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Y5 maths problem solving - what are you using?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Trapin1, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Maths results in our school show that whilst children are doing okay with arithmetic, they are not doing well applying their skills to using and applying and problem solving. This year, as I am new to year 5 and doing the maths planning, I have been using Target your Maths to focus on the skills and year 5 White Rose Hub fluency/reasoning/problem solving materials to allow the children to demonstrate how well they have understood their learning. However, following maths moderation tonight, our head (and former year 6 teacher) thinks they are far too hard and not really written in a Sats' style (and to be honest, I agree). I promised myself that this year I would cut down my work load and move away from searching around for resources on a daily/weekly basis and certainly don't want to sit making up Sats style word problems and wondered what other year 5 teachers are using. I don't want to step on the year 6 teacher's toes and start using old Sats questions either in case he wants to use them next year

    Any thoughts will be gratefully received.
  2. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Has your HT been a Y6 teacher in either of the last two years? If not, they may be a bit out-of-touch.

    I've had a lot of positive feedback about the WR resources from a number of schools, all of which seem to think they fulfill the requirements of the curriculum pretty well.
    bevdex likes this.
  3. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    She's definitely not out of touch, nor am I as an experienced year 6 teacher; it's just that the White Rose Hub materials seem to go deeper than Sats questions and many children (the really bright children being the exception) who seem to be doing well with the basic understanding of the objective e.g. Multiplying and dividing by ten, etc are finding them really hard. I'd really like something that emulates Sats type questions without using old Sats questions (In year 6 I did used to use old Sats questions that had been grouped by type and I have used Test Base in a previous school, but we don't have the budget for that and the websites I used to use to get my grouped Sats questions from seem to have stopped doing them - e.g. Higham St Johns. We use Rising Stars half termly assessments which are very much in keeping with Sats questions but don't have money to buy into any of their other resources.
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Fair enough. Are you using the new stuff for 17/18? Personally, I think last year's resources easier to access.
  5. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    I'll take a look.

    Thanks for your replies, Pomz.
  6. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter


    1) Are we talking textbooks here?
    No teacher should be sat up at night creating problems to apply arithmetical learning. There are so many textbooks where all that effort has been done for you, and well. Does your school not have any old ones hanging around? Might they consider buying new ones? You don't have to follow them slavishly...dip into them and pick and choose as it suits the learning. Saves on photocopying, and they are often in colour, too, which is more stimulating and memorable.
    2) You school may also have many years of old SATs papers. (Remember the last few have been changed from the previous format). It might be worth, rather than presuming it's a no, asking the year 6 teacher if you could use old SATs papers from before a certain date (and let them specify from when- they know what they will need, or at least might need). They are unlikely to need all the ones they have (if they have as many as we do in our school), and are likely to be supportive as, let's face it, you're working on their next year's intake into year 6!
    3) The White Rose hub is for deeper understanding once a general understanding of standard problem solving has been achieved, surely? (Rather than a first step?) So the chances are that they would be to extend your brighter students, surely?
  7. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thanks, galerider. I have considered sifting through some older Sats papers but just wanted to avoid having to do so. As I said in a previous post, when I was teaching year 6 some years back you could find Sats questions by topic, but they seem to have largely disappeared. We do have some Abacus Evolve books but I don't find them to be Sats-like. I've found some Maths Reasoning books on Amazon that I've ordered just to take a look at and I remembered the old Pitch and Expectation resources that I may print off and use.

    Thanks for your reply.
    galerider123 likes this.
  8. rumpelteazer

    rumpelteazer New commenter

    Try the maths frame website. Questions written by retired teacher. They seem to be in line with the new SATs and not as hard as white rose. You have to pay £10 to access the worksheets but worth it. You can also pay another £10 access the interactive models which are quite good too.
  9. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Have you had a look at the Nrich website? I also get things from NCETM and the activities there are clearly linked to the objectives.
    Pomz likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Do they need to be 'SATs Style' at this stage of year 5?
    If the WR are harder than SATS, but your children can still access and succeed with them, then that is surely a good thing isn't it?

    I would be using these if I was you...but appreciate you may not be 'allowed' if your head doesn't like WR.
    Someone on a ****** forum, I use recommended these recently for UKS2. I can't speak for how good they are as I've only just ordered the book and it's not arrived yet.
    This website has teaching resources for each year group, listed by objective, which may be of some use to you as well.
    Pomz likes this.
  11. WRMaths

    WRMaths New commenter

    Thank you for your comments about our Y5 work. We will take the point on board about the difficulty of some of the questions for Spring and Summer schemes of learning. We didn't want to write everything SATS style, but I appreciate that some schools may be wanting more

    You may be interested to know that we are finalising our new assessments for release at the end of November. We feel these will be more reflective of SATS. When we put together the original assessments we were unsure what new end of year Key Stage assessments will look like and we hope the new assessments will now reflect this.

    As always - thank you to everyone for your comments - we honestly do listen.

    Best wishes

    White Rose Maths Team
  12. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    As a Year 6 Maths teacher and KS2 Maths lead I would seriously question Year 5 needing to do SAT's style questions. I would much rather they come up having got the basics in place and have accessed the White Rose stuff than have practised questions ready for Year 6. If they are harder than SAT's questions then even better as it will prepare them further than they need to go. I fully believe that it was because of the White Rose materials that my group achieved so well last year so would fully advocate you continuing to use them once children have the basics in place.
  13. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    We use White Rose as well as "target your Maths" - latter more for fluency. We've just bought "Maths no Problem" for evaluation (currently given matched funding by local maths hubs up to £1000)
  14. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I don't have a problem with using SATs 'style' questions with children but it is how they are used that needs careful thought. They can be great when used as a 'number talk' where children can explore, discuss and compare their thinking. This list in the NCETM Teaching for Mastery booklet introductions is also helpful:
    'A pupil really understands a mathematical concept, idea or technique if he or she can:
    • describe it in his or her own words;
    • represent it in a variety of ways (e.g. using concrete materials, pictures and symbols – the CPA approach)8
    • explain it to someone else;
    • make up his or her own examples (and nonexamples) of it;
    • see connections between it and other facts or ideas;
    • recognise it in new situations and contexts;
    • make use of it in various ways, including in new situations.'
  15. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thanks for all replies since my last post. I am very familiar with NCETM and have their Mastery Assessments. I'll carry on using a combination of White Rose materials and SATs style questions since we use Rising Starts Assessments which are similar to SATs.
  16. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thank you.
  17. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thanks for all these. I'll take a look.

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