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Compare Maths Blocks & Plans

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Hamilton's weekly maths plans provide pedagogically sound sequences of lessons that ensure consistent progression. Our equally authoritative maths blocks give you a mastery framework that you can tailor to suit your children.

How do you decide which to use - our traditional weekly plans or our new flexible blocks?

Maths blocks

Hamilton's blocks present maths planning in a mastery framework that lets you tailor a blocked structure to your teaching and your children and provides everything you need to differentiate on the way to mastery:

  • Blocks of coherent content – each block is composed of a small number of units that cover one or more related skills within that content area.
  • Teaching for understanding – the detailed teaching document not only describes what to teach but it suggests how you can teach the material successfully; it is supported by a slide presentation that takes you and your class through the material step by step.
  • Mastery activity – group activities are differentiated at three levels for each teaching day – working at ARE, working toward ARE, working at greater depth, so that all of your children are able to access the day's content appropriately.
  • Procedural fluency – practice worksheets are similarly differentiated for children working at ARE, children working toward ARE and children working at greater depth.
  • Problem solving – investigative activities develop maths meta-skills within the context of the unit's objectives.
  • Reasoning questions – mastery questions allow you to assess children's understanding of the unit's objectives.
  • Mental/oral starters – quick preliminary activities facilitate the practice of skills required for the day's lesson or those not being revisited for a while when using a blocked curriculum.
  • Extra support – small-group activities for children working well below ARE can be run by a TA or another adult before the class, later the same day or at another time to help those children access the unit's objectives.

Short blocks
Hamilton recommend these short blocks as a pedagogically progressive route through the longer blocks. Use these if you want to take a skill-based approach to the order in which you cover specific mathematical topics:
Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

Flexible blocks
Hamilton recommend the flexible blocks if you want to be able to tailor your teaching to suit your class. Adjust the length of time you spend on a mathematical topic by selecting the appropriate number of units:
Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

Maths weekly plans

Hamilton’s weekly plans are the right choice for those teachers who prefer to use a spiral curriculum organised by weeks and terms. Differentiation is built in to each plan, which includes:

  • A starter
  • Whole class teaching
  • Guided group work
  • Paired and individual practice activities
  • A plenary session

We also encourage you to use our problem-solving investigations and extra support materials alongside the weekly plans – find them in the left-hand menu.

Explore Hamilton's weekly plans:
Reception | R/Y1 | Y1 | Y1/2 | Y2 | Y2/3 | Y3 | Y3/4 | Y4 | Y4/5 | Y5 | Y5/6 | Y6

Your choice

Mastery is not new to Hamilton - and we can help your children achieve it whether you use our maths blocks or our adaptable weekly plans.

All Hamilton planning materials are focussed on mastery - we always teach and provide learning experiences in the three required areas:

  1. underpinning children's conceptual understanding through the development of a consistent set of images and models;
  2. engendering procedural fluency by suitable activities and practice;
  3. providing investigations and frequent opportunities for reasoning and problem-solving both within the weekly plans and also alongside them.

Whether you choose to teach using our blocked maths or our weekly plans, you can rely on Hamilton's methodological consistency and child-friendly pedagogy to teach maths to the wide variety of children in your class.