Guest Blogger: @gareth_metcalfe
Providing Maths challenges KS2
So the level 6 tests were introduced into primary schools at the end of KS2, and I took a sharp intake of breath: was the maths curriculum about to become narrowed for our most able learners?
I appreciated that there were many children for whom a greater level of challenge was required to retain an interest and purpose in maths. However, I feared that in reality our most able children would be accelerated through monotonous, dry level 6 materials (or, more to the point, past papers) in order for them to reach the level 6 holy grail.
My belief, a view supported by all manner of research and guidance, was that more able children need to be given deep, conceptual mathematical experiences rather than to be accelerated through maths content. I have also felt that there is a place for children to experience mathematical ideas, on occasion, in context in order for them to appreciate their underlying uses and purposes.
Over the subsequent years, I have written a maths resource which I am enormously excited to release called First Class Maths. First Class Maths is made up of 24 puzzles and challenges for children working at or towards level 6. The tasks are quirky, varied and deeply challenging: I have had such fun delivering them in the classroom.
Below is an extract from one of the tasks: The Village Elder. Please use it in your class and see what you think!
The tasks range from straight logic puzzles (The Heist, The Jewellery Case) to the application a range of level 6 content (for example The Bomb Disposal Operation). They cover the vast majority of level 6 objectives, but in exciting and novel ways.
More information on their release will follow shortly: I will keep tweeting updates on @gareth_metcalfe and of course @alanpeat won’t be shy about letting you know when the resource is ready to be released.
I hope you can see a place for these tasks in your classroom; they have made a huge impact in mine.