Friday Bulletin 16/9/16

Hello Maths,

Thank you to everyone who has uploaded their year 7 intervention data. Your DoLs will let you know next steps for students on the list and will explain their plans for intervention. It will differ from campus to campus.  All intervention will continue until the progress check at the end of half term. The next phase of intervention will be planned based on the results of the progress check.



None this week.


Curriculum Issues KS3:

Some questions that have come up this week.

  • I’m struggling with the mixed ability classes.


This is a difficult one. Many of us have been teaching for a very long time in a strict setted environment so this is a huge shift in many ways.  The rationale for the mixed ability classes is to raise the aspirations and expectations of the students in the lower sets who historically make the least progress, while maintaining the challenge for the faster graspers.


The aim is that we teach to the top of the class so that students who would traditionally be in ‘bottom sets’ are exposed to the same content as everyone else. This gives them the opportunity to have good learning behaviours and habits modelled by students who have been more successful previously. It is important for students to see what other students of their age can do, and that actually, they can often succeed at the same things too.


As there is an open door policy across the trust, I would encourage you to work together and go and see each other teach the key stage 3 lessons.  I have a year 7 period 1 every day except for Wednesday, and anybody is more than welcome to come along to observe/help out/join in. Please let me know if you would be happy for others to come to your classes, and when those particular classes are.  I understand if you are happy for colleagues to see some classes and not others. Maybe we could make up a timetable of where mixed ability lessons are going on across BBA, ALC and WPC. Obviously, all visits are to be non-judgemental and for support and development reasons only.


  • The lessons are really difficult and my class are struggling to access them.


The lessons were initially written for a mixed ability audience.  If you are teaching in sets, then the lessons will need to be modified.  It is absolutely fine to supplement lessons with a few consolidation lessons as your class requires.  Please don’t think you can’t have the odd quiet ‘death by worksheet lesson’ or other lessons that you have planned from teaching these topics previously.  Some of you have maths twice in one day, so you may well want to have the second lesson as a consolidation lesson. The discussion lessons can be exhausting for the students (and teachers!)


It is also important to note that the lesson plans are not intended to be scripts.  I started to write the lessons at my previous school as people were worried about planning for mixed ability classes.  I created the lessons to try and reduce time spent searching for resources, so that planning time could be spent concentrating on delivery and planning questions that would move the learning on for all students in the class.


I know that when I have used  Powerpoints or resources made by other people in the past, I have not always known what the intention behind the resource is. The lesson plans are how I would use the resources to teach the lessons. That doesn’t mean that it is necessarily how you would all teach the lessons. Please do use your professional judgement.


  • Thank you once again to everyone who has sent in resources that they are using to supplement/differentiate the work. Please do send anything as it means people have a first port of call when looking for resources. I have been adding them to each lesson page as ‘supplementary resources’.


  • Thank you for those of you who have been using the comments section. Please continue to use these, especially if your lesson has gone well, or if you have suggestions for improvements. Remember that our trainee teachers also use these resources, and may like to hear about things that made the lesson go well.



We are in the process of organising intervention for year 11’s. Your DoL’s will let you know which students will be chosen and what they will be doing. For ALC and WPC, we will be using the Question Level Analysis from the PiXL Curve exams the students sat in June. The results are now out. Joel and Louise will share the results with you. They are in Go 4 Schools so you can check your class results.

We are hoping to have the first set of mock exams in the week starting 8th November. More details to follow when the dates and times have been confirmed.


See you all soon,