It just doesn’t add up sometimes…

UntitledWho remembers this…?

Yes, the old National Numeracy Strategy Medium Term Plans. Now, how easy the objectives are is a discussion for another day. My issue at the moment is the fact that this is for the Autumn term and tells you how many days to spend on each.

The current maths guidance looks like this…

(This is obviously just a snapshot)

Now my question is: When do I teach this? The beginning of the year? The end?

This isn’t a moan, just a question. I am completely behind the idea that schools can design their own way of doing things. I don’t want the government to come out and tell me that I have to do bar graphs for 3 days in December. I’d just like some guidance from someone for right here, right now. I have identified a number of gaps in my children’s knowledge which keep me ticking over trying to plug them. For example we spent all last week using hundred squares to learn tenths and hundredths which worked a charm. However, when it comes to Sunday and I am thinking “What shall I do in maths next week?” I find myself getting a bit worried that I might be doing the wrong thing; am I the only teacher in the country who has done shape this year?

The White Rose Maths Hub have released materials to inform planning and I strongly advise people to get these resources as they are proving invaluable and I cannot thank the people behind them enough! However, the plan for Spring tells me to do fractions, decimals and percentages all term. Had I not done (what I thought would be enough) work on FDP before Christmas I would definitely be following them. “Why don’t you do what the plan told you to do while you were doing FDP before Christmas then?” you ask. Well, the plan says to do addition and subtraction which I did in September.

So, just recap things? Sure, no problem (not sarcastic) but the children that “got it” last time will question why I’m doing things again. It will only benefit those who didn’t comprehend last time.

“OK, move those higher children onto the next level and teach the lower ability.” How? Most have proven mastery and you aren’t supposed to move onto the year above like we did in the days of the NNS.

“Introduce the new things then that you haven’t covered” That’s fine for now but what about June when I might have covered everything?

I think I just need to relax and think that as long as my children are making progress it doesn’t matter. I also, haven’t got round to the idea that I can be as creative as I want and focus on what my class need, basically, bask in the freedom that I have been given in my classroom. I just haven’t gotten used to it yet!

Note to self: Relax, it’s all a bit new and you’re doing fine!

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