Year 7 catch up

An introduction to problem solving for weaker pupils

Materials to develop thinking skills and problem solving strategies for pupils who arrive in year 7 below the expected standard, or barely at the standard. These resources are based around an approach that has proven successful in KS2, and are intended as starter activities for the whole class.

Choose either Pack 3, Pack 4 or Pack 5. These packs indicate where a pupil needs to be in year 7, if they are to make good progress, ultimately to achieve grade 3, 4 or 5 when they reach year 11.


Each pack contains a CD with 15 introductory powerpoints for whole class discussion around problem solving strategies and a set of booklets with 15 starter sessions, where the pupil then works independently, with a brief number skills warm up, followed by three small problems to solve at a suitable degree of challenge, in terms of the maths skills required. The activity, with powerpoint and written work together, should take 15 - 20 minutes and ensures that the development of problem solving is an integral aspect of regular classroom teaching for lower ability pupils.  Booklet solutions are included on the powerpoint CD.


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For very weak pupils in either year 7 or year 8, an Enhanced Pack 3 and Enhanced Pack 4 are available.

These packs are ideal for smaller groups (and can be managed by non-specialists). Here 10 session plans are included using the appropriate booklets with supporting worksheets to particularly strengthen number skills alongside the problem solving work