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Published by Matthew Rose

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Published by: Matthew Rose on Jun 30, 2009
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Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) Information sheet for Maths.
Access the QCA curriculum page at:http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-3-and-4/subjects/index.aspxand then choose your subject.Each curriculum area Framework has subsections of:
Importance of the subject: why the subject matters
Key Concepts : big ideas that underpin each subject
Key Processes : essential skills for each subject
Range and content: what to teach
Curriculum opportunities : chances to work with other subjects or outside the classroomDetail on each of these is available clicking on the headings on the site referenced above.On the right hand side of the web page are links as to how Maths can contribute to Aims (of theNational Curriculum), Personal Development (specific connections to ECM headings), PLTS andFunctional Skills. Following the PLTS link provides the subject specific information reproduced on thenext page for you. The page referenced above is a key page for you to access your programmes of study and information on Attainment Targets.As a Core subject you also have some more useful links as follows:http://www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/secondary/framework/then choose your subject.Key things from this site are:Access to the overview of levels (PDF documentattached) through “Framework for Secondary Maths”then “About Framework Learning Objectives” thenfrom near the bottom “APP assessment guidelines for Maths”An online indicator of how skills develop year by year by following “Framework for Secondary Maths” then“Maths Learning Objectives” and by then putting ticksin the boxes next to specific skills and clicking “Go”you get to the web page showing how these skillsdevelop year by year which looks like the image onthe right.Scrolling to the bottom and clicking on ““Click here toview the suggested APP assessment criteria linkedto these assessment focuses” takes you to a webpage showing how each skill develops over levelsrather than years. It looks like this:
How Maths can support PLTS
The programme of study requirespupils to work on open and closedtasks in a variety of contexts that allowthem to select the mathematics to use.The key concept of competencerequires pupils to process andevaluate information, applyingmathematics to familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Pupils plan what to do,selecting the most appropriatemethods, tools and models whenrepresenting situations or problems.The key concept of creativity requirespupils to combine understanding,experiences, imagination andreasoning to construct newknowledge. They are also expected touse existing mathematical knowledgein novel contexts. By adopting aquestioning approach they developtheir own lines of enquiry andconvincing arguments to support their decisions and conclusions. Whendeciding on how to use mathematicsto model a situation or solve a problempupils need to think creatively, drawingon their knowledge and understandingof mathematics and identifying themathematical features that areimportant.Pupils will be expected to evaluatetheir own and others' work andrespond constructively. The keyprocess of analysing requires them towork logically towards results andsolutions, and to value feedback andlearn from mistakes.The mathematics programme of studyprovides opportunities for pupils towork collaboratively as well asindependently to solve mathematicalproblems in a range of contexts.Knowing about the history of mathematics and the mathematics of different cultures encourages andsupports pupils to listen to, and besensitive to, different views andbroadens their perspective on thesubject.Pupils are expected to workindependently on extended tasks thatbring together different aspects of mathematical content, using several of the key processes. They will makedecisions autonomously while workingtowards goals, showing initiative,confidence, commitment andperseverance.Pupils’ use of mathematical ideas andmodels to explore issues or problemsis mediated through the key concept of critical understanding. Wheninterpreting and evaluating, pupilsshould be able to develop convincingarguments to influence others and takepart in discussions. Working onproblems that arise in other subjectsand outside school helps pupilsunderstand how mathematics isrelevant in all areas of life.
Embedding personal, learning and thinking skills
A range of PLTS can be embedded in any sequence of work whilst planning. For example, pupils might be asked toinvestigate and compare different ways of upgrading and paying for a new mobile phone over several lessons. This wouldinvolve pupils:
identifying questions to answer and problems to solve, planning and carrying out research to compare pay as yougo with contract phones (independent enquirers)
generating ideas and constructing mathematical models, exploring possibilities by carrying out calculations,varying values and following their own ideas through (creative thinkers)
discussing and writing up their findings, reflecting on and communicating what they have learnt, selecting theappropriate mathematical representations (reflective learners)
collaborating with others to prepare a class presentation, showing confidence in themselves, their contributionand their findings (team workers)
working towards goals, organising time and resources, and prioritising actions (self-managers)
comparing other pupils’ approaches and findings and making judgements about how they compare with their own(independent enquirers)
proposing practical ways forward, breaking the problem and analysis down into manageable steps (effectiveparticipators).

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