Using timely practice

This teacher training course is made of 5 topics, this topic: using timely practice, is made of 12 layers.

The teacher may read about each layer here and if desired or required can use the timely practice app to embed the course into their long-term memory.

(1): necessary vocabulary

topic themes are broken down into topics, which are broken down into layers, which are made up of a number of questions

This timely practice course, explaining and training has only 1 topic theme teacher training whereas the timely practice course to teach maths to GCSE has 6.


teacher training

maths to GCSE



teacher training

maths to GCSE


topic themes

  1. explaining and training

  1. integer,

  2. FDPR (fraction, decimal, percent, ratio),

  3. word problems,

  4. algebra,

  5. geometry and measure and

  6. probability and statistics.


topic themes are made up of topics

explaining and training is made up of these 5 topics:

  1. arguing for change

  2. best practice

  3. chunk-based theory

  4. retrieval practice theory

  5. using timely practice - this topic

integer is made up of some expected topics e.g.

  • factor

  • multiple

  • prime

and some less traditional ones e.g.

  • base 10 add

  • base 10 skills

  • sequence of integers

The number of topics in a topic theme varies.

Currently the topic theme not loaded into the timely practice app, May 2022, is word problems which will contain topics such as secret x sign (questions which require the learner to know to multiply and to have the skills to multiply without a calculator).



topics are made up of layers


For this layer

  • (1): necessary vocabulary - is the subheading of this page the topic using timely practice,

  • whereas using timely practice (1), is how the layer is written in the CKB (customer knowledge base),

  • and using timely practice layer 1 is how we read the layer.

The layers in the teacher training course are numbered in the order they are most likely to be useful to learn.

Maths topics are split into up to 16 layers e.g.

  • prime (1) is the first layer of the topic prime

  • and prime layer 1 is how we read the layer

The layers in each maths topic are numbered in order of difficulty, so layer 1 is the easiest layer.

The number of layers varies from topic to topic.

Layers provide a staircase from the very easiest skill to the hardest skill. Each stair is of a suitable size for learners who have a smaller working memory capacity than their peers.

Some topics have missing layers. These are kept, for when the very lowest attaining learners (at or below the 5th percentile) reach these harder layers. Our experience is that learners above the 5th percentile don’t need them.

layers are made up of questions

Questions in the training teacher layers are intended to draw out the teacher’s existing knowledge and be quick to answer - often with close questions.

Questions in the maths layers may be

  • just like GCSE questions

  • a scaffold to GCSE questions

Questions are similar enough, so that if the user can answer 1 or 2 they can probably answer all the questions in a layer. Questions are different enough that they provide interest to the brain, so they are most likely to embed learning efficiently.


in lesson learning

All of the maths topic themes have teach-learn questions and practise-learn worksheets for every layer of every topic. These can be found in learning resources. More about using these teaching and learning resources can be found in

None of the training teachers topics have teach-learn and practise-learn questions for any layers of any topic. The teacher must teach themselves by reading the information found within this, the CKB (customer knowledge base).

pre assess and post assess and retrieval practice

All layers of all topics within all topic themes have questions which the app uses to

  • find out what each learner already knows: pre assess,

  • check that the learner can recall the learning from their previous lesson: post assess,

  • ensure that each learner can independently recall and accurately apply the teaching of all the previous lessons: retrieval practice.

With timely practice we always start the same way, by finding out what the learner already knows.

Each learner begins with a randomly assigned question, which significantly reduces peer-to-peer copying.

Copying is the enemy of

  • pre assess - finding what each learner already know

  • post assess - finding if the learner can recall what they learned last lesson and

  • retrieval practice - stretching the durability of the recall-ability from the learner’s long-term memory of the learning from all previous lessons.

Most layers have 6 to 20 questions which the timely practice app will use to pre assess, post assess and retrieval practice.

Usually when a teacher begins teacher training with timely practice, we will set up the account:

  • add the teacher’s name,

  • input the scheme of learning for the teacher and

  • create the teacher’s first pre assess assignment.

Thereafter the teacher will

  • do their own self-assessment - using the timely practice app,

  • create the the next few timely practice assignment - which will verify what the teacher knows - and find

  • decide what layers they need to learn - using the assessment data,

  • teach themselves layers which they need to - by reading the appropriate section of this, the CKB (customer knowledge base),

  • add the layers they have taught themselves to the CKB - so the timely practice app can begin retrieval practice to embed the teacher’s learning.

The teacher training questions are designed so that

  • the teacher needs to write very little (the teacher might not print out the PDF assignments, but merely write their answers on a note pad?)

  • the teacher can often use their experience as a teacher and/or logic to answer - often the teacher is learning through answering questions,

  • to introduce research or ideas for future layers - hence the teacher becomes familiar with ideas, which they will learn in more detail later,

  • and of course to help the teacher embed learning with seemingly little effort.

(2) add learners

Learners need to go in a class.

Here are the steps.

  1. Add a new class (tap the blue circle with the + inside)

2. Type in the class name

3. Tap the class name.

4. Too add a learner (tap the blue circle with + and learner logo inside)

5. Type in the learner’s names. NB to save screen space, the chosen name will be used by the app so e.g. Sam A and Sam H would be good names to differentiate between learners.





6. Edit the learner’s Level for Learner (but only if additional info is available, otherwise leave as Don’t know)

7. Tap Save (top right)

Add all the learners to the class by repeating steps 4 to 7

8. To adjust the Pace for Practice slider, tap the learner’s name

9. Slide the blue circle to the most appropriate percentage


After a few lessons the teacher may want to adjust the Pace for Practice for faster working and/or slower working learners (so that the assignments for all learners in the class take approximately the same length of time to complete). Follow steps 8. and 9 to do this.

Ava will have 130% of the nominal number of questions per assignment.

Baz will have 80% of the nominal number of questions per assignment.

(3) order to add SOL into timely practice app

When we start mid-way through a year

The teacher must make sure they do not pre assess any topics which have been taught within the last 4 weeks, to avoid post assess - which may be soon forgotten - being measured as if it is remembered well.

Assessing learning in advance of teaching with timely practice

If a school has decided to use timely practice - whether for all the lessons or part of of the lessons for a trial - they will need to make sure enough pre assess has been done in advance of teaching. The school/teacher will almost certainly want to not distress the learners by subjecting them to 4 or more lessons made up entirely of assessment so

  • the school might fit some pre assess into part of each of their normal lessons and so continue teaching, during the pre assess process,

  • or possibly, the school might fit some pre assess into some non-content driven project work, or end of term project work, if they have some planned,

  • or the school might allocate one complete lesson to pre assess and thereafter part of each lesson (perhaps in lieu of a start of lesson warm up).

Usually the school/department/teacher will want to

  1. Complete the current block/unit with no changes. So don’t add the current block/unit into the timely practice app.

  2. Complete the next block/unit using 10 minutes of maths lesson time to do pre assessment (often to replace the warm up activity). So don’t add this block/unit into the timely practice app.

  3. The following block/unit, will be where timely practice will be used to measure learning gain or improve learning gain. So add this block/unit and subsequent block/units into the timely practice app.

If the next block/unit is short the school/department/teacher may have to start timely practice after an additional block/unit. The following gives some rules of thumb for the lead time:

  • if the class has very good attendance - the teacher could enter the SOL for as little as 5 lessons time,

  • if a some learners in the class are absent for the odd day now and then - the teacher should enter the SOL planned after at least 8 lessons,

  • if the teacher or a tutor is working with a small group, as a tutor, and has access to the internet for their tablet and a printer within the lesson/tutor time, the teacher could create and assess 3 additional sets of 6 question assignments within an hour and so be ready to teach using timely practice the very next lesson.

It isn’t the end of the world if 1 or 2 learners have not fully completed the pre assess process, but in a trial, especially with smaller classes, having 2 learners with incomplete data will make analysis inaccurate. Learners who have poor attendance are very likely to make better progress with timely practice than they would without timely practice, so it would be a shame to not be able to measure their progress.

Measuring learning for a trial

Extension for the teacher/manager who will supervise a comparative trial

Whether the school/department/teacher is using timely practice to find out

  • how effective their current SOL with one class and how effective a timely practice SOL is with another class

  • or to compare a year where some teaching is done using the current SOL and some using a timely practice SOL

they will need to decide what the lead time needs to be - when sufficient pre assess is likely to have been done - so they can measure embedded learning at the start of a trial. We are happy to give advice about this.

With most traditional schemes of learning, a block or unit is made up of only part of a topic theme e.g. algebraic tinkering in

So only pre assess the topics which are within the SOL e.g. in algebraic tinkering select simplify +/-, simplify x/÷, expandLinear, factorise and valueAlgebra but not algebraGraphs, inequality, sequenceArithmetic, sequenceOther, solvingReady, solve, writeAlgebra

With timely practice, we strongly recommend a scheme of learning which cycles through most topics more than once a year - we call this a breadth first scheme of learning.

So pre assess all the topics that any learner may already know, or may be taught.

  • It will take up to 4 create + do PDF assignment + assess (but give no dialogue-feedback) sessions, to pre assess a topic, but several topics will be pre assessed in parallel,

  • The more the learners know the more layers the app will need to try to find the (often fuzzy) border line between “already knows” and “doesn’t know”. The fuzzy border is where the teacher will target their next teaching on the topic.

  • Low attaining learners (e.g. <grade 2) will need to pre assess 15 integer, 7 FDPR, 4 word problem, 9 algebra, 11 G+M and 8 P+S topics

  • Higher attaining learners (e.g. ≥ grade 4) will need to pre assess 14 integer, 14 FDPR, 9 word problem, 12 algebra, 14 G+M and 10 P+S topics

How long the pre assess takes will depend on the attainment of the class and the intensity at which the school wants to do the pre assess process.

Here are some suggestions for the way pre assess can be done

  1. The school could allocate 10 to 15 minutes of lessons for pre assess (replacing lesson warm up) and the rest of each lesson used for teaching as normal.

  2. The school could allocate the majority of 4 lessons for pre assess, with part of the first lesson allocated to explaining the pre assess process + in the other 3 lessons having filler activities for learners to do if they finish early.

  3. The school could allocate 1 complete lesson for doing 2. (see above), and then 10 to 15 minutes of subsequent lessons for pre assess, replacing lesson warm up, (as in 1. above).

  4. A small group preparing for intervention tutoring could be pre assessed in 1 lesson: with the first 8 question assignment created prior to the lesson, and then 3 episodes of assess + but no feedback + create next + do next PDF assignment, within the lesson. Provided the group is small e.g. 3 learners and the teacher/tutor has access to a tablet device and printing facilities, the teacher should be able to assess, create, print and supervise the learners

Pre assess will feel less threatening than traditional tests as the learners, will become aware of questions they can do returning, and questions they couldn’t do being dropped.

When trying to calculate how much time pre assess will require in advance of teaching

  • For option 1. and 3. allow at least 1 week + 4 maths lessons in advance of the trial (to allow for some learners being absent on occasional days or a week’s absence).

  • Option 4. will only take 1 lesson - if one of the tutees is absent, they can do the pre assess the next lesson whilst the tutor is teaching the other tutees.

  • Option 2. will feel the most traumatic, but if it is replacing a block of revision + 3 GCSE practice papers it will be less traumatic, and the data collected will be far more useful for future teaching.

Carefully add the SOL into the app, making sure it is not pre assessing

  • what has been taught within the last 4 weeks - as this would otherwise be post assess of recent teaching - rather than what we want pre assess to find embedded learning,

  • what will be taught during the pre assess process (whether this is 1 week + 4 maths lessons for option 1. or 4 maths lessons for option 2, or in the main maths lessons for option 4.)

(4) how to enter the SOL into the timely practice app

The teacher should add all the topics that they will teach, in the approximate teaching order.

I think its easier to add all the Topic Themes in order, then edit each to select the topics required,

but teachers may prefer to add 1 topic theme and then its topics, and repeat.

add all Topic Themes in order …

  1. Select class

  2. Tap SOL tab (the flow chart logo, bottom centre)

  3. Tab Edit (top right )

4. Tap the blue folder (with a blue circle with a + inside) beside the writing Add Theme

5. Tap (the chosen) Topic theme e.g. Integer

6. Repeat steps 4. and 5.

Add all the topic themes

7. Tap Save





… then add all topics

  1. Tap grey circle of the (in this case first) Topic Theme (it will turn green)

  2. Tap the blue folder (with a blue circle with a + inside)

3. Tap the topic circle for each topic (in expected teaching order)

4. Tap the left arrow (in the blue bar)

5. Repeat steps 1. to 4.

6. Tap Save (top right)


  • tick on wrong topic theme

  • topic theme circle not green

  • can’t see circles beside topics

  • can’t add more topic themes




What to do

  • tap topic theme you want to change

  • tap the blue folder

What to do

  • tap grey circle to turn it green

because topic theme didn’t have a green circle

What to do

  • tap left arrow

  • tap Topic Theme circle to make it green

  • tap blue folder

because not in edit mode

What to do

  • tap Edit

  • tap the bottom blue folder

Most topics are named traditionally e.g. factorise or standard form however some are named a little differently e.g. correct to nearest (rounding) and value algebra (substitution) write algebra (writing expressions and formulas).

There are plenty of topic themes to fill gaps in numeracy skills - which often aren’t included in many paid for SOL + text books - ignoring these gaps make learning new maths that much harder for “our cohort”, whereas finding and filling these learning gaps makes new maths learning more successful and feel more successful.

timely practice wants to find and fill these numeracy gaps - most of which are found within the topic theme integer.

Along with creating all the questions, we’ve created ladders to mastery, so we’ve tried to choose topic names which describe these paths.

  • 10 bond e.g. 7 + … = 10 or 7 + … = 40

  • base 10 add e.g. count on in 10s e.g. complete the next number in the sequence 36, 46, 56

  • base 10 skills e.g. work out 2 x 80

  • order integers e.g. order mix of 2 and 3 digit numbers (or easier order list of 1 digit numbers)

  • place 100 value 999 e.g. write 567 in place value grid and state the value of 6

  • sequence multiple e.g. continue the sequence of multiples of 5 from 40

We also have

  • given + sign which starts with work out e.g. 5 + 7 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 34 + 49 (given 3 different scaffold options and then without scaffold)

  • given - sign which starts with work out e.g. 7 - 5 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 74 - 46 and also 74 - 6 (given 3 different scaffold options and then without scaffold)

  • given x sign which starts with work out e.g. 5 x 7 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 34 x 249 (with Gelosia or long multiplication scaffold and then without)

  • given ÷ sign which starts with work out e.g. 14 ÷ 2 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 581 ÷ 7 and 2132 ÷ 52 (with and without scaffold)

and their corresponding word problem versions

  • secret + sign, secret - sign, secret x sign and secret ÷ sign (each word problems - at different levels of difficulty which requires only addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, as their title implies)

(5) create a planning and preparation session

A planning and preparation session, is the place to do all the planning and preparation for the next lesson (although sometimes printing will need to be scheduled from elsewhere)

  1. Select class

  2. Tap the Planning and Preparation tab (staircase logo, bottom right)

  3. Tab the add new planning and preparation session (blue circle with the sideways trident inside)

4. Does the date need to change?

The date should the lesson or homework date.

Change the date if necessary

  • Tap OK




The tab logo is a small staircase - indicating the small step wise progress possible with timely practice in:

  1. teaching: only teach one layer per learner per topic per curriculum spiral - next spiral teach the layer one step harder

  2. practising: practice questions from layers that have already been learned or those being pre-assessed

The logo for a planning and preparation session, the sideways trident shows the 3 activities which timely practice provides which will move the learner further forward in their learning

  1. create: the timely practice assignments

  2. plan: the teaching of the lesson

  3. assess: both timely practice assignments + the teaching of the lesson


(6) begin auto pre assess

  1. Select the correct planning and preparation session

  • Tap the correct class

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation tab (staircase logo, bottom right)

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation session with the correct date

OR create a new planning and preparation session

4. Check date is correct (or change by tapping the blue date)

5. N.B. Pre-Assess is already selected (so no need to change this)

6. Edit the nominal number of questions if necessary (the number of questions which the learner will get if their Pace for Practice is 100%)

7. If there any learners who don’t need an assignment (e.g. were away last lesson, so already have one) tap their names to untick them

8. Tap the blue Create button

The app will begin to create the assignments.

Next step:

FYI on nominal number of questions

Learners with

  • Pace for Practice of > 100% will get more questions

  • Pace for Practice of < 100% will get fewer questions




(7) download assignments

  1. Select the correct planning and preparation session

  • Tap the correct class

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation tab (staircase logo, bottom right)

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation session with the correct date


2. Scroll to Download

3. Tap the green down arrow for each learner

Not there?

4. Find where your android device puts the files.

Hint it may be in

  • Files or

  • Downloads or

  • Files and then Downloads or

7. Print them from the android device or email and then print.


  • a red sheet of paper logo means there are no questions to go in (or an error has occurred)

If an error has occurred, take a screenshot of the “helpful” comments from the app and contact us.


The blue egg timer logo - the assignments are being created


(8) assess assignments (only Pre-Assess)

  1. Select the correct planning and preparation session

  • Tap the correct class

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation tab (staircase logo, bottom right)

  • Tap the Planning and Preparation session with the correct date

2. Scroll down to Assess

3. Tap the learner’s name

4. Assess each question

5. Once all questions are assessed tap the floppy disc symbol to save.



4a. Use the answers given for each question

4b. Use your writing hand to write the assessment code on the PDF ✔︎ or🔔

4c. Use your non-writing hand to tap the assessment code the in the app

There are 3 choices:

tick, bell, reset
  • tick - answer completely correct

  • bell - best learned later - almost any error* see FYI for more info ->

  • reset - the learner ran out of time

Pre-Assess is about finding firm learning foundations, so if a question isn’t completely correct - it is best learned later.

timely practice is in the business of ensuring that learners can almost always get full marks in questions they know how to do - but expecting good accuracy and good enough explanations.

Note on reset:

Usually the learner can complete the assignment the next lesson, but sometimes the teacher will want to reduce the learner’s Pace for Practice, so that all learners can complete each assignment in roughly the same time.

Note on almost any error*

  • For questions with scaffolding, (e.g. formula triangle, speech bubbles to fill in, number line, boxes etc) the learner needn’t fill in every answer space/box - if they work the correct answer without the scaffold, this is to be encouraged.

  • We are not in the business in forcing the learner to use a particular method, providing the learner has a method which won’t hold them back in future learning.

  • However we are looking for sensible working with the correct answer. (too much). So e.g. 13 x 5 allow 13 lots of 5 to be summed, but 138 x 5 don’t allow 138 lots of 5 to be summed.

Ava’s PDF assignment -page 1

Assessment page for Ava





Ava’s Level of Learner is Don’t know (i.e. teacher has no real idea of grade learner would gain if she took a GCSE exam tomorrow)

Baz' assignment - page 1

Assessment page for Baz




Baz' Level of Learner: grade 1 to 3 (i.e. would gain a grade, which would almost definitely be below grade 4 if he took GCSE exam tomorrow)

Charlie’s assignment - page 1

Assessment page for Charlie





Charlie’s Level of Learner = may be grade 1 (i.e. she might gain a grade 1, if she took her GCSE exam tomorrow)


Dylan’s assignment - first page

Assessment page for Dylan





Dylan’s Level of Learner = no grade (i.e not expected to gain a grade if he took his GCSE exam tomorrow)

The order for SOL of the example class was








decimal fraction

fraction +/-

fraction INTRO

order FPDR

simplest form

For the first 3 topics, let’s watch how timely practice auto Pre-Assess works.

after 1st assignment (1 round of pre assess)

factor 3rd assignment (3 rounds of pre assess)

after 4th assignment (pre assess is complete)




grey: we don’t have information

white: learner doesn’t know this layer

grey/blue: learner might know this layer

bright blue: learner very probably knows this layer








grey: we don’t have information

white: learner doesn’t know this layer

grey/blue: learner might know this layer

bright blue: learner very probably knows this layer







grey: we don’t have information

white: learner doesn’t know this layer

grey/blue: learner might know this layer

bright blue: learner very probably knows this layer




decimal fraction

FYI Each layer asked twice to confirm correct answers weren’t just a lucky question/guess: here we see Ava could answer her first question on decimal fractions layer 9

Write 0.9 as a percentage

but not her second,

Write 1.7 as a percentage

FYI assumed knowledge - is the slightly deeper bright blue.

The learner is assumed to know a layer, because of the other layers they already know e.g. a learner who already knows decimalFraction(5) is assumed to know decimalFraction(3), similarly a learner who already knows decimalFraction(2) is assumed to know decimalFraction(1).




(9) plan teaching on firm learning foundations

The pre-assess process automatically builds up a picture of the class' skills on each topic.

We don’t have all the information, but the information we collect, will allow the teacher to teach all learners in the class, something which each learner will find easy to learn. Meaning each learner is very likely remember the skills learned until the next lesson, and so the teacher is unlikely to need to give feedback due to forgetting. However often, in the first timely practice spiral of the curriculum, the teacher will be working on improving leaners' accuracy and finding and attempting to fix learning misconceptions - in other words creating firm foundations for future learning.

This layer is about how to use the timely practice app to select the layer to teach each learner, whereas is more about thinking about the maths involved and is about plan the lesson in order to teach the layers chosen in an efficient manner.

When we return to teach topics again, in the next spiral through the curriculum, we will have far more detailed information.

Mainly because it would take too long and it would be too traumatic for many learners - who have low self esteem in terms of their maths learning.

We ask questions on a few key layers of a topic - which gives us a broad brush stroke picture of the learner’s skills and learning gaps - but only questions at an appropriate level for the learner.

We know that relatively frequently asking one question on a layer is insufficient to find if a layer is secure or not, so we always ask a second question if the learner seems to know the first. (For learners lots of learning gaps/who rush asking 2 questions on a layer is very necessary - as for up to 40% of their layers, we will find one question answered correctly and a second not).

Using the information on key layers we ask a question on layers, we call them interesting layers, we think will find helpful to plan their teaching.

There are some layers which we don’t ask questions on - usually these are layers which include considerable timely practice scaffolding - so the learner is unlikely to have met these type of questions before. After teaching the layer, the scaffolding will be very helpful to the learner, but before teaching the scaffolding is likely to be confusing).

Our auto pre assess process is on our plans to improve soon.

However the data the app collects will provide much better data than the teacher can expect to when using one or two pre assess questions at the start of the lesson because

  • we significantly reduce the likelihood of copying,

  • answering a question on an assignment is much less stressful than answering a question in a class, where some learners will feel they will be “shown up” so teachers are less likely to see a false negative,

  • we ask 2 questions on any layer on different days so teachers are less likely to see a false positive,

  • the app collects all the data in an easy to visualise way - so that every learner is likely to be able to learn what they are taught

… and we also ensure that the teacher is unlikely to teach too much to each learner on a topic, so each learner is ely to recall the learning of each lesson, until the next lesson, when the retrieval practice will begin to embed the learning deeply into long term memory.

(10) teach-learn + practise-learn resources:

For each layer of each topic we provide

  • teach-learn questions, for the teacher to use to teach the whole class or a small group

  • practise-learn worksheets, for the learner to use to practise in the lesson after the teach-learn episode taught by the teacher, which have cut off answers for the learner to self-assess.

The teach-learn and practise-learn resources can be found in learning resources.

Once the teacher knows exactly which layer from a topic each learner should learn next, the teacher can (but does not need to), employ more sophisticated and effective teaching techniques to maximise the learning output (quantity of new learning, which is retained per hour).

The questions which the app will use for retrieval practice are different from those in the teach-learn and practise-learn resources (with a few exceptions e.g. times table facts).

(11) assess assignments which contain retrieval practice questions

At least a fortnight after the first topic has been fully pre assessed the teacher can ensure that the layers the learner already knows becomes more deeply embedded in long term memory with retrieval practice. To do this the teacher will need to tick the Retrieval Practice box when creating the assignment. The teacher can

Whether the layer is in retrieval practice because the learner already knew it (from pre-assess) or has been taught within timely practice, the assessment is the same.

There are 5 assessment options

tick, feedback-foa*, feedback-fob**, bell, reset

The 5 assessment options are

  • tick (learner answered the question completely correctly),

  • feedback on attempt*(learner has tried to answer, but made one or more mistakes and the teacher thinks that feedback will help embed the learning),

  • feedback on blank** (learner has missed the question out, but the teacher thinks that feedback will help embed the learning),

  • bell (best learned later, the teacher thinks that too much feedback will be required to embed this learning),

  • repeat (the learner appears to have missed this question out because they ran out of time). A similar question will go into the next assignment. The teacher should consider reducing this learner’s Pace for Practice, so that all the class can finish their assignments at roughly the same time and/or increase the Pace for Practice of some of the fastest working learners.

(12) when pre assess is finishing for some, but not others

Lower attaining learners are likely to finish pre-assess on the whole curriculum far quicker than their higher attaining peers.

e.g. a low attaining learner may only “already know” fewer than 30 layers whereas a learner at about GCSE grade 4 is likely to “already know” well over 100 layers. The learner who knows more will need to answer questions on far more layers in order for the app to find the “goldilocks” place to begin teaching in each topic. So once some learners no longer have pre assess questions to answer, the teacher should make good use of these learners' lesson time.

The learners who have finished pre-assess can learn one topic with the class and one or even two additional topics per lesson, whilst the other learners do longer assignments (which will include both pre assess and retrieval practice questions). The teacher should make good use of the time when the majority of learners are doing long pre-assess assignments, which don’t require feedback-dialogue, to spend time with the lowest attaining learners - this time, well spent - will increase the motivation of the lowest attaining learners and be a chance to fix some fundamental gaps, which will make it easier to teach the whole class in the future.

The topics the learners who have already finished pre-assess can be drawn from all topic theme, but the teachers would be advised

  • to check that 10 bond, base10add, base10skills and sequenceMultiple have been pre-assessed;

  • to avoid teaching extra layers on a topic within 4 weeks of the topic being taught to the whole class (so that the extra layer will be well embedded, before the teacher comes to teach the topic to the whole class);

  • to begin with at least 3 of the 4 operations (multiply or divide may be missed out) and multiplying by 10 etc;

  • to fill in fundamental gaps such coordinate, fractionINTRO, sequenceArithmetic, orderFDP, fractionOF, scaleInterpret and proportionalGraph;

  • to use the early layers of some topics to fix other topics e.g. stem and leaf early, correctTOnearest and decimalFraction to improve place value, inequality to improve understanding of negative number;

  • to teach some layers, such as simplify +/- and simplify x/÷, solvingReady, which may help learners to overcome any fear of algebra that they might have and also to enable the lowest attaining learners to shine when the whole class begins to learn the topic together (It can be a really good “sales technique” for retrieval practice, when the lowest attaining learners can do more than their peers because “we learned it last half term with timely practice”) - especially when it is clear that these learners can learn also easily learn the another slightly harder layer on their firm learning foundations).