Years 5-8 Continuity

A project to strengthen the transition from primary to secondary school

Work Groups in this project aim to strengthen the transition from primary to secondary school by focusing on curriculum and pedagogical continuity over Years 5 to 8. Following the disruption to education caused by the Covid crisis, this transition is more crucial than ever.

Central to the Work Group is the promotion of cross phase communication between teachers to address issues of maths curriculum and pedagogical transition as distinct from pastoral considerations. A key feature will be understanding how best to prioritise key aspects of the curriculum to help ensure pupils have mastered the fundamental understanding and skills they need to underpin their progression through upper Key Stage 2 and into Key Stage 3.

Who can take part?

Participants should be teachers of Years 5 to 8 in primary, secondary, middle school and all-through schools who have some responsibility for curriculum development, e.g. primary school maths leads/secondary heads of department.

Linked ‘families’ of schools are encouraged to take part: ideally teachers from secondary schools and some of their associated primary schools will work together.

Multi-academy trusts could encourage groups of their schools to take part in order to support collaboration across the KS2-3 transition.

What is involved?

There will be the equivalent of three days of face-to-face (or online) Work Group meetings, with school-based tasks for participants to complete and reflect upon between each meeting. To support getting pupils’ maths education back on track after the Covid disruption, meetings and tasks will include consideration of the primary maths ‘Ready-to-Progress’ criteria, the NCETM Checkpoints activities and this multiplicative reasoning resource, created in 2015.

A lesson study approach is encouraged where all participants focus on a particular aspect of the maths curriculum and work collaboratively to develop this in their schools. Cross-phase classroom observation and discussion of practice is encouraged wherever possible. Participants are expected to consider ways to develop the approaches explored during the project with other staff in their schools.

What will you learn?

Participants and their schools will:

  • deepen knowledge and understanding of the curriculum across KS2 and KS3 and the expectations of pupils at the end of each key stage
  • understand the approaches which will support pupils as they move from KS2 to KS3, including the importance of consistency of language and representations
  • make use of common approaches, representations and language across phases
  • develop collaboration between primary and secondary colleagues on issues of curriculum and pedagogy, making them part of the school’s transition practice (and policy)
  • explore how to prioritise the maths curriculum in upper KS2 and KS3 to get pupils’ maths education back on track after the Covid disruption.

What is the cost?

The Years 5-8 Continuity project is fully funded by the Maths Hubs Programme so is free to participating schools.

We've also produced a flyer summarising the programme. Download it to share with colleagues in your own and other schools.

What should you do next?

Get in touch with your local Maths Hub to find out about more about this opportunity.

  • Secondary
  • Primary


Most Maths Hubs – check with your local hub and those in neighbouring areas

Can I take part?

Yes - contact your local hub

Project Code


Is this page useful? Yes No
Was this written in plain English? Yes No

Subscribe to our newsletter

Primary & Early Years Round-up
Secondary Round-up
National Newsletter

A collaborative national network developing and spreading excellent practice, for the benefit of all pupils and students.

Stay connected