Publication of a new SMP course is an important event and SMP Interact, for key stages 3 and 4, is well worth looking at. Schools using the old SMP 11-16 scheme may want to consider this as a possible replacement. Some of the best ideas from SMP 11-16 have influenced the development of activities in these books, but there is a greater role for whole-class and interactive teaching, in line with numeracy developments.
Book 1 and Book N contain Year 7 material, supported by two packs of photocopiable resources. Activities are targeted at three tiers of attainment: Book 1 and Book N contain material for all three tiers, with some activities designed for all tiers and others for only one or two tiers. After Year 7 there will a separate series of books for each tier. Book N is a core resource fo number, Book 1 contains everything else.
Book N clearly builds on the national numeracy framework for Years 5 and 6; it will fit well with the framework's extension into key stage 3. Book 1 begins with a collection of 12 "starter" activities for use in the first few weeks of Year 7, to help pupils settle into secondary school and help teachers to get to know their pupils. Seventeen units of work follow, each beginning with a statement of key learning objectives and ending with self-assessment questions. The books use a variety of teaching approaches, with a central place given to discussion and other interactive work. The material is explicitly not for pupils to work through at their own pace. Many activities are intended to be teacher-led and pupil activities often require intervention and support.
Peter Johnston-Wilder is a senior lecturer in mathematics education at De Montfort University, Bedford