1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Maths new curriculum - year by year programmes

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mystery10, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Is your school teaching anything at all from the year above to any of the pupils or have you been told to keep strictly to the programme of work for that year set out in the national curriculum document (although this is not a statutory requirement).
  2. summlard

    summlard New commenter

    Yes we go across year groups.

    I teach year 3. But my uppers will do a lot of year 4 level work, or even year 5 with some number work. As long as there's evidence from the year three areas too.
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Do you think your school is unusual or ours?

    I know of children who got 4c at end of year 3 and 4a at end of year 4 whose parents are being told they can't do anything other than year 5 work in year 5 unless they are on on the list of "significantly gifted and talented" children.
  4. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    The general consensus and the advice from the top is that broadening is more important than going up the year groups. The 'hurdle leaping' aspect of the old levels often left children with significant gaps. Increasingly sophisticated contextual challenges within the year group objectives should be enough for most of the more able children.
    School Boy Error likes this.
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Thank you. And where would a primary teacher find these sophisticated contextual challenges? It takes quite a bit of time to come up with good, challenging maths problems that keep to a limited body of "maths knowledge" and that tie in exactly with new national curriculum year boundaries. I don't see many primary teachers having time for this or many books on the market that address it. And if some children do a lengthy Nrich problem or investigation, for example, where's the time in class to go through it with them while others are still hacking their way through the year group material? At one point does someone decide that something is "enough" for most of the more able children? After all, a lot of the year boundaries in the new NC are very artificial - working with a different number of digits etc. If the concept of place value is properly understood it's a silly idea that one should limit the size of a number or the number of decimal places that a child can work with in a particular year group.
  6. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I agree with Nick. The focus should be on depth rather than accelerating. Try NCETM they have some great Mastery for Teaching documents split into year groups that will give you some ideas
    nick909 likes this.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  8. summlard

    summlard New commenter

    I Think Nrich should organise itself into year groups and objectives. Would be very handy! It's a nightmare trawling that site.
    poolbabe likes this.
  9. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    There is a curriculum mapping document that has all the objectives listed in year group with links to activities that support these...
    nick909 likes this.
  10. summlard

    summlard New commenter

    Ah, where?
  11. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    School Boy Error and Msz beat me to it with the links to the resources on mastery. I think it's possible to overcomplicate the notion of what we're doing. One or two well chosen, meaty problems per lesson is sufficient to show mastery. We needn't spend ages thinking up endless activities. What I think is important is that challenges are increasingly multi-faceted, in that they require more than one mathematic skill.

    I actually agree, Mystery10, that place value is one area where it wouldn't hurt to expose children who can manage it to deal with larger numbers. But we've all had the children who can manage quite abstract number concepts but who fall apart at shape and space work so the notion of an all-round "able maths child" is now perhaps a bad idea except for a very small number of children.

    I'm not claiming that it's the right model but I don't group for maths at all and allow the children to choose their own level of challenge, which might allow them to explore the basic concepts at the simplest level; apply these to larger or more complex numbers (such as decimals) at a more challenging level; and then one or two levels of contextual problem solving at mastery level. This is manageable for me and doesn't put any form of ceiling on anyone. Then, rather than thinking of levels or year group 'objectives' , I can look at each child to know what mathematic skill they're missing in order to move on. For a child who can manage the year group number objectives efficiently, this might not be the number aspect but something else. I don't know if you've seen the KS2 SATs sample questions but the questions on the reasoning papers often require fluency in two, three or four aspects of maths. This is what we need to aim for in the highest level of 'mastery' challenge, I feel.
  13. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I can see that a skilled teacher could deliver the new curriculum well by either approach - moving on in terms of content with those who can or sticking to the year group content and doing some really good problem solving.

    However, I am not convinced that the problems in the two reasoning papers are showing what I would call mastery or demand deep thinking for say the top quartile of chikdren nationally. Some thorough teaching of how to tackle different problems, quick mental maths and making sure chikdren covered problems each day which use a variety of skills, as nick909 says, would make those papers a cinch. But I think an able child could get to the point where they could do those questions easily and have mastered some old level 6 content quite easily too and nit have to be labelled "significantly talented and gifted at maths' by a primary school to be allowed to cover some concepts from the year above.

    I suspect that if all schools are this rigid and do not teach and use quality problem solving material, maths standars in the uk are going to drop. I don't think that was mr gove's intention.
  14. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Forgive me mystery10 but to suggest that 25% of year 6 pupils are operating at 'level 6' in mathematics rather illustrates the problem created by hoop jumping through levels. Firstly, they really are not. Secondly, moving children ever on, purely in terms of making the numbers bigger or the concepts more complex just runs the risk of moving children through the year group objectives purely to show progress without ever consolidating knowledge. A symptom of levels that we would just end up repeating. A mistake, I feel.

    Your concern that it would be too much work for teachers to find challenging mastery problems is a little baffling as it's certainly a lot more challenging to teach different concepts to different groups of children within a lesson. I've done this and it's certainly not at all easy.

    Are you a teacher, may I ask? Which year group? Or are your concerns related to your own child, perhaps?
    shazee and Vince_Ulam like this.
  15. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    (Also, and this may not be quite within the spirit of the thread but I really couldn't give two figs about Mr Gove's intention. It was only vaguely related to the situation we find ourselves in anyway.)
  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I don't think I said that 25 percent of children nationally were operating at level 6 in year 6 - far from it! Yes, I agree that it is hard to teach different concepts to different groups but it is also very hard to do justice in a totally mixed ability classroom to deep problem solving or whatever we like to call it. I am still not sure that the answer is to restrict learning of new material to the year group requirement as set out in the nc document.
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I don't find it so. I manage it in my class of entirely mixed ability (from L3 to L6 in 'old money') all the time.

    I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your comment but you appeared to state that the 'top quartile' of children would find the new reasoning papers to be 'a cinch' (I'm not sure I agree but it's probably too early to say for sure either way) and that these more able children should be doing old Level 6 mathematics.

    I attended a conference on the new Y6 assessment framework with other Y6 teachers from across my authority on Wednesday and the message from a senior adviser was that breadth is what is key. I'm not suggesting that in a very few cases, exposure to higher concepts would hurt but it would be a mistake to assume that once children have learned the year group objectives then they should be all be moved on.

    Mastery is the key methodology behind the new curriculum. It's taken me a little while to grasp it (remember that us Y6 teachers, along with Y2 teachers are only just starting on the new curriculum) but now I've read up on the reasoning behind it, I understand and agree with it. It's definitely the message coming down from key educationalists - particularly so in mathematics. I'd also suggest that our secondary colleagues might welcome it too, with concern over children who've achieved well in the tests but who lack sufficient grounding in the fundamentals.

    If you haven't, I suggest you read the documentation on the NCETM and Maths Hubs sites mentioned above, as well as the Commission on Assessment Without Levels Final Report here:


    I'd suggest all teachers should have read this document anyway as it's quite vital to understanding the new pedagogy behind the curriculum. Which year group do you teach, again? Year 6 I presume? in that case it's utterly vital for you.

    We have to accept that the old curriculum and its obesession with moving children ever onwards, without enough emphasis on consolidation has gone. Even if we disagree with the pedagogy behind the new curriculum, I think it would be foolhardy to ignore what we're being asked to do, at least this early in the game.
    School Boy Error likes this.
  18. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I again agree with Nick. There is no need to move children on to concepts in the year above. Even number bonds to 10 can be made challenging:

    I have two cups with some blocks under, they total 10. What could they be? Have you got all the answers? How do you know?

    I have three cups, totaling 10? What could they be? Have you got all the possibilities? How do you know? What did you notice?

    Quite a challenge but all children would still be working on numbers to 10, some maybe still consolidating but others being challenged.
  19. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I think of it like an upside down triangle. The point being the year appropriate core piece of learning all children need to access, from move up and outwards deepening.
  20. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes - good example - but isn't this the kind of thing that had been going on uo and down the country anyhow when tackling number bond to ten in foundation stage upwards? Surely good maths teaching under the old curriculum would have involved this kind of investigation? And the concept of mastering a core syllabus and how to achieve this with a class of chikdren while not stunting or boring the most able or denying mastery of vital skills to all is not new either.

    Thank you all for the various links. They are all helpful. Are any carefully planned studies of the impact of the new curriculum being carried out?

    I have signed up for the trinity free materials and the nrich mapping document is useful. Has anyone found any particular print publications which are a good source of extension material for children at mastery and beyond ( is that possible?) tying into each year group programme i

Share This Page