The end? (More commonly known as Thursday)

U may already be aware but Thursday spells the end of an era. 

Gone are the plaudits of old, no comparisons for you!

Friday brings with it changes unimagined by so many.

Every teacher, student and parent will be affected.

Dry eyes for now but just give it a year.

Coridoors of uncertainty…

But just maybe…

A change of perspective is all we need…

A STAR now rises…

year to prove it’s worth.

TOO many lives on the line.

THe REEpercussions will be felt…

FOUR a generation.

FIVE is the new standard and only the little leaded. ..

StICkS and a whole lot of work will lead us to the (S)…

hEaVEN we crave. It could have been different but we…

ATE it up and now it’s too late to say…



Homework Blocks A to H

Hi Peeps!

I’ve been rejigging (and adding to) my homeworks in preparation for the next school year.


Following discussions with various people the homeworks are no longer in half-termly chunks but rather in blocks of 6.

Each block scatter-guns its way through various topics and generally gets harder as you proceed through the blocks.

The idea being that teachers of the class can progress through them at a pace more suited to their class. Block A too easy? Move on to B! etc

Here is the break down of topics covered so far…

block cover1


As you can see there are also a couple of blocks containing more functional/ problem solving elements that you may be interested in!

I’ve purposely left any branding off the sheets as I see them as a free resource for any and all who wants them. If they’re not to your particular homework tastes… well they could make quick easy cover resources!?


A Preview

block a 1

block a 2

block a 3

block a 4

block a 5

block a 6


B preview

block b 1

block b 2

block b 3

block b 4

block b 5

block b 6


C preview

block c 1

block c 2

block c 3

block c 4

block c 5

block c 6


D preview

block d 1

block d 2

block d 3

block d 4

block d 5

block d 6


E preview

block E 1

block E 2

block E 3

block E 4

block E 5

block E 6


F preview

block F 1

block F 2

block F 3

block F 4

block F 5

block F 6


G preview

block G 1

block G 2

block G 3

block G 4

block G 5

block G 6


H preview.png

block H 1

block H 2

block H 3

block H 4

block H 5

block H 6

That’s it for now!


Hoping to have Blocks I to L done before the summer but we’ll see!!!!


  • Andy x

Join me on my journey through ‘Mathematics: Made to Measure!’ Part 2




Made it!


page 10 of 103!

…and now, the continuation


Part A: Overall Effectiveness

Schools’ work in mathematics has shown little improvement over the last three years.

Good or outstanding judgements were made on 52% of the 192 schools visitedpercents

thats… probably about what I would have expected even before looking at the results. Given the political pressures on Ofsted and henceforth the constant moving of goalposts. I am not shocked… Maybe I should be… let’s look at some more evidence…


  • Percentage of pupils hitting expected thresholds in their respective key stages.

on first glance this chart shows quite a worrying trend with regards to the amount of pupils hitting the thresholds as they get older. However as we look a little closer we can see that actually, when comparing the same level and key stage we can actually see a rise in the majority of categories from 2005 to 2011… Lets remind ourselves about what Ofsted said…

Schools’ work in mathematics has shown little improvement over the last three years.

now… a 14.2% improvement over the last three years (A* to C) seems like a pretty big deal to me… granted other Key stages are not as impressive but still. harsh!



recognition a bit further down!

Although the largest increases have been in the proportion of pupils gaining A* to C grades, the average performance and the proportion gaining A*/A grades have risen too.

I suppose it should be noted that this is 2011… its a bit out of date! All bets are off regarding the new exams I’m afraid!

ok wow… here we go…

While this overall improvement in pupils’ progress is welcomed, two issues have emerged. First, the decline in the proportion of pupils reaching Level 3 by the end of Key Stage 1 reflects underachievement of the most able but this is masked by the expected two levels of progress measure in Key Stage 2. If, for instance, an able Year 2 pupil was not sufficiently challenged and reached Level 2a instead of Level 3, her/his progress to Level 4 by Year 6 would be considered to be in line with expected progress, whereas in reality Level 4 would represent underachievement for that pupil. Crucially, expectations of the same pupil five years later would be grade C GCSE, yet that pupil perhaps should have been on track to reach Level 5 at Key Stage 2, then an A*/A grade at GCSE, leaving her/him appropriately equipped to pursue the subject at A level or beyond.

This is some serious blue sky thinking right here guys and completely ignores the opposite scenario where a pupil massively achieves and barely scrapes a level 2c,  this poor kid who might just have had a great and very lucky day (it happens) now has an unrealistic target and would be seen as ‘failing’ by certain establishments for not living up to his inflated potential.

The reality is that both of these statements are at the very extreme of what actually happens and so for Ofsted to include this I feel is somewhat dangerous in terms of viability and liability.

Part of the problem is that external assessment in mathematics at all ages is generally based on a compensatory model: success with some questions in a test or examination compensates for poor performance on others

Fair play to Ofsted for this one. They seem to have found a partial solution to this at KS2 by asking for a whopping great portfolio of evidence on the pupil… as well as an exam at the end… I feel sorry for the 95% of primary schools whose exam results won’t match the portfolio…

on we go…

…a third of FSM pupils enter secondary education below the expected level and their chances of progression to grade C or better at GCSE are slim.

This is an issue.

It’s an issue for the pupils who are sadly being let down and it’s an issue for the schools who receive extra funding and will need to justify the spending. The school I am at has spent a lot of time cleaning house so to speak on the pupil premium issue to the point where there are ‘pupil premium’ champions in most departments (myself being one!) where part of our role is to make sure the department has a strong focus on the pupil premium cohort.

We’re doing this by making sure we have a percentage of PP books during book looks, a percentage of PP in the various intervention strategies. There’s more but I’ll save that for a separate blog post.

more attainment stuff…

even more attainment stuff…

some stuff on travellers not attaining.

problems with SEN and attainment… you know…all the usuals.


This looks a little juicier…

All the pupils in a class often tackled the same work, continuing to practise beyond what was necessary rather than moving on swiftly to more complex or unusual questions that stretch and deepen pupils’ thinking

The ol’ differentiation chestnut…

I’ve had lots of time to think on this (and have talked about it lots in the past)

The issue is not the differentiation, it’s the assessment. I know that I don’t want to push a pupil faster than they can go as I want to nip any misconceptions in the bud as they appear. At the same time I do want to push them as hard as I can. As we are often held accountable for the pupils progress is it not possible (and I’m playing devils advocate here), is it not possible that without thinking we hold all pupils back until everyone is ready to be moved on. With better in class assessment at a very regular basis (both formal and informal of course) we would have the evidence and the peace of mind to push pupils in all sorts of different directions.

Of course on the flip side it could also be that we (the proverbial teacher we) do not like letting go of our power/control and as such do not let pupils explore more by themselves?

Do we baby and spoon feed too much (the answer to this is yes by the way.I don’t think I’m being controversial in saying that either.)

regardless let’s move on or i’ll never get the thing read!


Nearly all the secondary schools had set themselves targets for increased proportions of pupils to pass five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C, including English and mathematics. Consequently, they were keen for more pupils to attain grade C or better in mathematics …      … These tactics account for the rise in attainment at GCSE; this is not matched by better teaching, learning and progress in lessons, or by pupils’ deeper understanding of mathematics.

Sorry, no dice! Product of the accountability system Ofsted helps to enforce. The cost to the lives of the pupils, teachers, schools and local communities of not working like a dog to these artificial standards is lower than sacrificing other elements of the curriculum in which many students find success in .


ok… last topic for today!

It remains a concern that secondary pupils seemed so readily to accept the view that learning mathematics is important but dull.

A popular viewpoint in the wider world as well. We as maths teacher love our subject, see the beauty in it and share that daily. Unfortunately it feels sometimes that we are urinating into the wind when it comes to this area.

Being smart (apparently) isn’t cool…

I’m not going to delve too much into this here as it’s a whole hornets nest and I’ve still got 80 or so pages to go!

instead I’ll drop this link here that sums up a lot of my thoughts on the topic.


Wow… so there we go! we made it though a whole extra 9 pages today! (go team!)

Im probably going to read quite a bit ahead and summarise a larger chunk in the coming week (this blog diversion does NOT need to be  15 posts long!!)


If you’re interested in reading the document yourself (and why wouldn’t you). Iv’e saved you a google search and you can click the link below


Thanks for reading… i’ll be back with more later!


Andy x


Join me on my journey through ‘Mathematics: Made to Measure!’ Part 1

As part of a pre-reading task for a course I’m starting I’ve been asked to read/look over/ familiarise myself with the Pulitzer prize winning* Ofsted report: Made to Measure.

Seeing as it weighs in at a whopping 103 pages of fun and excitement, I figured I would highlight, comment and generally balls my way around the report in the hopes of :-

a: keeping myself sane and…

b: actually help some of the more interesting/ important bits stay in my head!

With that said let’s dive in…

*May have made that bit up


We’ve seen some improvements during the last three years…  … But our report clearly highlights three worrying problems which need to be tackled.

Ok, good start. Things to improve, let’s take a look at what they are!

1: Pupils not fulfilling potential… something about too many pupils sitting early entry and not progressing past a grade C… can’t imagine why…*cough*ofcourseIcan*cough* surely it can’t be to do with pressures from organsations like Ofsted to achieve a baseline level… or else…


moving on

2: Too many of the pupils who have had a poor start to mathematics not catching up. Quite worrying yes and possibly a sign of some systematic failure in the way maths is taught on a national level?


3: Too much variance within the actual teaching of the mathematics, Ofsted claims it can differ widely even within the same school.


Things are getting juicy now!

… Wait! Stop the presses! I want to quote this…

We also urge the Department for Education to raise national mathematical ambition and take action to improve pupils’ mathematical knowledge and understanding.

Now over the last few years we’ve seen a BUTTLOAD of the second bit (introduction of the new exams etc) but I’m struggling to think of any time in the last few years the DfE have gone loopy and actually promoted the subject in the mainstream media as the hottest thing since Daryl Dixon’s scruffy haircut. (im sorry DfE, but giving a thumbs up about how important maths is as a ‘talking head’ on a news story isn’t going to cut it…)


approx 2 pages of recap… then…

While weak performance was generally challenged robustly, attention to the mathematical detail, so crucial in improving teachers’ expertise, was lacking. Moreover, information gleaned from monitoring and data analysis was rarely used to secure better quality provision, usually because analysis was linked to intervention and revision and monitoring focused on generic characteristics rather than pinpointing the subject-specific weaknesses

ok, this is pretty interesting. Lot’s of praise for how the secondary sector is using the data to identify and challenge under performing pupils but criticising the generality of the help given.

In short:

  • Intervention should be more focused on attaining mathematical rigor on a few topics rather than the broad area of… geometry for example.


[About outstanding schools]… The schools focused on building pupils’ fluency with, and understanding of, mathematics.

BOOM! There it is!

It took 7 pages but we’ve done it guys! The first mention of fluency!

Just as I think it can’t get any better…

Being ‘made to measure’ might describe schools’ perceptions of, and reaction to, the pressures to raise standards. However, the aim for all schools should be to secure high calibre, ‘made-to-measure’ mathematics provision to optimise every pupil’s chance of the best mathematics education.

They actually did it! They mentioned the report name, in the report! How meta!

ok, all joking aside the report makes a lot of sense so far and has very worthwhile (if a little lofty) goals.

and so…Onwards…

Summary of Key Findings.

  • Low attainment is a self fulfilling prophecy. Especially bad amongst the Pupil Premium cohort.
  • The best schools tackled mathematical disadvantage with expert insight and ambitious determination

  • Unless we (the collective we) do better, the future mathematical needs of the country would be lacking.
  • GCSE’s have got easier… Seems they’ve fixed this now…
  • KS2 results are up, KS1 plateaued. (theres more but meh, that’s the long and short of it!)
  • More stuff about intervention and early entry (Zzzz…)
  • …attaining a key threshold does not represent adequate mastery of skills and sufficient depth of conceptual understanding to prepare pupils for the next stage of mathematics education. [teaching to the test it would seem!]

  •  KS4 teaching often better than KS3… (seriously though! Why the hell do we still have Key stages in maths? “Oh no you can’t study this section of maths! you’re not KS4 yet!…”)
  • Some serious issues with KS3 teaching (so much so they decided it needed its own key point!)
  • Too much teaching to the test still happening and whilst it’s improved, assessment in lessons still needs work.
  • Professional subject knowledge development not up to scratch in a lot of schools. Needs more support networks
  • Problems solving skills still need to be integrated into everyday teaching!

I interupt your big list to bring you a cheeky link to some of my own thoughts on problem solving in the classroom

And so with all the keys all found, Ofsted have some recommendations (don’t they always?)

DfE Should:

  • Make sure end of KS exams are all pretty like (lots of familiar and unfamiliar problems that give students a chance to show off their fluency skills as well as the ability to remember stuff! Like I said, pretty)
  • Raise ambitions of pupils (still waiting on this guys! can’t do it all myself though I’m trying!)
  • Promote subject knowledge training etc in all routes into primary teaching (couldn’t meaningfully comment on this if I tried!)
  • research some stuff

Schools Should:

  • sort out the inconsistency of teaching…
  • increase problem solving across the subject
  • make staff do better and teach better and stuff that im sure schools are probably doing anyway but Ofsted are mentioning it anyway.
  • improve data collection and analysis.

Secondary schools should:

  • Stop bloody taking the wee with all this resit business! (they went and solved this issue didn’t they just!)



Made it!


page 10 of 103!


TO BE CONTINUED! (probably tomorrow as sod reading any more of this at 11pm on a school night!)

(continued right here!!!!)


  • Andy x



KS3 Homeworks HT4

It’s been a long time since I updated!

work/life balance is pretty crazy right now so the blog’s had to take a small step back for the moment. Doesn’t mean I don’t love ya though!

Here are the next set of potential homeworks/ mastery worksheets if you’re interested!


As always feel free to share

topics this half term include

  • division
  • ratio
  • algebra:
  • – solving
  • – factorising
  • – expanding
  • percentage of amounts/ increase/ decrease.


I’ll link to all the older worksheets at the bottom!


  • Andy xxx


HT4 1

HT4 2

HT4 3

HT4 4

HT4 5

HT4 6

HT4 7



Old worksheets can be found at…