Welcome to the new five-year scheme of learning for secondary mathematics. We have listened to what teachers have said about our previous Key Stage 3 scheme, and these overviews have been developed by practicing secondary practitioners within the White Rose Maths team in conjunction with other colleagues in schools.
There is a termly plan for each year group from Year 7 to Year 11. Each term is split into two half terms of six weeks, each with a common theme. Every half term is further split into blocks that ensure students spend enough time to get a deep understanding of the topic being covered.
Our new scheme has been designed with interleaving as a key element. For example, Year 7 starts with developing algebraic thinking and further development of algebraic skills is then woven throughout the year so students reinforce and extend their knowledge and understanding.
We firmly believe that students who are successful with number are much more confident mathematicians, so we have continued to emphasise number work throughout. We also recognise, however, that arithmetic can be a barrier to some students accessing other areas of the curriculum, so we have also incorporated the teaching and learning of calculator skills – alongside estimation – throughout the curriculum.
In our opening algebra unit, the exemplar materials in our supporting “small steps” documents are designed with calculators in mind. As well as developing their calculator skills, this is to encourage students to understand the processes of solving equations using inverse operations rather than “spotting” answers.
We also recognise that students enter secondary school with a very wide range of prior attainment. Our scheme is designed so that any student following the main content will have covered all of the GCSE Foundation tier by the end of Year 11 and therefore will have access to a grade 5. Students who have also covered additional Higher content will have access to a Grade 9. We leave it to the professional judgement of our fellow teachers to decide for each class in each unit which aspects of the Higher content to cover. Further support for this planning is provided in our “small steps” guidance documents.
We hope you find the scheme and its supporting materials useful. We look forward to your feedback.
The White Rose Maths Secondary Team