Posted 31st May 2022
Since their inception in 2015, our much-loved schemes have helped thousands of teachers throughout the world to support pupils with learning and retention of maths concepts using a ‘small steps’ mastery approach. Currently, the schemes are used by 80% of schools to some degree – either in full or as a back-up to their own work schemes, dipping in and out as required. Yet the time has come to expand the schemes further to offer greater support than ever and meet today’s needs.
Our schemes today – and what’s to come!
From the beginning, White Rose Maths schemes have modelled the ‘Concrete – Pictorial - Abstract’ approach to support children’s understanding of maths. Over time, they have evolved in response to the ever-changing needs of teachers and pupils. Our learning steps became even smaller – helping pupils grasp and embed each skill effectively, and our guidance to teachers became even bigger – about what concept to teach which age group and when. After the pandemic, we introduced ‘recap steps’ so that teachers could begin the new academic year reflecting on concepts perhaps not embedded in full while pupils learned from home.
Now, in 2022, we are revising our schemes once again, creating the most enhanced maths experience to date by making teaching and learning more straightforward than ever!
Why are we upgrading our schemes of learning?
There are three key reasons behind our latest version release:
A response to tweaks made to the national curriculum
While the DfE has not changed the curriculum, it has introduced some additional 'Ready to progress' guidance. This document suggests which concepts in a year group should have more attention and prioritised before children move on. You will see in the new schemes that we give these topics even greater emphasis, providing more time for you to explore them with your class.
Feedback from our community
We regularly receive questions from teachers and education professionals about how to overcome gaps in knowledge after missing a lot of maths because of the pandemic. By introducing more guidance than ever within our schemes, we’re making it easier for you to plan practical maths lessons using our detailed, clear and consistent resources and bring your pupils up to speed again.
Committed to high-quality resources
As a team, we are highly critical of our work and committed to producing resources to the highest standards that reflect the current needs of teachers and pupils. So, while version 2 addressed many needs already, we still felt the schemes could be advanced further to make life even easier for maths teachers around the world.
So, what changes can you expect in our new schemes of learning?
The first thing we expect you to notice with version 3 of our schemes is how they look. We created the original schemes before introducing our other resources, so they appeared different. Now, they have the same look and feel as all other White Rose Maths materials, including the colours used for each year group, to keep them consistent and easier to recognise.
Don’t think the new look impacts our content, though, which is still designed to support your teaching maths effectively whatever the age group. It’s just easier to follow and improved where we felt changes were necessary.
A step-by-step approach to maths is critical to learning and embedding knowledge effectively. Yet many of our teachers tell us some concepts are still tricky to teach, and children find them difficult to master.
After reviewing every small step, we felt that a few needed to change. Many concepts are now broken down further so they are easier to grasp. For example, fractions are a challenging topic for children in Year 3, right at the start of KS2. We have critiqued our schemes and slowed fractions down further by slicing the learning pieces into smaller, more manageable steps again, allowing time for a pupil to take the knowledge on board.
Our profession knows all about the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on many young people up and down the country. It's no more apparent than with maths, with all age groups experiencing learning gaps since the school closures in 2020 and 2021.
Although we have removed ‘recap’ steps, you will see that many early steps of a concept contain references to previous learning – meaning you can build on prior knowledge and identify if there are any gaps before progressing further.
As part of our review of version 2, we looked at each scheme in detail both by year and by topic. In places, we felt that the concept was either too easy or too complex for a particular year group, and it needed to move accordingly.
For example, in Year 1, we expected children to add across 10 (eg 8 + 7) by making 10. We know many children struggled with this concept in Year 1, so it has moved to Year 2. Although as a teacher you may want to still cover it in Year 1, we now only expect children to add across 10 by counting on.
As another example, in version 2 of our schemes, we expected teachers to introduce formal written algorithms to children in Year 2, which we know some children find difficult to grasp. In our new schemes, we are introducing these formal written algorithms in Year 3, with the focus in Year 2 being the use of equipment and number lines to support conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction.
Many rural schools have small pupil numbers of different ages studying together in one class. Our new schemes of learning are better aligned to overcome the challenge this presents for teachers’ planning. We have grouped together concepts where we can - for example, aligning year 1 with Year 2, Year 3 with Year 4, and Year 5 with Year 6. You will see that now it is much more likely that you will be teaching both year groups’ concepts from the same area of maths at the same time, making it easier for teachers of mixed-age classes to plan and deliver effective maths lessons.
Our version 2 schemes included lots of notes and guidance but it wasn’t possible to say everything we wanted to about a concept. In our latest version, we go into more depth including sections about things to look out for, key questions to ask pupils and sentence stems. We also explain how a concept supports the national curriculum – not just by block as we did in version 2, but in every single step, making it easier for you to see what to teach and when.
Want to understand more about what’s changed in our new schemes of learning? Watch our video!
Get ready for our new schemes of learning – they’re coming soon!
Our new schemes will be available from mid-June to allow you plenty of time to become familiar with the updated version. From September, all content will be available to those who want to make the switch immediately, with our current schemes still on the website for those who don’t.
We know you will have many questions about our new schemes and will be releasing our FAQs very soon. In the meantime, to learn more about the schemes, we recommend you watch our recent information webinar. If you still have questions afterwards, please put them to our team using our regular communication channels – Facebook, Twitter or email.
For now, please be assured that version 3 includes the same incredible content you're familiar with – only presented differently. That's a new and clear layout, more guidance than before, smaller steps where needed and improved progression within and between each academic year, making teaching and learning maths easier for you and your pupils.
See the new schemes of learning for yourself - download a sample copy today!
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