Introduction to White Rose Maths Schemes of Learning

With their yearly framework and ‘small steps’ progression, our hugely popular Schemes of Learning (SOL) are widely used in primary schools throughout the UK – and they’ll soon be available for secondary schools, too.

While the SOL can be used in different ways, we recommend that teachers follow them as presented, along with the many support resources such as assessments and problem-solving materials. And because we want our SOL to do the best possible job for you, we’ve also prepared a clear and detailed document full of helpful tips and clear, detailed guidance: simply click below for your free copy!

A yearly overview for each year group suggests the teaching time needed for every block of learning. The Autumn, Spring and Summer sections are split equally into 12 weeks comprising 11 weeks of blocks followed by a week of consolidation.

Because the Autumn term often exceeds 12 weeks, you might choose to spend longer on the Autumn topics to fully embed them. Alternatively, if your class is secure in their learning you might decide to move onto the Spring blocks early.

Using our schemes - Yearly Overview

The termly overviews show the objectives for each block. These objectives derive directly from the National Curriculum. Where an objective includes bold and underlined text, only the bold and underlined part of the objective is covered in the block; the rest of the objective is covered elsewhere within the scheme.

Top tip!

Use the termly overview to support ongoing assessments such as trackers, to check where children's strengths and gaps in learning lie.

The objectives in each block are broken down into a series of carefully planned small steps. We recommend teaching the content in the suggested order as the step sequence is designed to gradually develop children’s understanding.

The example above shows a three-week block comprising 10 small steps. A single small step does not necessarily equate to one day of teaching. You need to judge which steps will need just one day and which will demand two or three lessons. Some small steps early in the block are there to recap learning needed in subsequent steps. Some small steps early in the block are there to recap learning from previous years or blocks.

Using our Schemes - Small Steps Overview
Top tip!

Always use Assessment for Learning to ensure that children understand each small step well before moving on to the next one.

There are two pages of content for each small step. The first page has three sections: Notes and Guidance, Mathematical Talk and Varied Fluency.

The Notes and Guidance section briefly outlines the content for each step and highlights links to previous learning.

The Mathematical Talk section provides you with questions designed to unpick the structure of the maths and deepen the children’s understanding. When children talk about maths concepts, they develop the vital mathematical language that helps them explain their ideas.

The Varied Fluency section contains two or three questions which show concrete, pictorial and abstract methods of developing children’s skills. You could use these questions when you model methods for your children. The range of methods means that you may need to break down varied fluency into smaller chunks of modelling over one or more lessons.

Using our Schemes - Small Steps Varied Fluency

The second Small Step page offers a variety of reasoning and problem solving questions to which children need to apply their understanding. Some of the questions are more challenging than others and you should use your professional judgement to decide the level of support your children need to tackle the problems. The examples above highlight the mixture of closed and open problems. These will take different periods of time to complete, and in some instances could be the focus for an entire lesson as children investigate a range of solutions.

Answers are provided to the reasoning and problem solving questions. For open-ended questions we give a variety of possible answers, but of course, your children may come up with alternative solutions of their own.

As highlighted in the National Curriculum, all children must be able to access fluency, reasoning and problem solving. It’s therefore essential that we as teachers provide the support needed for every child to reason and problem solve.