The Focus Education Scheme sets out a clear structure to the teaching activities which is set out as follows:
For each construct a pre-learning task is provided. The pre-learning task has been designed to help assess whether children are in a place to access learning aligned with the end of year expectations. These are not intended to be used with every child for every unit of work. Teachers should use based on professional judgement from ongoing teacher assessment. The pre-learning tasks can be especially useful when embarking on a new area of learning or with a child new to the class.
Practice and consolidation:
The teaching ideas on these pages are designed to support learning pitched against the end of year expectations. There may be pupils who can ‘leap frog’ this stage of learning as the teacher assesses they are already secure with the end of year expectation. In every example, there are ideas for mental and oral rehearsal alongside concrete (pencil and paper) activities. At this stage of learning, pupils will be usually supported by the teacher and guided through the mathematics content in a scaffolded way. The removal of scaffolding will help teachers assess the level of independence when undertaking learning aligned with end of year expectations.
The teaching ideas on these pages take learning beyond evidence of attaining the end of year expectation into evidence of deeper understanding of the mathematical construct, giving particular attention to reasoning and thinking. The examples are not exhaustive but rather suggestions for teachers when probing deeper understanding. On the other hand it could be used as a formative assessment tool.
Working at greater depth:
The ideas on these pages are intended to support teachers in designing mathematical learning tasks which enable pupils to work at a ‘deeper’ level. Note that these are all designed to deepen understanding of the end of year expectation rather than move pupils on to learning from subsequent years. A range of different kinds of activity are included throughout to provide variety and opportunity to assess learning in different ways.
Pupil and teacher assessment:
These pages are intended to be used by pupils and teachers to assess current learning against the end of year expectation. For each expectation, the learning steps are listed (bottom to top) in child appropriate language. These can usefully be used as a ‘before and after’ assessment to demonstrate progress.
Activities and Resources:
Teachers are encouraged to find/produce meaningful activities and adapt them accordingly for their class, so that they are closely linked to the concept being taught. Teachers are also encouraged to find a range of activities from a range of sources, as we feel it is important for the children to see mathematical questions presented in a variety of ways – this further helps to assess their using and applying skills and the decoding of mathematical problems.