Bank current learning service (school closure) LESLEY update

Now we have auto pre assess, this service is merely do auto pre assess, and then continue to create retrieval practice assignments at decreasing intervals.

This service is to find and firm learning foundations - not teach new learning.

After the first phase of this, teachers can go on to the remote teaching option, armed with detailed knowledge of learning gaps and strengths.

A) Before everything

Get a timely practice account and read the  school closure page

B) Decide approximate level of difficulty to pre-assess in the first instance

We've created 3 broad levels Easiest, Improving, Better.

  • The grey boxes are the summary
  • Example questions are found in the pdf assignments in the table below.
  • The green boxes are for learners where using a calculator is recommended or not a problem if learners use.
  • The yellow boxes are where using a diagram makes answering the question much easier - and therefore vulnerable to printing issues.
  • The pink boxes are for learners where the learner should not use a calculator - and therefore supervision may be required.
  • The final column, Extra, can be pre-assessed after the Better layers have been practised sufficiently - see G.
  • Careful inspection of the diagrams in the grey boxes below will reveal that not all layers have been used - see G.


Summary of what's covered.

After pre assessing "Better", the teacher may want to pre assess these "Extra" layers too


A layer is a small bite of learning from a topic - each layer is represented by one of the dark grey boxes above. Examples of a question from each layer are found in the pdf documents in the table below.






Word & Prop.Easiest-Word-Prop.pdfImproving-Word-Prop.pdfBetter-Word-Prop.pdfExtra-Word-Prop.pdf





Geom. & Meas.Easiest-Geom-Meas.pdfImproving-Geom-Meas.pdfBetter-Geom-Meas.pdfExtra-Geom-Meas.pdf
Prob. & Stat.Easiest-Prob-Stat.pdfImproving-Prob-Stat.pdf





(see (info))


Printing at home?

It is likely than many learners will not have access to printers (or at least printers with sufficient ink). Some layers are not easily answered without diagrams e.g. plot an algebraic graph - so these have been separated into this section. It is usually possible - but fiddly - to draw on a pdf diagram. These layers are kept separate for schools to decide how best to solve this conundrum.

NC supervision (see (info))Easiest-NC-A.pdf











No Calculator skills

These layers require learners to not use a calculator. Some learners can be relied upon to be honest and not use a calculator - but others not. These layers are kept separate for schools to decide how best to solve this conundrum.

Teachers are welcome to select layers to best suit their class. 

However remember the teacher is

  • assessing for mastered learning - recently taught or poorly embedded learning may have been forgotten,
  • having to engage the learners - most learners prefer to see a high proportion of success - better engagement is likely if the pre-assess begins on the easy side,
  • pre assess with timely practice is best done using a trial and improvement process - see G below

C) Set up a new class

D) Download this spreadsheet


The spreadsheet shows the layers which are represented in the pdf documents above. N.B. each learner will be assigned a random question to avoid learners copying. We predict copying will be a problem if the learners know they will all get the same questions - due to social media. Our experience is, that once learners don't expect to get the same questions - they don't try to copy.

Teachers can use the suggested layers - we suggest keeping a record for each class of which layers have been added - perhaps by adding an extra column to the spreadsheet.

In the pink section we've avoided layers where using a calculator makes answering the questions much easier. As although some learners will take note of the no calculator symbol, some may not. Later we can suggest a number of ways around this - but to get started just miss these types of question out.

It is important to explain to parents/carers/learners that you are embedding the learners current (retained) learning, so they don't forget it - so learners should not get help, instead they should use one of these codes:

  • f = forgotten (I remember learning this but I can't remember everything)
  • n = never learned (I don't remember anything, I don't think I've earned this before)
  • ? = I'm not sure if I've learned this before or not

when they miss out a question. Teachers can explain that once they have banked their current learning they will go on to fill in the learners learning gaps or teach harder work as appropriate. 

E) Create the first assignment for the class

We suggest you keep the number of questions in an assignment low - we normally recommend 15 questions (15 layers), but for the lowest attaining learners or those with difficulty paying attention assignments of 8 to 10 questions might be more suitable.

If teachers will be posting out the assignments consider creating a few 10 or 15 question assignments with different dates (rather than one long one).

F) Assess the first assignment

Err on the side of very harsh - unless the learner "would get full marks" assess the answer with the bin symbol (best learned later).

We want to bank existing learning much more than we want to teach new learning

think of saving all the re-teaching and extra practice time which would be required if skills are forgotten (info) and compare it with

the expectation of learning you have of the new learning of a class learning with a cover teacher for a term.

Estimate of learning loss

Best estimate of learning loss of maths over the summer holiday is 6 weeks to 1.8 months of learning. 

March 2020 - September 2020 is a little over 4 times the length of the summer holiday - so learning loss could be 5.6 to 7.6 months.

September 2019 - March 2020 was 7 months, so it is not unreasonable to think that

all the learning of the academic year 2019-20 could be lost to forgetting, unless we find a way for learners to retain learners' maths learning.

This is what the bank current learning service plans to achieve.

G) Create subsequent assignments + further rounds of trial and improvement

If any learners have 12 or more layers due create them a timely practice assignment (see box below)

If learners have less than 8 layers due, don't create them a timely practice assignment yet. (8 - 11 layers due, decide for yourself).

Create the next pre-assess assignment by repeating step E

create timely practice assignment

timely practice is working slightly outside its intended use - it is devised for low attaining learners and therefore ordinarily requires teachers to do feedback, when learners "almost know" how to do a question.

However for the banking learning service, our priority is to find and embed learning which the learners "already know" - so when assessing a timely practice continue to assess harshly. When layers have a low depth of learning (which we call fragile), the teacher is able to use the bin (best learned later symbol).

  • If learners get their answer perfectly correct use the tick symbol.
  • If learners make an error and the bin symbol is still available, use it.
  • If the bin symbol is no longer available (the layer is no longer fragile) use the * (feedback required symbol) - if there is only one error in an assignment and you have facility (video conference) you may want to offer feedback, if not don't. These layers will be dealt with in stage J.
  • Feel free to do stage J at any time and as often as you wish.
  • If a layer is no longer fragile and annoys you (e.g. is asked again and the learner clearly can't do it) copy and paste its title (topic name and layer number, from the blue bar) and write the learners name beside it - then once all assignments are assessed - move on to stage J before you create another timely practice assignment.

H) Create subsequent assignments - second (or higher) round of trial and improvement

For some learners you will have found all (virtually all) that they have learned during steps E to G.

Some learners may have surprised you and know more than you expected or you may have taken the advice to err on the side of easy. For these learners:

Review each progress on topic whilst referring to the layers you chose to pre assess.

Look to see there are any further layers which some learners might know - if so add these layers to be pre-assessed (1 click = dark grey).

Want to know the kinds of question? - go to learning resources, choose the topic, look at the topic sample (just below the title), the question number refers to the layer number.

You may well want to set from more than one topic theme at a time with subsequent rounds of pre assess, and you are unlikely to set the same layers to the whole class at this stage.

Again create timely practice assignments when there are sufficient layers due.

I) The bank current learning - finding existing learning phase is finished when ...

... most questions are no longer fragile (this is when you no longer see the best learned later symbol when assessing).

You may have noticed that certain layers are returning to haunt you and the learner - it turns out that they didn't already know the layer. You can fix this in step J.

Do step J before creating another timely practice assignment.

J) Edit each learner's progress page

Sometimes learners can answer one or 2 (lucky) questions in a row from a layer, but not the majority of questions (or you may have discovered unacknowledged help), these questions will return frequently to be asked (this is the feature we normally want from timely practice, to allow feedback to be most effective). However the remit here is banking current learning so you will now go to the Learner's Progress Page and find and delete these layers (we call it best learned later - LESLEY update). NB this is only possible when the layers are not in an assignment. 

Please refer to the

which is shown at the bottom of the page.

Any layers which are fragile are more likely to be candidates to be deleted 

I find it useful to start with the topic theme first pre assessed (or start at the bottom of the page and reduce the magnification of the page - if learners know a lot).

Click on the box representing a layer, look at the bottom of the page, just below the key, for the information about the number of  

star (feedback),

~ (oops) 


which were given when the assignments were assessed. 


  • fragile and all ticks: the learner needs to do more timely practice assignments (since the pre assess is done in stages some layers will have had fewer questions asked)
  • not all ticks: best learn later the layer (click the red bin symbol) 
  • a certain layer is returning to haunt you - you may prefer to delete it now (we call this best learned later - LESLEY update) - while the finding existing learning phase continues.

Most layers which the learner can't always answer correctly will have been removed during the assessment process.

K) Share learners progress page showing their embedded learning with them.

Once the editing is done, and all layers are no longer fragile (the layer will have been asked 3 times) it is possible to print out the learner's progress page, or to copy and paste it into a spreadsheet (you may find you need to un-merge some cells).

We strongly recommend sending the learner's progress page to each learner.

L) Begin the bank current learning - embedding learning phase 

At this point (no layers are still fragile) you may wish to go on to the remote teaching option, contact us for training and next steps.

In the embedding learning phase, the app is waiting longer and longer between asking one question on a layer and the next - this embeds the learning more deeply in the learner.

Initially you will find that you can set one or two timely practice assignments a week - do this. Write in your diary times when you will select the Create Assignment button and look to see the number of layers due. During this stage it is OK to set short assignments (explain to the learners, that they are embedding their learning so well there are only a few questions to practise this time).

After a while you may only be able to set an assignment every few weeks - hurrah - learning is embedding well. This might be the time to email the learners another copy of their learner's progress page - so they can see what they have achieved. 

Continue to diary the once a week checks for layers due and create and assess timely practice assignments, up to the summer break. You may wish to return to step J because there is the odd layer that the learner can't do. (It may be that some learners got unacknowledged help, and are no longer doing so).