Planning for the new mathematics curriculum

The plan was clear. All I needed was:

• the mathematics objectives printed onto different coloured slips of paper depending upon the topic; number, algebra, space and shape etc
• many pieces of sugar paper
• a glue stick
• living room floor
• a few hours of peace and quiet one Saturday afternoon

After an exhausting afternoon I had finally completed my task: to place all the Key Stage 3 mathematics objectives into an order that made sense, fitted together nicely, was balanced and could be presented to my department on Monday as the basis of our new Key Stage 3 scheme of work. The objectives were in position, all that was left to do was to glue them down. What could go wrong? Deciding I had earned a cup of tea, I popped to the kitchen, inadvertently leaving the living room door ajar. On my return I found the door pushed wide open and my two year old daughter joining in daddy’s game of throw the pieces of paper as far as you can! Since then, all my curriculum planning has been conducted on computer, far away from inquisitive toddlers.

I recently came across this picture, produced by William Emeny, on his “Great Maths Teaching Ideas” website. I thought the diagram had a certain beauty and I was intriqued to discover what different coloured arcs and the different sized nodes represented.

The second picture revealed all. With labels, and an explanation from William, it became clear that each node was a mathematics topic, linking to other topics whereby one is the prior learning required to be able to access the other: the larger the node the more topics depended upon this one. What a boon this diagram would have been all those years ago when I was putting together new schemes of work.

Packages of resources to support the new curriculum

So now it is your turn. September 2014 will see the introduction of the new curriculum for mathematics at key stage three and your scheme of work will need to reflect this fact.

Here, at the National STEM Centre, we have produced something to complement your new scheme of work in the form of packages of resources to support the teaching of mathematics at key stage three in the new curriculum.

Preview the lists of free mathematics resources currently available here.

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