6 May 2017

#mathscpdchat - Year 7 Topics

I'm hosting #mathscpdchat between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday 9th May. We'll be discussing what topics are taught in Year 7, and in what order. To join in the discussion, please tweet your thoughts, making sure you include the hashtag #mathscpdchat in your tweet. I'd love to see a screenshot of your school's Year 7 curriculum and hear what works well and what doesn't.

To start us off, here are a few examples:

Don Steward sent me his Year 7 curriculum, shown below.
Don believes that we should ensure that Year 7 is not just a repeat of Year 6. What strikes me most about his curriculum is the explorations that feature throughout the year (notably in the first two weeks), and the wide range of attainment topics. From a student's perspective, there's lots of new, exciting mathematics here.

The White Rose Maths Hub has produced a very different Year 7 Programme of Study - the overview is shown below. Much of Year 7 is spent developing key number concepts. The idea is that students who are successful with number are more confident mathematicians and better equipped to tackle the topics that follow. With 'mastery' being all the rage at the moment, I think that a lot of schools have started moving towards this approach.
A few years ago I read about the teaching order that Bruno Reddy developed during his time at King Solomon Academy (he blogged about it here). At the time I was struck by the contrast between this curriculum and the Key Stage 3 curriculum I was used to. Calculating the mean features in multiplication and division. Proportion is paired with pie charts. Bruno wrote,
"You should notice that more time is given to number work at the beginning of year 7 (especially times tables), we spend one half-term at a time teaching a topic rather than 2 weeks, some things are ‘missing’ (because they’re taught in KS4), we’ve tried to separate minimally different concepts and we’ve thought carefully about the order things are taught in so that all the while we’re building on top of prior learning."
Kangaroo Maths is a popular source of Schemes of Works. The example below is for Year 7s working at the minimum expected standard at the end of Key Stage 2. This is just the unit overview, you can see a lot more detail here.
In my own school we are currently developing our Year 7 curriculum. We tried something new this year but we still need to make some tweaks. I felt that negatives numbers came too late in the year, featuring at the end of the summer term. Changing a Year 7 curriculum is a big job as it has a knock-on affect on the Schemes of Work of all other year groups. Assessments, and possibly other resources like homework booklets, also need to be re-written, which is really time consuming.

I'd love to hear about your experiences in developing and delivering Year 7 curricula. Tell me how you start the year, tell me what topics link well together, and tell me how you develop enthusiastic, inquisitive mathematicians. I'd also like to hear how you assess Year 7 and at what stage you do any baseline assessment. What works well for you? Please join in #mathscpdchat on Tuesday to let me know your thoughts.


  1. We are in the process of totally changing our KS3 SoW (and hopefully putting something in place that can stay put for many years to come!). I've opted for a 7 term SoW, and then they start their GCSE course after Christmas in Y9.

  2. Hi Jo,

    I helped write a generic KS3 SOW to create a more "fluid" three year transition. We are lucky in that we have a very experienced department but I do feel more specificity is needed.
    Anyway, unfortunately I missed the discussion - and the hashtag doesn't collate the conversation - is there anyway to see the outcomes (without causing you more work!!)

    1. Hi. The NCETM normally collates the tweets from the chats here: https://storify.com/ncetm but I can't find this one. I'll see if I can find out! Bear with me...