Since taking over the leadership role of Year 6 several years ago, I have been on the lookout for homework material that would help the children I was teaching achieve the very best they could in their SATs. Finally, I discovered Achieve Levels 5 and 6. My team and I used these religiously within the classroom and for homework and gradually our maths results improved, with the school achieving well above the national average for Level 6 – the teacher book with the lesson plans and pupil work was fantastic and the pupil revision book exactly matched the lessons, so I was able to give it to them the same night for homework.
However, when the Government decided to change the curriculum, as Maths Leader and Year Six Leader it was a worry as to what we could purchase that would do just as good a job! Nevertheless, I needn’t have worried as Rising Stars published Achieve 100 and Achieve 100 PLUS.
As I teach the higher attaining group, I use the Achieve 100 in the Autumn Term for homework and the Achieve 100 PLUS for homework in the Spring Term leading up to the SATs.
Every day I link the homework from the Achieve 100 and 100 PLUS to the objectives I have taught that day. This not only reinforces what I have taught but the pupils become more confident with applying their skills.
The questions within the books are challenging and make the children think about what they need to do. The next day, before the start of the main lesson, the pupils get their homework out and spend ten minutes discussing with each other the answers and how they achieved them, then if they have got something wrong they re-do the working out and correct it. When we mark the homework together, I get the children to explain their working out first before they tell me the answer. This encourages the use of the correct vocabulary and reasoning skills. By following this pattern from September, by the time it gets to their tests the pupils are flying through the questions, are confident, but above all, LOVE maths.
After the test this year, the pupils said that the work I gave them was harder (Achieve 100 PLUS) than the actual test. I felt this was a good thing because not only were they phenomenal at maths, but they were also very confident at tackling the actual test in May. As a result, nearly half the year group achieved a score of 114 or more on the scaled score.
As for the other ability groups, they used the books slightly differently and alternated between completing some of the easier questions for homework and the harder ones as part of their maths lessons. The teachers also used them for revision in the Easter school we run each year for a week.
The above teaching methods were used for grammar and reading too.
Thank you, Rising Stars, for this great resource.