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Key stage 3

FORMULA ONE MATHS. Edited by Roger Porkess. Pupils' Book A pound;9.99. Teacher's Resource A. pound;60. Hodder amp; Stoughton

Formula One Maths is a new mainstream course for key stage 3. Book A contains the material for Year 7. Material for Years 8 and 9 is due to be published in spring 2001.

The pupils' book is organised into 27 chapters, each ending with a summary and a review exercise. Each page spread in the pupils' book is intended to provide material for one lesson. The teacher's resource contains a page of teaching notes for each of these lessons, providing support for teaching within the three-part framework of a numeracy lesson.

Each set of teaching notes begins with a set of mental questions intended to prepare for the work in that lesson. The main teaching activity is supported by comprehensive teaching notes, including support for the interactive discussion points. For this part of the lesson the pupils are often organised in differentiated groups.

There are references to other activities, extensions and investigations to support the exercise that accompanies the lesson. Many lessons also include helpful references to ICT resources and websites.

If you need a scheme o work, this course will help you. The teacher's resource includes a chart matching the material in Book A to the teaching programme for Year 7. This is followed by a detailed scheme of work showing how the 27 chapters and the accompanying worksheets, tests and other activities can be organised across six half terms.

A difficulty for a course of this kind, which seeks to provide for all pupils in Year 7 with one course book, is how to provide adequate differentiation. The material in Book A is aimed at levels 4 and 5 of the national curriculum and is intended to cover the Framework for Teaching Mathematics Year 7. Worksheets are provided in the Teacher's Resource to cater for the less able and for the mathematically talented.

However, I do not think the worksheets for the less able provide enough support and motivation. For example, the support worksheets on Basic Number contain sets of exercises in addition and subtraction, laid out vertically, with no support for pupils to visualise the calculations on a number line or to develop meaningful strategies for calculation.

Peter Johnston-Wilder is a senior lecturer in mathematics education at De Montfort University, Bedford

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