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Choosing Maths & Literacy programmes

Discussion in 'Primary' started by daenarys, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. I'm a British expat in my 25th year overseas in the Pacific. I have started a small private primary school, following the English national curriculum and IPC. I'm not a teacher myself but learning as much as I can as fast as I can. We're expecting no more than 15 kids next year with an age range of 5 to 12 yrs. We have 2 local teachers, one with 19 yrs experience in mostly secondary teaching and the other still in training. In short, lots of potential obstacles! The alternative, i.e. not doing this, is just not an option. There are no good schools in our area (the nearest is an hour's flight away) yet my kids, and other kids from the community, need a proper education. I'm trying to choose a whole maths programme that is a) great for the kids and b) doesn't require our teachers to fly halfway across the world to attend a training day. I am also looking for a whole literacy programme, and think I might have settled on one (ORT) but am balking at the cost! I mean, I am happy to pay it if I know it's worth it, but it's so hard to tell. I would be ever so grateful for any ideas/recommendations...?
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Oxford Reading Tree?
  3. Yes, sorry, I wasn't sure if I was allowed to quote brands on here.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    save your money it doesn't meet current expectations
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    WOW! You are brave.

    I would look for downloadable plans and resources if I were you. Then gradually build up hard copies of things once you know the project is a success.

    'Hamilton Trust' does good enough plans for maths and literacy to start you off. They aren't amazing, but are certainly good enough and they have mixed age plans which will help you as well.

    For your youngest children just learning to read 'phonicsplay' is a good downloadable/online phonics plan and cheap to subscribe to.

    'Maths on Target' is a good textbook for KS2 (you would need all four books for your 7-11 year olds). It isn't exciting or imaginative, but does provide lots of practice. You could use the order of the book as an order for teaching if you wanted. But you would need to think how to teach each concept yourself.

    'Phonicsbug' has online reading books which might be more useful as a reading scheme in your situation.

    Very best of luck...hope it all goes well for you.

    You might want to ask a similar question on the independent and/or international forums. Other people might have done the same thing and can offer lots of advice.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  7. There are a couple of on-line UK literacy programmes which you might like to consider.
    Phonics International.

    Debbie Hepplewhite's online synthetic phonics programme. www.phonicsinternational.com/
    Comprehensive range of resources along with instructions for teaching
    the English Alphabet Code. Unit 1, which includes Debbie's really useful
    Alphabet Code charts, is free to download with no commitment to
    purchase further units. The Sounds Book activity sheets are the core of
    the programme and they include guidance on every sheet right through
    the programme. Programme
    guidance booklet: www.phonicsinternational.com/guidance_book.pdf

    Phonics Ireland is being used by a school in Fiji for online training:

    Provide an online linguistic phonics training course.

    A headteacher in Fiji reviews the training course:

  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I understand [maybe I'm wrong] that Singapore has an excellent track record in school maths. Ditto Japan. Are you also looking at their programmes and styles of maths teaching? I don't know where in the Pacific you are, but maybe their approaches are worthy of a look.

  9. GrahamLawler

    GrahamLawler New commenter

    as a maths teacher and author I highly recommend you avoid any maths outside of the UK publishing industry. They tend to emphasise drill and are boring BUT UK emphasises creative thinking. EG if you go upstairs and put your left foot on the bottom step, do you put your left foot on the top step?
    Where exactly are you?
    I have a scheme in development and need teachers to try it out
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Box clever: Singapore's magic formula for maths success
    It sounds crazy but Singapore has shot up the league tables by dropping traditional methods from its maths lessons and getting children to be creative.
    sorry I know very little about the content only that they have excellent results
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not sure this would be the focus of all that many maths lessons in the UK.
    Lots of people will offer you this. Make sure you look very, very carefully before trying their ideas. Some may be fabulous and some may mean your children miss their one chance of academic education.
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I've seen videos of Japanese maths lessons. They are anything but dull and drill-based. Ditto current Singapore stuff.
  13. Thank you everyone for your input and support! I really appreciate it. I apologise for the delayed response, I'm about 10 hours ahead of GMT. I have looked at Elmwood's Maths on Target series for Y3-6, some Andrew Brodie texts, Letts, and Numicon. What do you all think of them? Can anyone tell me if I can purchase an MoT textbook for each pupil, or are they meant as a classroom resource? Our parents want children to have their own textbooks, and we've accommodated for this in our school fees.
    I also looked at Singapore Math but it seems to require us to attend training sessions, which is a logistical and financial impossibility for us this year. If anyone knows of online demos or videos that would suffice I'd love the links. I will keep looking into it throughout 2012 as an option for the future.
    Thanks ever so much for those links to online literacy resources, those will come in very handy. Unfortunately I can't rely on online resources entirely because we tend to lose connections now and then, but I will keep hunting. Jolly Learning seem fairly straightforward and easy to implement, but they only go up to age 6.
    I hope our school will have a balance of rote and creative learning. I for one spent my childhood and young adulthood in international schools that embraced creative learning and thinking. We did almost zero rote learning that I can recall (so if we did any at all it really wasn't done very well!). Whilst I finished in the top 15% of graduating Year 12 pupils in my host country, my host country, as an adult I can't recall my times tables, I find mental arithmetic difficult and I can't remember many basic facts that would be useful in everyday life. But given a problem I can think creatively to solve it...provided I have a calculator and good research tools!
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    For early reading I would look at Sounds and Letters Floppy's Phonics there are teachers books reading scheme books photocopiable books andelectronic versions
    Numicon as far as I know also needs training
    We use Big Maths http://www.andrelleducation.co.uk/BMFreebies/CLICsample.zip
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

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