• Podcast

Managing maths in mixed-age classes

We talk to two teachers with years of experience teaching mixed-age classes, who are running Work Groups in their local hubs

  • Published: 10/10/2019

The current National Curriculum, introduced in 2013, divides mathematical learning clearly into ‘year group objectives’. This has led teachers to ask how to manage year group objectives for two or more year groups within one class of children.

Many Maths Hubs have responded by running ‘innovation’ Work Groups, to support these teachers, using various different models. In 2019/20, for the first time, a national project in mixed-age teaching brings together the experience from all these Maths Hubs. In this interview, we talk to two teachers with years of experience teaching mixed-age classes, who are running Work Groups in their local hubs. We find out what ideas they have for managing maths in mixed-age classes, and ask how they plan to support the teachers they are working with. 

Show notes

Taking part in the discussion are:

  • Emma Parr, Maths Lead from Cholsey Primary School, South Oxfordshire. Mastery Specialist and Work Group Lead for BBO Maths Hub. 
  • Matt Curtis, Maths Lead and Deputy Head from Edgewood Primary School in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. Work Group Lead for East Midlands West Maths Hub.
  • Gwen Tresidder, Communications Manager, NCETM.

Episode chapters

  • 01:09 – Introductions
  • 03:37 – Matt: Teaching objectives from two year groups to the whole class
  • 04:48 – How do you fit it all in?
  • 05:26 – Doesn’t it get boring?
  • 07:29 – Deepening understanding by supporting a younger partner
  • 08:21 – How is planning shared?
  • 10:24 – Emma: Using a variety of models within one school
  • 12:45 – Aiming input at single year groups within a bigger class
  • 13:19 – Encouraging independent working
  • 13:57 – Managing the noise factor
  • 14:19 – Maths input in Y1/2 with continuous provision
  • 14:54 – KS1 in Matt’s school
  • 17:22 – Do Y5s in a Y5/6 class get two years of SATs pressure?
  • 22:23 – What are the advantages of having mixed-age groups in a class?
  • 24:38 – How will Work Groups support teachers of classes spanning more than two age groups?

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