It’s fast approaching the time of year when the thoughts of Year 6 pupils turn to the move they will make into KS3 and, for most, a new school in September. Over the last few years, we’ve been building some resources to support this transition and bring some continuity in pedagogical approaches to key aspects of the maths curriculum.
Since 2014, the calculator has not featured in the KS2 SAT tests and so has not been a feature of maths teaching in primary schools; however, it’s useful for pupils to develop their confidence with calculators, ready for maths at secondary school. We’ve designed the Calculator Crunch challenge to encourage pupils at the end of KS2 and their teachers to get the calculators out of the cupboard and have some fun.
The challenges are designed to appeal to Year 6 and 7 in particular but we have seen from previous years that they have been used from Year 5 (and maybe earlier) right up to Year 11 and beyond! The activities focus on key aspects of the maths curriculum and also encourage thinking and reasoning to come up with explanations and generalisations.
The aim of Calculator Crunch is to get primary and secondary schools working together on some challenges and puzzles, using their calculators. We have been delighted to see secondary schools working with their feeder primary schools and sharing solutions. It is a great way to see the mathematical thinking and strategies that pupils will bring with them as they move to their new schools. It is also a chance for primary teachers to see how maths develops through Year 7 and to see what their former pupils have been up to.
The challenges will be released daily on Twitter, Facebook and on the MEI website between Monday 21 June and Thursday 1 July. Schools are encouraged to tweet their pupils’ solutions. Pupils have even set us their own challenges, which has been great!
Get Calculating Lessons
Last year we released five Get Calculating lessons for Year 7 covering different aspects of maths including geometry, fractions and linear number sequences with activities which encouraged the use of calculators to support learning. This year we will be releasing new lessons for Year 6 which match these to create resources which can be used as part of a transition project. There are currently two pairs of lessons (Construction Site and Growing Patterns) and the other plans will be added in the next few weeks.