# Analysis of gaps in knowledge for Years 3 and 4 in Numeracy

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Chez1979, Apr 11, 2012.

1. ### Chez1979

Hello everyone,
I am part of the Middle Leadership Development Programme this year and my project is to analyse the gaps in knowledge for Years 3 and 4 in Numeracy. I am interested to hear your thoughts on why this is. I believe it is partly due to the differences between the way the tests are administered in Year 2 compared to Years 3 and 4.

Cheryl

2. ### CB123New commenter

I deff agree.
We have just started doing some half termly levelled tests from year 2 up. So what ever year you are in you get the same level 1 paper, if your level 1 etc. The year 3's in our school did shocking compared to the year 2. It was only then when this was discussed that we realised the year 2's were given number lines, number square etc. This meant they got the question 36 + 25 correct as they did it on a number square but some year 3's got it wrong as they had no resources. The objective this was trying to test was mental addition and so in my opinion a number square should not have been used

3. ### minnieminxNew commenter

For level 1 and 2 tests it would make sense to give equipment, because they have access to that in SATs and need the practice of independently using the bits and bobs. However this should be true for all level 1 and 2 children across the school.
Then for level 3 upwards have no equipment, whatever year group.

Can I ask where you got the level tests, my school are looking into such things?

But I would say the main reason for gaps in knowledge is because children don't always learn what they are taught immediately at the time. Then if most of the class have got something, the teacher moves on and one or two children never get it. Then the next teacher moves on further still and the gap remains.

How to solve this? Teach each child from where they are at in every single lesson. Yes that is completely unworkable, but the best I can come up with!

4. ### CB123New commenter

My head went on a course called assertive mentoring. A school in the north east ( I think) has made up the tests. Think they have done reading too but we have not looked at that yet. I sort of agree with the equipment but if you are assessing a mental additon objective then sure equipment should not be used in this instance?
Another thing we have tried is using pre assessments. So before planning an area of work eg addition, you give the children 2/ 3 different questions. You see how they approach the problem and plan your lessons based on this. In this way the children are re grouped everytime you do a pre learning and the children are taught a bit more specifically rather than giving all level 2c children the same task. I really think this is important as all children struggle with different areas of maths even if overall they are the same level.
You are dead right though we do often move some children on too quickly and there gaps get bigger and bigger. I think the biggest issue I have seen is children not fully understanding place value!

5. ### minnieminxNew commenter

That's the biggest issue in our school. But try telling lower KS2 teachers they should teach expanded methods for addition and subtraction not compact ones to help address this. Also models and images in KS1 and lower KS2 are seen as a foreign language whenever I mention them. AND we have just been bought number fans for use in KS1...hardly going to help.
This sounds perfect and so sensible. Although I'd not formally do a pre-unit assessment, children are grouped more or less by APP grid analysis. So I know where they are up to in each topic and so group them according to that.

6. ### CB123New commenter

We now use the number line for a lot of our calculations and it is not until they are fully understanding that way that we move them on. This helps with a lot of basics, place value, number bonds etc

7. ### Chez1979

Thank you for your responses so far. We are finding that one of the problems seems to be that the children's results at the end of year 2 do not compare with year 3 (e.g a year 2 child can end year 2 with a level 3 and on our data this comes out as a 3b, whereas they may have only scraped a 3c....if that). This means that in year 3 you are already hitting your head against a wall because you are almost playing catch up from day 1.
We started Maths Makes Sense this year which uses concrete objects a lot of the time. One idea I had was instead of setting in year groups, we should set across the school depending on their levels and understanding. It may be a logistical nightmare however.

8. ### minnieminxNew commenter

I cannot see why that should be. The KS1 level 3 paper requires children to work without practical equipment and on their own. There are mental and written questions. Cannot for the life of me see why a child who gets a 3 there wouldn't then be able to cope with level 3+ work in year three. If your data sheets/system doesn't allow for sub-level entry then that is probably what you need to change. If a child is working at 3c then they should be recorded as such. And if your year three teachers know the child is a 3c, whatever the computer says, then there shouldn't be a problem.
Hmmm except a child who is working at level 3 in year 2 is a very different kettle of fish to a child working at level 3 in year 5 or 6. And what about those working at level 3 in calculations, but level 2 in shape and level 1 in measures (time)? Where would they end up?
I agree it would be!

And no I can't think of any better solutions!

9. ### CB123New commenter

We dont set in lessons but once a week we have a maths basic skilss session and this s set across each key stage. (KS1 & KS2). We havent done it long though so cant say if it is having a big impact. Staff certainly like it though

10. ### Chez1979

This is an interesting idea-I'd be interested to see how that works out in the long term.
We use Maths Makes Sense and each day a different strand is taught. E.g. Monday - Arithmetic 1, Tuesday - Geometry, Wednesday - Data and Measures, Thursday - Arithmetic 2 and Friday - Reasoning. The idea is that if children are on holiday during the school term, then they wont miss a whole block of work as the would have done with the old unit plans.
We will see in the summer term what impact this has had/