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Themed Maths in KS3

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by michmash29, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Does anyone currently follow a ks3 scheme of work based on themes rather than maths topics?

    I am looking in to changing the current ks3 scheme of work. What are peoples opinions on themed maths teaching? Does anyone have any experience (positive or negative) of teaching maths in themes?

    Thank you
  2. 007maths

    007maths New commenter

  3. Thanks,

    I will check it out!
  4. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    The NCETM created a thematic SOW of maths. This is wrapped in an online learning module that talks about how it was written and how it can be used etc. You can download parts of the schemes in the 'arranging the learning' section https://content.ncetm.org.uk/courses/tenhourmodules/secondary/arranging_learning/arranging_learning_00.htm - Unfortunately only part of the schemes are there. Such a pity - we wrote the whole thing and put it together (this was originally on the site) but the National Strategies complained, so we took it down. Pathetic.
  5. Is there any way of getting hold of a copy of the whole scheme?
  6. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Fraid not. As with so many other things, it's sitting in the dusty archives marked 'waste of tax payers money'
  7. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    I have had just a couple of months experience teaching to 'themes' at KS3. My greatest observations were that:
    - (a *major* positive) many lessons were, or seemed, 'new' to students, because you don't have whole lessons focussed on 'traditional' topics like 'fractions', 'decimals' ,or even 'probability' which the students feel, rightly or wrongly, they have 'done' before (and either 'suceeded at', or 'failed at' before). i.e. they don't bring the prejudices and pre-conceived expectations of difficulty to the lessons to anywhere near the degree that they 'normally' do. This is a very, very good thing.
    - (another generally very positive aspect) was that it was inspiring, and invigorating for Maths teachers ourselves. It made us (have to) plan and prepare more and forced us to genuinely re-consider how best to 'teach' the Maths. Because it was structured very differently to normal, it made it easy to 'break' from traditional,expected, (some would argue 'established') forms of teaching Maths. For Maths teachers interested in proper Maths (i.e. not restricted by the artificial syllabus examined by GCSE), and those with the time/inclination to prepare their lessons properlydo this, I found it positively inspirational and exciting.But the SoW was developed by a true Mathematician (whose love of Maths was obvious), and teaching expert. Had it been developed, or implemented by 'mere' (albeit expert, highly respectable) Maths teachers, then I strongly suspect it would be unsuccessful (or at least no more successful than existing methods).
    - (a potentially *major* negative) is that it takes far greater preparation from teachers. There's generally far fewer pre-prepared resources (no MyMaths, for example!), and some topics may not even be known (by non-Mathematician) Maths teachers. This is a major, major problem if you (ever) need your lessons to be covered, by either internal teachers, or by the vast majority of Maths supply teachers.

    The bottom line, for me, was that it works brilliantly for students and teachers alike if the Maths teachers are naturally *inspirational*, and interested in Maths itself. But it could be a disaster, and unimplementable within a Maths department with predominantly 'normal' Maths teachers (many of whom do an excellent job, but would never really call themselves Mathematicians, or are even be too interested in anything beyond curriculum, GCSE / A-level Maths).
    From a managers, or SLT's perspective. It's a tough call. If the HoD champions it, and is supported by SLT, then it will IMO hugely 'succeed'. [Though whether that actually translates to better GCSE results remains an open question].
    I hope that's a balenced perspective.

  8. s1x


    Balanced perspective?
    It seems a somewhat patronising and naive suggestion from somebody with limited experience of differing situations.
  9. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Hey s1x - I often agree with what you write, but this comes across as being a bit harsh.
    MMT wrote a long post and seemed to me to have taken care to phrase it carefully. It must have taken a while to write and appeared to add to the debate.
    To go back to the previous post:
    This jumped out to me as being the important part of the message.
  10. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    I really like this idea. It would also, though, require support from SLT in terms of time for setting it up.

    It is a big job!
  11. September

    September New commenter

    After two years as HOD at my school I am finally going to be able to put together a creative curriculum. OFSTED has always been in the way of me being allowed to do this but now that OFSTED has been and gone I am going creativity mad. At last.

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