Maths lessons trial (experienced timely practice teachers only) LESLEY update

Read beginning timely practice (read this first) - its about the 3 key teacher behaviours and why it is advantageous and easy to do them with timely practice.

When we have mastered auto pre assess this process will become far easier

A) Before everything

Get a timely practice account and read beginning timely practice (read this first) 

B) Base line test

The maths department should check that there are test results available to compare between the timely practice and business as usual classes. If there is no test available decide on a comparative test which will be suitable for both the low attaining learners (who will be using timely practice) and those in the same year who are a little higher attaining (and will not be using timely practice). Many schools use a cut down practice Foundation paper (and some add a number of extra easier questions).

C) Set up a new class

Finding and firming learning foundations phase

D) Adjust Scheme of learning or get timely practice to make you a bespoke scheme of learning and pre assess.

Instead of teaching a normal size "bite" on each topic once per year, timely practice advises teaching a small "bite" more on each topic several times a year. See Why follow a more tightly spiralled curriculum? for the rational.

E) Plan and teach lessons 1 to 5+ on the first topic theme

Before the first lesson the teacher will 

During the first lesson

  • explain that timely practice is about
    • ensuring that learners find maths easier to remember and that this will make new maths easier to learn,
    • that pre assess assignment (which are headed "learned?") are to find out what learners already know - so no help should be given - but learners will soon learn something new on each topic - and the timely practice app will make sure they can independently and accurately answer questions on what they have learned. That each time the class returns to teach the topic they will learn a little more from the topic.
  • help the learners to complete all they can from the pre assess assignment by encouraging them to use a code if they can't answer a question
    • f = forgotten,
    • n = never learned,
    • ? = I don't know if I've learned this or not 
  • teach the new learning (the teach-learn part of the lesson - see teach a "timely practice" lesson) and 
  • get the learners to practise and self-assess the learning (the practise-learn part of the lesson - see teach a "timely practice" lesson

Between the first and second lesson

During the second lesson

  • explain that this lesson their are two types of assignment
    1. pre assess assignment - as the learners did last lesson - again no help - if learners found many questions last lesson 
      • easy and they answered them accurately they will have more and harder questions than their peers - in every topic the app is finding out what can the learner already do and what can't the learner do yet
      • hard and they couldn't answer them or got them wrong they will have less questions and easier questions - as the app has already found out on yesterday's topics what the learner could and couldn't do
    2. timely practice assignment - this will be questions that the app thinks the learner can do - help is allowed but will be given the code h = small help, H = more help - this is so the app
      • can get to know each learners' learning really well - and so make sure that the learner learns as much as possible but answers as few questions as possible,
      • that the learner will be able to remember what they have learned in future days, weeks, terms and years.
      • This will mean that all learners will get better at doing and learning maths.
        • BUT the app is only just getting to know the learner, so the app won't be very good yet at knowing what the learners know yet.
      • If the learner misses out a question another one like it will return next lesson and so on, so learners should ask for help or write "too hard" or "I don't know" beside any question they want to miss out. 
        • BUT if learners are always writing "too hard" or "I don't know" beside lots of questions in their timely practice assignment and not asking for help very often - then the teacher will come and give the learner help. (The teacher won't be giving the learner help on the questions that are most useful to the learners as the learner isn't helping the teacher by asking for help enough.)
  • teach the new learning of the lesson

Between one lesson and the next 

During subsequent lessons

F)  Teach and pre assess subsequent topic themes 

The teacher should continue to pre assess each subsequent topic theme in advance of teaching the topic theme - aiming to pre assess a topic theme completely before beginning teaching that topic theme.

Classes where learners already "know" a lot will clearly take longer to pre assess than those where learners already "know" less.  We hope that the structure we have given the pre assess topic theme documents will ensure that learners who already "know" a lot (learners have 60 or more layers that they are learning/reviewing) will ensure that the pre assess process doesn't go faster than the timely practice assignments have capacity to deal with.

Whenever it occurs (some classes finish their pre assess within a few weeks, others take a term) at some point the teacher will have finished pre assessing the class on all topic themes but still be teaching the class for the first time on some topic themes. This is covered in the next section. 

G) Teach subsequent topic themes for the first time (pre assess is finished)

The teacher can continue to teach the topic themes from the scheme of learning that have not yet been taught, but now the teacher will not need to do pre assess.

Eventually (some classes will finish within a term others may take up to two terms) the teacher will have taught all topic themes once and the Finding and firming learning foundations phase will be finished. 

Some learners may know less than their peers, so they may be taught extra work while their peers continue to do pre assess assignments.

Learning gain will be due to ....

In the Finding and firming learning foundations phase learning gain will be mainly due to

  • embedding existing learning more deeply in learners' memory - work the learners "kind of knew already",
  • improving accuracy and confidence in answering questions on work the learner "kind of knew already",

and to a lesser extent due to ensuring

  • new learning becomes quickly embedded in memory and
  • learners are able to accurately and independently answer questions on what they have learned.

Teaching on firm learning foundations phase


Learning gain will be due to ....

In the Teaching on firm learning foundations phase learning gain will be due to

  • learners finding new learning easier,
  • learners becoming more willing to learn as they gain "hope" in their ability to learn,
  • ensuring new learning becomes quickly embedded in memory and
  • ensuring learners are able to accurately and independently answer questions on what they have learned.

H) Return to teach topic themes for a second or subsequent time

This is where learners progress will really start to speed up. The teacher can be confident that the Progress on Topic shows an accurate picture of the breadth and depth of a class' learning on the topic and so the teacher is in a position to fill in gaps or teach harder layers. 

For some topics the teacher may choose to leave some learners with some gaps (for now) in order to teach the class together more often, but generally it is a good idea to fill in gaps as then learners are more likely to find what they are taught "easy" so making the teacher's teaching and the learners' learning experience both more efficient and pleasant.

The teacher must ensure s/he doesn't teach any topic again too close to the previous teaching of the topic - otherwise learners will have not mastered what they learned before and the teaching will not be on firm foundations. Ordinarily as long as the scheme of learning is a spiral curriculum (teaching most/all topic themes in turn) this will not be a problem. 

layers not mastered might be a problem when ...

If the class has e.g. 5 hours of maths teaching per week and yet the learners have only e.g. 30 layers learning once the Finding and firming learning foundations phase finishes the teacher may find they are ready to teach topics again before the learners have mastered their previous learning on the topics. Please contact us for advice if this is likely to be a problem. We strongly recommend not teaching a topic until the previous layers learned are mastered so we may suggest what extra topics learners can begin to learn to allow enough time for new learning to be mastered.

The teacher should ensure that when the class returns to a topic theme, topics not previously taught are considered for teaching. The diagram in learning resources indicates broad levels by the colour of the topic boxes and these should be used as a guide. Currently we don't have any guidance on what skills learners should have in other topics before starting new topics - this is something we will return to add to each the learning resources for each topic's page in the future.


Read about adjust a scheme of learning to be more timely practice friendly 

Read about Minimum requirements

Read about teaching tricks and tips which make teaching "Higher" work to "Foundation" learners easier.