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As we prepare to say goodbye to our exam classes I thought it would be helpful to share some ideas about planning ahead in the summer term with your maths department.

With all the revision work that has been going on over the past few months you probably have loads of past papers and worksheets hanging around. Use this time to file reusable material and recycle when needed. A tidy classroom is key to keeping on top of your workload and lesson preparation. It also provides structure and space for the students. I like to organise my room like this… Here’s another blog about how one teacher has set up his maths classroom.

If you have a maths faculty office use this time to tidy it and perhaps reorganise. Do this as a team building activity. It will remind teachers of all the resources you have and provide a nicer place to work and be social. Inform your site staff you’ll be needing their help to move

As we go through the school year faculty meetings are often taken up with imposed administrative tasks and intervention planning so little time is available for forward planning. Now is the time to review your schemes of work for next year. This will help share best practise, reduce future workload and develop teachers understanding of pedagogy. Here’s a blog about some key ingredients for a maths scheme of work.

With your staff’s and school support now may be the time to review your department’s timetable. Use some time to team teach and share ideas when lesson planning. If you know a colleague has a challenging class, this can be of enormous support. Team teaching can show the kids the maths department are a team and are united in their expectations. Here’s an interesting blog about how to make team teaching work.

Secondary school teachers tend to underestimate what new year 7 students are capable of when they join in September. This results in students working at level below what they working at in year 6. Arrange to meet with the Year 6 maths teacher to discuss the topics in your scheme of work up to Christmas. They will have great insight into what students can already do – often much more than we secondary schools expect. The key stage 2 curriculum can be found here.

I’m a big fan of working with other secondary schools. Take the time to look at other maths department’s schemes of work, resources, and revision materials. I have learned so much by seeing what other schools do. I like to find out how the following:

- How their schemes of work and long term plans different to ours?
- How are they assessing progress at key stage 3 and 4 and how often?
- What cool teaching and learning resources do they have that we don’t?

How does your department make use of the gained time? Please do share some ideas using the comment form below.

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