Bread and butter practice!


1.1This morning I’ve finished marking my year 11 mocks (well! I say finished … I mean I’ve marked the non calculator paper … the 2nd paper isn’t until Monday) and whilst overall they are pretty good, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to do some deliberate practice with them to keep the “bread and butter” topics fresh in the minds of these groups – they’re the ones that have been doing past papers as homework (Homework and AFL). That seems to be having an impact with those students for which homework is done regularly. However, there are certain students in these two groups, that when they hand the homework in, it’s obvious that they have done something but nowhere near enough for my liking – it’s also never that little that I can follow it up with  any consequences.

So this morning I’ve decided I want something that I can give them as a starter EVERY lesson but which over a series of weeks gets progressively harder, BUT has the same type of questions, so that they can refer back to the previous week for hints if they need a hint … basically I want something that forces them (for want of a better phrase) to do some deliberate practice. I have spent some time looking and came across Mr Collins’  Table Sheets and I would have loved to have been able to use them, but they just didn’t fit the bill as I suspect they are better suited for more than the 5-10 minutes that I want to devote to it (they are seriously brilliant though!). Basically I want something short and sweet that doesn’t dominate the rest of the lesson, but don’t necessarily want to “teach” these topics as discrete lessons, just get the students to regularly practice them!

Next weeks starters for year 11s will then consist of 1 of these sheets per lesson, so every week they will get the same 30 topics, and then next weekend I will use the templates to change the questions slightly and build in some progression over time too – I’m going to get them to swap sheets and put the answers on the screen too so that the whole thing isn’t going to take over my lesson (I do expect the first lesson to take longer than subsequent starters). I’ve shown the sheets in the pic above and the links to the w/sheets are below. I’ve also put together a little table (HERE IT IS-> Student Record)  for them to stick in the front of their books to record their marks every lesson .. lets see if this “little but often” approach has an impact  on these topics when we do the next (and final … eeek!!) assessment ** not holding my breath **

APRIL 2015 – I’ve been making some “crusts” that include AO2/AO3 style questions … they’ve already been put in the teacher toolkit on JustMaths Online too!

  • Week 1 Lesson 1 W/sheet 1.1. Here
  • Week 1 Lesson 2 W/Sheet 1.2 here
  • Week 1 Lesson 3 W/sheet  1.3 here
  • The Crusts – with AO2/AO3 questions Week 1 Lesson 4 W/sheet  1.4 here
  • The Crusts – with AO2/AO3 questions  Week 1 Lesson 5 W/sheet  1.5 here

I’ve made a couple of changes (1) I’ve added a little number to the top right of each sheet signifying the week/lesson it relates to i.e. 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 and (3) I’ve included 2 identical sheets so that you can print “2 to a page” and then photocopy them, as an A4 sheet for each student just seems extravagant, alternatively you can just print as normal and print page 1.

  • Week 2 Lesson 1 W/sheet 2.1 here
  • Week 2 Lesson 2 W/sheet 2.2 here
  • Week 2 Lesson 3 W/sheet 2.3 here
  • The Crusts – with AO2/AO3 questions  Week 2 Lesson 4 W/sheet  2.4 HERE
  • The Crusts – with AO2/AO3 questions Week 2 Lesson 5 W/sheet  2.5 here
  • The Crusts – with AO2/AO3 questions  Week 2 Lesson 5 (with hints) W/sheet  2.5 WITH HINTS



  • Week 4 Lesson 1 W/sheet here  (NB – it doesn’t ask for a key on the stem & leaf but I’d expect them to do it anyway!)
  • Week 4 Lesson 2 W/sheet here
  • Week 4 Lesson 3 W/sheet here

Some of the below have all been sent to me by Carole Sharp on behalf of the Northern United Learning Academies – she has basically cajoled persuaded loads of fab maths teachers across these schools to produce more of the “bread and butter” worksheets, and so (as the song goes) “with a little help from my friends” it just indicates how we can produce so much more with collaboration and so many people are benefitting from these worksheets. You will notice that for a couple of the sheets I’ve done alternative versions as I wanted to “tweak them” … don’t ask!

                                            Week 5 Lesson 1 W/sheet here             Alternative Week 5 Lesson 1 here                                         

                                            Week 5 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                                         

                                            Week 5 Lesson 3 W/sheet here                                        

                                            Week 6 Lesson 1 W/sheet here            Alternative Week 6 Lesson 1 here                                                                                

                                            Week 6 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                                         

                                            Week 6 Lesson 3 W/sheet here 

                                            Week 7 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                                         Week 8 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                          Week 7 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                                          Week 8 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            Week 7 Lesson 3 W/sheet here                                        Week 8 Lesson 3 W/sheet here

                                            Week 9 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                                        Week 10 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                            Week 9 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                                          Week 10 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            Week 9 Lesson 3 W/sheet here                                         Week 10 Lesson 3 W/sheet here

                                            Week 11 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                                         Week 12 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                            Week 11 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                                          Week 12 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            Week 11 Lesson 3 W/sheet here                                         Week 12 Lesson 3 W/sheet here                                            


                                            Week 13 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                                         NEW Week 14 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 13 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                              NEW Week 14 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 13 Lesson 3W/sheet here                               NEW Week 14 Lesson 3W/sheet here


                                            NEW Week 15 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                              NEW Week 16 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 15 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                              NEW Week 16 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 15 Lesson 3W/sheet here                               NEW Week 16 Lesson 3W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 17 Lesson 1 W/sheet here                              NEW Week 18 Lesson 1 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 17 Lesson 2 W/sheet here                              NEW Week 18 Lesson 2 W/sheet here

                                            NEW Week 17 Lesson 3W/sheet here                               NEW Week 18 Lesson 3W/sheet here

2015-09-21T21:33:45+00:00February 3rd, 2014|5 - Misc., Blog, Resources, Teaching|


  1. susan oswald January 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    This term I have started doing something similar with my foundation Year 9 students – 10 quick questions every Monday, same format with different numbers in, to remind them of basic algebra, frax-dex-percs, probability etc. Tuesday is all teaching, Thursday is times tables. I hope that constant practice will embed some of these concepts. I keep a score sheet so they can see that they are progressing.

  2. Mel January 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Its certainly making a difference with our year 11 .. Keep on at it. It will be worth it.

  3. James Steel February 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Mel, I just wanted to thank you for these resources. I have started using these as a means to settle down and focus my Year 9 group. They are the first group upwards that are on higher, so the key skills are vital for marks. (Although with the new spec, these are likely to drop to foundation, but these skills will still be prevalent.) They are starting to see the benefit, especially as they are seeing progress and improvement as well as reflecting on their weaknesses.

    Thanks again you do some great work, and this is now going through our department.


  4. Mel February 1, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    awwww thanks James, love to hear that people like what we’re up to.

    I like the fact that the repeated practice means we haven’t got to keep teaching these “bread and butter” topics and can focus on some fun maths.

  5. Safdar Mirza February 8, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Mel,
    I would like to pay my gratitude, how you help and share work with other colleagues in the country. I had colleagues, who will hide good ideas and wondered why teaching standards won’t rise in the faculties. I get regular updates from your blog and am convinced to say that your online support is having a real impact on making teaching more fun. Bread and Butter starters are an integral part of our small faculty. I wish you and your team best and please keep sharing. Thanks

  6. Mel February 9, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Oh how lovely of you to say this. Thank you 🙂

  7. Emma February 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Mel,
    Just wondering if my tired eyes are missing a link to the “Score Sheet” or if it isn’t here? I would love to start the new half term with this with my year 9-11s it looks fab and think the Score sheet will give it some momentum too. These look lovely!! Thank you for sharing

  8. Mel February 22, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Hiya, I’ve just updated the post with some new worksheets and also added in the student sheet that I used before. To be honest what I now do is have the class list on the board in an excel sheet and a new column for each sheet that I quickly ask the students to shout out their scores so I keep a track centrally. Mel

  9. Emma February 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you Mel!

  10. Matthew Adebusuyi February 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you very much for these, I love them.

  11. Mr PSV July 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Mel,
    I like that bread and butter idea but what if my student don’t like butter on their bread. Could I replace the butter with chocolate spread.
    Cheers, Have a nice weekend, ill see your around
    PSV – you are probly wondering what does PSV means, well ill tell you, it means my name – Paulo Sergio Vieira.

  12. Mel July 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Replace with whatever floats their boat 🙂

  13. Sarah September 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for sharing! This is so useful!

  14. Matt Thompson September 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Mel,

    Great worksheets – thank you very much! Do you have an electronic copy of the answers or do you write them out on the board every time?



  15. admin September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I write them on the board by asking students for answers

  16. Sarah Browning September 17, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Love these, setting them for year 11 homework each week.
    Do you have any pitched toward A/A*?

  17. Liam D November 12, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Just out of interest, did the bread and butter practice affect exam results much?

  18. admin November 12, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Massively – when I looked at results plus analysis they picked up lots of marks on these key topics

  19. Rosalind Martin January 26, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I like these resources so much I have just blogged about them!

  20. Farooq Ahmed May 3, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Great set of worksheets. I have been using them regularly with my Year 10s. I believe it has made a massive difference in their confidence and fluency with the topics covered.

  21. Anonymous November 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I have been doing something similar with my classes for years – 3×3 recap grids at the start of the lesson which saves so much time in the long run as you need less revision of these towards an exam. Happy to share if you point me in the right direction for doing so.

  22. admin November 28, 2016 at 7:38 am

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