Schemes of Work ..

Let me start by saying that I know that what I’m about to share is by no means perfect but it’s a massive step towards where we need to be which is why I thought I’d share to get you thinking about your own scheme of work (schemes or learning?? Yeah … whatevs!!).

I’m also going to pre-empt this with a “context” health warning … The below idea is one Seager & I have used in our own context …and used it VERY successfully (I could spout P8 measures at you, but I won’t!) You’re a professional so I’d ask you to judge for yourself and if you don’t like the ideas you don’t have to adopt them. I for one am getting a bit sick of people on Twitter judging other teacher’s resources and ideas when they’ve shared them … so far, I’ve watched from the side-lines and think that people need to stop being so judgemental … just because you’ve got a few thousand Twitter followers doesn’t put you in a position to slag someone else’s ideas off. I will of course, always respect anyone that is able to have a professional dialogue and in fact I welcome them most of the time if I have the time to engage, but some of the recent happenings have been downright rude … so to you … and you’ll probably be able to recognise yourself . … want to have a go at someone?? Bring it on!!


I’ve always wanted to produce a written scheme of work for the “crossover” topics and to formalise how and which groups it could be taught to, so basically, I’ve gone through the Pearson/Edexcel scheme of work (but it’ll be suitable for all boards with a little tweaking) .. and then I’ve stripped out anything that was in both tiers (i.e. the crossover) and was left with two areas i.e. the stuff that isn’t covered in the crossover in Foundation are topics that I’ve called “working towards” topics (this is basically all those skills that we wish students were fluent in i.e. adding subtracting, basic shape, probability etc!) and then the things left to cover for higher tier students. I have not removed anything from the SOW for either tier just rejigged it. At this stage I must say a massive thank you to Mitesh Patel for his proofreading!! Thank you!! So essentially your LA’s would follow the “working towards” then move onto the “Crossover” your MA’s would follow the “Crossover” then some of these may follow an “adapted” Higher tier and your HA’s would follow the “Crossover” then the “Higher” tier. (HA/MA/LA = high attainment, middle attainment and low attainment).

In terms of the which groups get taught which topics, I’ve tried to summarise in the below picture and in fact this is what we are doing at my new school this year; We started to teach the crossover to our years 9 and 10’s (it’s what me and Seager have always done when we worked together). The idea is that we need to try to negate the need to have a massive “Intervention” set in year 11 when these year groups come through. This was alongside doing the “crossover” topics with our intervention (students not on target) in year 11 …and that will continue next year too! I’ve tried to sum it up in the below image:

This is quite a radical idea in that most of the students cover the same “core” content, albeit over a different timescale (different pace!) with some teacher judgement thrown in whereas most SOW’s force you to make the tiering decision quite early on and given that I have a sneaky feeling that the tiering “mix” will change nationally over the next couple of years I really don’t want to make the decision too early and deprive my students of the opportunity of gaining higher grades!

In addition to this we’re introducing student tracking sheets for each of the three SOW’s … in the pic above I’ve shown the one from the “crossover” and you can see that there is space for the students to record their scores on their seasonal assessments (my new school has four seasons in a year) too. I work with an amazing teacher called Kate Bryan who has spent hours of her life putting together little mini tests/quizzes for each unit (and the school is allowing me to share them too! .. thanks Matt!) and it is these that we are going to use either as in class reviews or homework’s or whatever .. its up to us!! The important thing is that the students can see what they did well on and what they need to do some further work on.

I’ve already made these 3 SOW’s available on JustMaths online (teacher toolkit/extras/department/SOW) and to support these there will be bread and butter worksheets (interleaving starters) to support 3 half terms worth of “working towards” lessons and then 2 years’ worth of bread and butter worksheets. I will also be reviewing the bread and butter worksheets that I’ve done this year for our intervention set whereby we do the “crossover” IN ONE YEAR!! as I don’t ever see the need for intervention going any time soon! I also know how valuable revisiting topics in a controlled way, knowing that the students have covered the topics is. It really is so very important for maintaining the high expectations but also for building students confidence through them repeatedly seeing topics that they’ve done before.

As always … may or may not be useful but I would love to know what your thoughts are!!

2018-07-12T10:53:23+00:00July 11th, 2018|Blog, Bread & Butter, NEW GCSE 9-1, Resources|


  1. Tracey July 11, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks, great ideas as always

  2. A. Lo-Pon July 11, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    We have just done something very similar!! Focusing on crossover for year 10 with supporting topics in year 9. Year 11 to focus on either xover and higher or xover and supporting topics again.
    First year we’re trying this is next year…

  3. Jill Greenwood July 12, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Thank you! As usual this looks wonderful; well thought out and bang on target. I’m looking forward to going over this with my colleagues and seeing how we can implement it in our setting. Thanks again!

  4. Justin B July 12, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    My efforts look very pale compared to yours, much better than mine. I am also interested in something like this for Functional Skills. This seems to be a rather burgeoning area

  5. Cath Smithies July 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Totally agree about the negative comments on Twitter!! Thanks for all the effort you have put into these and for sharing them with us. Have a good summer break

  6. John bowers July 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Hi Mel,
    Top marks for this. We currently use pearsons scheme for year 10 ( cram in the 2 year scheme in year 10) and sort of married in the crossover topics.
    I will putting this forward to the head of department ( I am the lead practitioner) as it brings continuity. I have a couple of questions.
    How do you split the cross over scheme do you complete it in year 9 and repeat in year 10?
    We are all for assessments ( we use Pearsons). What are you using for the 4 seasonal assessments and do you have different assessments for year 9?

    Thanks a million
    Walker riverside academy

  7. JustMathsMel July 19, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Hi John – We ask teachers to plan the delivery of the crossover over the times as shown so HA’s would be done in one year … and MA’s over 2 years … The only time its repeated are for those students that are underperforming when they hit year 11 when we repeat as necessary using tests etc to check if a topic needs redoing with a group.

    In terms of the assessments now that we have 3 “live” assessments we’ll be doing one paper (out of the 3) every 4 weeks – full papers for year 11 and then in 9 and 10 we may chop questions out where they haven’t done the topic yet but not if its just a tough question .. its topic related so if a specific group hasn’t done trig yet that’ll be taken out.

    Hope that makes sense.

  8. Steve October 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Love the SOWs. When will there be more mini tests for the Higher SOW please?

  9. JustMathsMel October 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Yes … working on them as we speak! few more going up tonight. mel

  10. Amandeep October 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Hi Mel,
    Can the ‘working towards’ SOW be used for our bottom sets rather than those with grade 5 targets. I am looking for a SOW for those targeting grade 3, would this be suitable?

  11. JustMathsMel October 17, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    yes .. the working towards is the basic stuff but you could use it and then cherry pick stuff out of the crossover SOW that you know they could access.

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