Friday Bulletin 14/10/16

Hello Maths,

The Friday bulletin seems to be becoming a Saturday Bulletin as the term moves on!

This week will be assessment week for lots of your classes.  Time to see if our little lovelies have learnt what we had intended them to.

Year 7 and 8 (and 9 at BBA)

Christa at BBA has decided to print out the record sheet on A5 separately to the test which is on A4. This would allow the students to stick it into their books without the hassle of rippring out the sheet, folding it over etc. This is such a common sense suggestion and one I wish I’d thought of. I will create them as separate documents for future assessments.

This weekend I will be making a Powerpoint that has each question on a slide with solutions so you can go over bits that are needed with your classes.  As it’s the first time that they will have filled in the record sheet, I will put instructions on the Powerpoint too.

A reminder about the marking: please NO numbers to be given out to students at all. I’ve copied the section about the marking of these tests from the document I sent out to everyone at the start of term here. Please do have a read.

Year 10 (and 9 at Aspley and Wollaton)

The tests have been created using questions from AQA’s All about maths website topic tests and teaching guidance, AQA’s Exampro and Testbase, and the topic tests from Kerboodle. I think it’s important we use as much guidance from the exam boards as possible.
The front covers state whether the papers are calculator or non-calculator.
I will be making all the tests out of 50 and the boundaries are below:
9 (48), 8 (40), 7 (33), 6 (28), 5 (23), 4 (13), 3 (8), 2 (5), 1 (3)
(Don’t worry – these won’t be the boundaries for the mock!!)
The raw scores and grades should be recorded on the front of the tests for the students, not percentages. The raw scores should also be put into Go4Schools which will convert to a grade for you. The markbooks are now set up. Please put your raw scores into the Assessment 1 column.
The tests are set up in a similar way to year 7 and 8, with the first column being the easiest questions, the second column a bit more difficult and the most challenging questions from each topic at the end.
The recording grid for one of the tests is shown below.
Because there is only one test, it may be appropriate for some sets for students to only answer questions 1-7 or 1-14, with only those questions printed, the remaining questions printed separately as extension for anyone who finishes.  Joel, Louise and Nick will let you know which will apply to your classes.  However, the raw score remains the same for the boundaries (always out of 50, regardless of how many questions have been answered). The record grid should also remain the same, so students know that there are harder questions they need to access to improve their grade.
I have split the marks 17/17/16 across the three columns.  This means that even just doing column 1 gives access up to grade 4, and a 7 from the first 2 columns.

The point of the assessments is to check progress on what we have taught. Hopefully most misconceptions will have been picked up and addressed through formative assessment and AfL during lessons, with the only mistakes made being ‘slips’ rather than a lack of understanding.  However, we all know that however hard we try, there are some who slip beneath the radar in lessons. So, if there are any blank boxes in questions in the first column of any of the assessments for years 7 – 10, there will need to be some work to address these gaps.

The intervention we do has to be manageable and realistic. However, we can’t ignore any obvious gaps in our students’ knowledge.  The first wave of intervention should be by the class teacher. This can be during lessons – maybe through starters, re-teaching, guided practice on topics, etc. We have a generous allocation of maths lessons, so this doesn’t need to be after school or at lunchtime unless you personally choose to do that.

Out of class intervention is a finite resource, so we have to prioritise who will receive it. This year we have decided to use this intervention time for year 7 students who have any blanks in the first column in the hope that by the time they reach year 11, they won’t be caught up in the seemingly never-ending intervention cycle.  The year 7 intervention has been organised on each campus to take place away from lessons to supplement the work already being done in class.

We are in the fortunate position at Bluecoat to have Maths Coaches, a luxury that many schools don’t have.  We use our coaches for students who are falling way below what they are expected to achieve. They work on focused topics identified by assessments.  We are using our coaches solely for year 11. There are also further year 11 sessions being run at all campuses for year 11’s who aren’t being seen by coaches, but who need help.  These are being run in form time and after school

Next half term

The lessons should start going up early next week for years 7 and 8. As you can imagine, they do take a very long time to put together, so please be patient if the all of the lessons do not appear by the start of the half term. My hope is that the lessons will usually be at least three ahead of where you should be.

Year 7 will be starting ‘Numeracy Ninjas’ for the start of each of their lessons next half term. Details can be seen here.  Nick has been trialling it with his year 7 at BBA this half term as a settler for the first half term of every lesson.

Just a reminder that the objectives for year 9 (ALC/WPC) and year 10 are all on this site. All students should cover all of the objectives as far as possible as decisions about tier of entry won’t be made until we have more information about boundaries from the year 11 exams next summer.

Year 9 at Aspley/Wollaton and Year 10 at BBA will be on Handling Data. The objectives are on this page.

Year 10 at Aspley Wollaton will be on Graphs 1. The objectives are on this page

Have a great last week of half term. Only four teaching days to go…