the concept of “mastery”. As I have said previously, a few years ago the theory seemed to be that if you teach students via projects and rich task, then they will develop the necessary skills. But more and more the thinking seems to be now that the basic skills needs to be in place before students can access this deeper level of learning. I certainly agree with this. Maths, at the end of the day, is a about doing. Some skills need to be routine and standard, done without thinking, and the only way to get to this level is though repeated practise. Students cannot solve problems, hypothesise, spot patterns and generalise if the basic foundations of mathematics are not in place.

The only word of caution I would have is that this mastery needs to be done in an engaging way. If students come into Year 7 not enjoying maths, and then are bombarded with a load of sums from lesson 1, their negative view of the subject is not likely to be changed and you may have lost them forever. It is practise, and repeated practise, but the right kind of practise.

I like the ‘key fluencies’, ‘applied areas’ and ‘problem solving’ features of the scheme of work, and find these useful categories for separating content, whilst also showing how understanding should deepen throughout a topic unit. It again reinforces the view that skills come first, then applying these skills, then problem solving.

I find the possible sequence that Alex suggests very interesting. In particular, I like the way it revisits Topic Units previously covered in the year. I can imagine a teacher picking up where they left off previously and continuing the learning through applied and problem solving. I guess you could argue that there is a danger that you could be cutting a topic off mid-flow, but by returning to it later you may ensure a deeper level of understanding and a greater chance of remembering the key features by the end of the year.

If anyone else has any thoughts (or their starting points of a scheme of work to share!) then please mention it in the comments section below.

Thanks so much once again to Alex for sharing his work so far. I can’t wait to see how this develops.

Meanwhile, I will return with another post on rich tasks, where I resurrect an old classic series, but with a slightly new twist…



2 thoughts on “Writing a new Scheme of Work – Part 10: An Alternative View!

  1. HI Craig,
    I follow your blog with great interest. It’s great and I love reading it.
    Unfortunately I’m having trouble with the links on your last post (SOW part 10).

    Hope you can advise me on what I’m doing wrong.

    Maths CC(ks3)

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