Hi all

CAF news

The Year 8 common assessment is ready, including the nurture paper. There is also a optional Year 10 end of term assessment, grade boundaries to follow. Year 10 students should have finished Spring 2 before they take this.

OFSTED visit NES Maths

This week NES Maths team “enjoyed” a Maths deep dive under the new OFSTED framework. It was quite intense…. a 30 minute interview with Ruth and I about all things Maths curriculum followed by an hours worth of lesson visits then an hour of student voice followed by an hour of work scrutiny (and more curriculum questions..). Then to top it off the teaching staff observed had an interview with the lead inspector at the end of the day and were again asked about curriculum, lesson sequencing, provision for disadvantaged students and workload. The feedback was extremely positive. Well done to the NES Maths team!


Another week, another website discovery! Although I vaguely remember hearing about this one before I hadn’t looked at it in much detail until this week. It is incredible and reminds me of the goal free problems strategy.

Here is a “prompt”, first students are encouarged to make observations and ask questions about what they can see.

Inquiries have started with comments like:

  • The blue sequence is going up in 3s
  • Where has the red sequence come from?
  • How are the expressions for the nth term of the sequences connected?

The main inquiry is investigating the relationship between the first two expressions and the third. Students could be encouraged to make a hypothesis about the relationship then test it out with other sequences.

There are so many fully resourced inquiry tasks on the website – I will be looking through them and feeding the best ones into our scheme. If you spot any you like please let me know!

Hope you all have a great weekend



Hi all

Hope the Year 11 Mock 2 marking is going well! I came across this nice presentation from AQA that points out where and how students nationally are losing valuable marks. I think it would be great for us to go through this with our Year 11/Year 12 resit classes before we start going through their mock papers with them so they have an awareness as to how else they could improve in time for the real examinations.

Literacy in Maths

These have been shared via Twitter recently. Recommend displaying these in classrooms.

Pi Day

This is just over a week away and I know we are doing many Pi competitions already. Would be great to acknowledge this in lessons on Friday. Here is a PPT to support.

Hope you all have a great weekend, lets hope this sunshine continues!



Hi all

Year 10 Curriculum

You will see that I have started to tier the curriculum in Summer 1 ready for the next half term. The majority of this half term was higher content so I am adding additional Foundation work originally taught in Year 8. Lesson resources will be uploaded throughout this half term in preparation.

If you haven’t seen https://goteachmaths.co.uk/ yet please do! I have used one of the lessons from there in Year 10 Summer 1. Some really good free resources there.

Maths in Science

Laura Hart shared this question from a Science mock with me recently:

She was surprised at the number of students who got it wrong. The students that were getting it wrong were trying to read the correct sector so my mind boggles as the pie chart is cut into tenths! Please ask this question of your foundation classes and share with me what answers they give.

Year 11 Mocks – Part 2

Hope these are going smoothly. If you haven’t already the INSIGHT report AQA provide following each summer exam period is worth a read. (You probably won’t have read it as it isn’t published until November and we have all long forgotten about the summer examinations by then!)

When June 2019 Paper 3 was completed by students in the summer AQA reported that:

“Overall, students did very well on this paper, with most questions performing as anticipated. Generally, the longer problem solving and reasoning questions were attempted by most students with many picking up some marks on high demand questions late on in the paper”

Nationally on higher tier students performed well with:

  • Using the Density Formula
  • Compound Interest
  • Changing the subject of an equation
  • Probability from Venn diagrams

In particular, Questions 17 and 28 were well attempted with Questions 13 & 16 the least successful.

On Foundation tier students performed least well with questions involving:

  • Angle Problems
  • Function Machines
  • Drawing a Pie Chart
  • Enlargement
  • Density
  • Compound Interest
  • Equation of a line

Does your class results mirror these findings? Worth considering when writing your next (and) final medium term plan for Year 11.

Thanks to Gareth from BBA for sharing this Year 11 revision resources he found this week. https://www.mathsdiy.com/gcse-numeracy-topic-booklets/

Hope you have a good weekend.



Hi all

Hope the Year 7 and Year 9 common assessments have gone smoothly. Any feedback about these would be greatly appreciated.

Revision Resources

I attended a Subject Leaders Network meeting this week at the University of Nottingham and some fantastic revision resources were shared. In particular some resources from Access Maths

I particularly like the “Progressive Overload” questions they have created, here is an example of the algebra set of questions.

Definitely worth a look! I will add this website to our favourite websites Padlet!

Year 11 Mock 2

Subject Leaders are deciding next week which combination of June 2019 and November 2019 Papers to use for Mock 2. Unfortunately Mock 1 results were skewed by some students cheating at different schools across the trust so we need to be more creative with our Y11 assessment this time round. Please do not use any June 2019 and November 2019 papers in lessons until we decide which we are using for the second mock. We really need to students to be tested so they know where they currently are and how it feels to be properly tested!

Hope you all have a great weekend.


Happy New Year!

Welcome back all – I hope your first week back has gone smoothly!

Festival of Learning – 6th January 2020

My main takeaways from James Nottinghams’ talk include:

The importance of stretch and challenge and how we view and should talk about challenge in a positive way. Easy vs. Interesting. Do we describe the challenge questions in our curriculum as interesting? We should!

How praise should be meaningful; not generic. How we should celebrate the thinking and not just outcomes – too often I congratulate students when they finish a piece of work.

A remainder about an effective intervention strategy – preview. How empowering it can be for students that find a concept difficult to be enabled a better a chance of success by providing intervention before a lesson.

The power of productive struggle in the learning of Mathematics. We want our students to be successful, but that success doesn’t mean that students must understand a concept quickly.

Year 7 & Year 9 Common Assessment

These are being checked by our CAF scrutineers and will be uploaded on Monday. The data deadline for these is Valentines Day.


Fill in the blanks in the following “countdown” equation so that it makes mathematical sense…

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 = 2020

Answer to follow next week

Hope you have a fabulous weekend



Hi all

Year 10 Foundation Pathway

I have now started to create a Foundation Pathway through the Year 10 Curriculum (see Spring 1). I will work on each half term as we go, please discuss with your Head of Maths about which pathway your class should be following. You will also see that I will be adding some Geometry to Spring 1 which also links nicely with the Science theme.

Any feedback and/or resources to supplement would be greatly appreciated, as always!

Compound Ratio

It is apparent from our Year 11 QLA’s that this topic is a particular weakness across the trust. Please do ensure that the Year 11 Ratio Lessons are included in your Y11 medium term plans.


If you haven’t seen it already; Resourceaholic has a whole section dedicated to ChristMaths.

Resourceaholic- Christmas Activities

Hope you all have a great last week! 5 more get ups!!



Year 8 CAF Review 

The results are in and you should now be able to identify which of your students have under performed via Go4Schools and update your CAF reviews and plan your interventions accordingly.

Big thank you to you all – it appears as though every single student across the trust sat the Year 8 CAF (see below – no grey!!!). Maths are brilliant, as usual!


Why this? Why now? 

There have been lots of CPL at BBA and NES recently in light of the new OFSTED framework about curriculum sequencing and progression. I have produced some student friendly curriculum overviews to also provide students with an opportunity to know what we are teaching throughout the year and an opportunity to consider how topics are linked. Please stick these in/on students books.


Student Friendly Curriculum Overview Y7-Y10

Low Stakes Quizzes

As many of you know I love low stakes quizzing. The benefits of regular testing are well documented and from Craig Barton’s “How I wish I’d taught Maths” book include the following:

  • Testing provides feedback to teachers
  • Testing identifies gaps in knowledge
  • Frequent testing encourages students to study
  • Testing produces better organisation of knowledge
  • Testing can facilitate retrieval of material that was not tested

I have previously shared an example of a low stakes quiz Alex from BAA created  – I use this format with my Year 11 class at BBA each week and it is helping with their retention and engagement Quiz 5 111019

Katie has been sharing “Ten Minute Checkups” with her team at BWA – some examples of them can be found here. Thank you Katie!

Ten Minute check up Year 9 November Week 10

Ten Minute check up Year 10 November Week 9

Ten Minute check up Year 11 November Week 10

Happy Friday and Happy Fibonacci Day tomorrow







GCSE Problems of the Day 

Thank you to Michelle from BWA for sharing this resource this week :

GCSE-Problems-of-the-Day PPT

A lovely set of problems for our KS4 students from White Rose MathsHub. I have also saved this in our Year 11 Revision Resources section.

Fibonacci Day (23/11)

This falls on a Saturday this year so would be nice to celebrate Fibonacci Friday next week. Here is a resource to help you celebrate with your classes.

Fibonacci Day


Collaborative Problem Solving 

I found this old book at BAA this week and it reminded me of some fantastic team problem solving tasks I have done with classes throughout my career.


This week I have integrated some of these (at least one per year per year group) into our curriculum to facilitate more opportunities for problem solving and team work. In my experience they work best when students are in mixed groups of 3 and each student is given responsibility for 4 cards. I know chopping up sets of cards is very time consuming so I just photocopy the cards as they come (random) and cut them into thirds (student 1 gets cards 1 – 4, student 2 gets cards 5, 8 etc..) to save time. I then give students 5 minutes to read their own cards in silence before I allow students to start working together to solve the problem on a sheet of A3 plain paper. I insist students keep the four cards they were given at the start so all students remain involved.

Maths Websites Padlet 

For easy access I have created this padlet for us to be able to get to our favourite Maths teaching websites quickly : Websites we love

It can also be accessed from the Bluecoat Maths homepage.


Hope you all have a great weekend




Year 10 Common Assessment 1 

Students should have now taken this assessment. It is easier for us to complete the CAF review whilst/shortly after marking so I have uploaded the template here: CAF review. We will not be able to complete the data section until after the data deadline Friday, 22nd November. There will be grade boundaries for this common assessment but these will not be set until the data is in so we can set them statistically.

Maths Week 

Next week (11th – 16th November) is the very first Maths Week in England. This is the start of a grassroots movement to share the joy of mathematics with everyone following success of Maths week in Ireland for the past decade. More information about Maths week can be found here: Maths Week England

MEI and the AMSP are supporting Maths Week England by releasing fantastic resources for teachers to use. Thank you to Keely from BAA for sharing these questions that are suitable for all year groups. They promote mathematical discussion, debate and allow students to appreciate that Maths is everywhere!


Maths Week Years 7 – 10 PPT

Maths Week Years 9 – 13 PPT 


Hope you all have a fabulous weekend



Hi all

Hope everyone has enjoyed the half term break – how nice was it to have two weeks this year?!

Year 10 Common Assessment 

These are now online and can be found here: Autumn 2 Assessment.

The data deadline for the Year 8 Common assessment is the 15th November – thank you in advance for meeting that and for ensuring no students are missed!

Autumn 2 

I found this interleaving exercise via twitter this half term:


I have added it to Year 8 Autumn 2 Lesson 6. A great set of questions that follow our sequence of learning nicely given that students collect like terms in Autumn 1 and work with negative numbers and fractions throughout Year 7.

Also from Twitter I found this meme that made me smile and think of Year 10 as they start solving simultaneous equations this half term.


How true is this??

Hope you all have a great first week back