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Maths Schemes - what do you use?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lauraaustin5, May 24, 2016.

  1. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Wondering what everyone else is using for their maths schemes?

    We use Cambridge Mathematics Direct - it's pretty old now and we need a new scheme. I'm finding it hard to find something that will work for our school.

    We have a very high number of EAL pupils and I'm finding a lot of the schemes don't really cater for my pupils.

    I teach a year 1 class in Wales if that helps.

    Any advice is appreciated! :)
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We use Collins Busy Ants, it's okish.

    If it were down to me, I'd subscribe to Hamilton Trust and use theirs. Then use the left over money to buy practical resources. (Will be hundreds of pounds if your school has set aside money for a scheme.)
  3. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Thanks for the reply!

    I've heard a few people mention Hamilton Trust - will look into it further.

    You don't recommend Collins Busy Ants then?
  4. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    We don't use any schemes.

    What is it they offer that people find helpful?
  5. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    We don't use a scheme, but I find the NZ maths website really useful.
  6. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Thank for for the responses.

    I just like having the structure of a scheme as a bit of a framework really. The whole school follows this scheme and supposedly it builds skills using the same vocabulary and specific methods. I'm finding more and more though that it is too reliant on children having first language English - it's very descriptive.
  7. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    Schemes are always just a spine for teachers to build on. Sometimes we may do some units completely differently. But they can also help with workload.
    As long as teachers are using day-to-day assessment to plan work, then a scheme (like a maths textbook) can be useful.
    I think this finding has come out of the workload report too.
    White Rose Hub Scheme for me with Target Maths textbooks.
    Some of our teachers use Lancashire Maths.
    We are hoping to join a Maths Hub to develop reasoning within school.
  8. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Completely agree. It is helpful to have a structure to start with and build on it from there.
  9. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Thank you for your suggestions :)
  10. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

  11. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I'm still trying to get my head around what a scheme actually does. Do they tell you what to teach and when?
  12. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    Yes. The one we currently use has differentiated activities and worksheets to go with each lesson and check up booklets for assessments at the end of topics. It is an ok scheme but I feel we need a more up to date one now.
  13. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    If you start from scratch good for you. But groups like White Rose Maths Hub have given one way to block the maths objectives. They give some good questions from fluency, reasoning and problem solving. They have also produced assessment material.
    They get money and release time to do this work.
    I just think if they are doing the work then why spend precious time doing the same thing?
    I just adapt to meet the needs of my class.
    But I always think do what you want as long as the kids are making progress.
    lauraaustin5 likes this.
  14. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    They sound great. I wasn't trying to sound funny, I've just never used one (and our school doesn't use them).

    I could do with a scheme for French and RE. Both of those I hate having to think about. We sort of have one for French, but I don't care for it.
  15. lauraaustin5

    lauraaustin5 New commenter

    I just like having them as a basis - to know I'm covering everything I should be and in an order that makes sense - in theory!!

    My school is a primary and secondary so we have a French teacher - I'll ask her tomorrow if she knows of any schemes for primary :).
  16. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    We have just bought into Language Angels. It is an online site with lessons laid out, with songs, handouts and interactive resources. It has a long term plan for KS2.
    We did use Lightbulb Languages. This new scheme has creative links to other subjects.
    It is good for those teachers who need a bit more help with French.
  17. coxdeb

    coxdeb New commenter

    We use Hamilton Trust in a small EBD school with mixed age classes. We find it a very good starting point for meeting the needs of a very wide range of abilities. It seems well thought through and well resourced, and is very good value for money. They have a few free sample units so you can see what you are getting. I like their topic planning as well. We use Dimensions (which is v good but expensive) for our cross curriculum planning, but I often find good stuff on Hamilton to supplement it.

    One of the things that stays with me from reading Hattie on evidenced based teaching is that many teachers love making resources, but it is not always the best use of their time and energy. An experienced teacher can probably plan from scratch fairly efficiently, but using a scheme may stop you getting bogged down in trivia and give you a starting point to meet the needs of your class. And surely less experienced teachers will be more effective using a well thought out scheme than struggling to re-invent the wheel?
  18. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Using ready made resources and using a scheme of work are two very different things.

    Adapting resources, that someone else has made and shared, to the needs of the children you teach makes very good sense. Schemes of work, however, need a lot of adapting for them to remotely fit the needs of your children. A fine starting point and they do provide the inexperienced teacher with a basis for long/medium term planning in terms of coverage, but the inexperienced teacher also needs the nouse to not follow them verbatim.

    I don't think that there are many very bad schemes of work, but if they are badly used, then they are all dreadful.

    I will second the mention for the Maths Hubs medium term planning and mastery ideas. As a basis for teaching the new curriculum, it's full of sound ideas.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It's my first time using a scheme for many, many years.
    Those as old as me might remember the government published Unit Plans years ago.
    I really liked those.

    I took over a class high up in our school in October and there was no record of what had been covered so far at all. Given Common Entrance is a two year course, it has been a nightmare.
    Year 2 were already fab at column addition and subtraction, but did not know all their tables, nor did they have any knowledge of shape beyond the most basic names.
    The person who took over year 6 has found that they have number and algebra knowledge far beyond their age, but are clueless about reasoning, shape, problem solving, data, etc.

    The idea of a scheme is that people actually cover what they should at an appropriate level. If it already happens and your teachers are confident with maths, then a scheme isn't really required.
  20. primarypete

    primarypete New commenter

    Hi we use Rising Stars Mathematics. It takes on a Mastery approach but basically blends all the good bits about our UK curriculum with the approach from the far east. As others have said, its not been designed to be a 'pick of the shelf and use' type scheme. It's adaptable and flexible to what you as an individual teacher feel the needs of your class are on any concept but gives you structure and support with which to do that (individual teacher and across a whole school). They bill it as being 'flexible yet robust' which is actually pretty accurate. Definitely worth checking out as we are seeing some promising signs even at the early stage we are at with it in terms of building children's confidence & ability to reason and make connections in their Maths.

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