A Guide to White Rose Maths Small Steps Progression Planning

a teacher planning student progression

White Rose Maths is an organisation that provides maths resources and lesson planning materials to help teachers adopt a maths mastery approach. Their mission is to support teachers in improving maths education and prove that, with the right support, all children can do maths.

They offer Schemes of Learning that break down what children should learn during each week of each term, and these Schemes have been adopted by schools all over the UK. The yearly frameworks are aligned with the National Curriculum and help teachers plan out children’s journey to mastery by making sure they tackle learning objectives in a logical order.

And within these frameworks are the White Rose Maths small steps to progression — milestones that children need to meet to successfully progress through the National Curriculum.

These small steps can help you plan and structure lessons, and choose resources that are perfectly suited to where children are in terms of progress.

But if you’re not entirely sure what the White Rose Maths small steps are, or how to plan lessons using these milestones, here’s what you need to know.

What Are the White Rose Maths Small Steps to Progression?

The White Rose Maths small steps to progression are a series of learning objectives that children need to master in order to progress onto more challenging lessons. There are small steps for each year group, which are sorted into blocks of weeks. For example, block 1 for Year 1 covers what children should learn between weeks 1-3 of the Autumn term.

Ideally, you should follow the small steps in the order they are presented, as White Rose Maths has carefully planned the order of these steps to help children gradually develop their skills.

Planning Lessons Around the White Rose Maths Small Steps

While the White Rose Maths small steps outline the learning objectives that children should work towards in lessons, how you plan and deliver these lessons is down to you. So here are some tips for planning lessons using the small steps.

Judge How Many Steps Are Needed in Each Lesson

The small steps are a series of learning objectives and milestones, but that’s not to say that one step equals one lesson. You may be able to cover several small steps in one lesson, or a single step might require a whole lesson or even several lessons.

You’ll need to judge how easily children will grasp these small steps and plan lessons to make sure you cover all steps within the blocks of time. If block 1 is weeks 1-3, you’ll need to have covered all block 1 small steps by the end of week 3.

Assess Children’s Progress

Each small step assumes a certain level of understanding from the children — understanding that they should have gained while progressing through other steps. So before you progress onto more complex and challenging topics, assess children’s progress to make sure they have a firm understanding of the small steps you’ve already covered.

You might want to schedule informal assessments at the end of each block, or at the end of the term.

Determine What Support Children Will Need During Each Step

Some steps will be more challenging than others for children to master, so when planning lessons, think about how much support children will need when tackling each step. Consider encouraging independent learning where possible, such as during fluency tasks. For more challenging topics, think about guiding children through concepts with teaching slides or one-to-one support.

You may need to put additional support measures in place for children with learning difficulties, SEND children or EAL children.

Revisit Steps to Help Children Consolidate Their Knowledge

The White Rose Maths approach is all about mastery. Children need to have strong foundational knowledge and understanding before progressing onto more advanced topics. Deep learning should be encouraged to ensure children develop a strong and lasting understanding of concepts that can be built upon in future lessons.

So rather than flying through the small steps, schedule in time to allow children to revisit what they’ve learned so that they can consolidate their knowledge. Give children mathematical fluency tasks, encourage them to explore different approaches to maths problems and apply their understanding to different contexts.

Master the Curriculum is here to help you teach for mastery and follow the White Rose Maths framework. We offer thousands of both free and premium resources, including assessments, worksheets, teaching slides, reasoning booklets and even lesson plans. And you’ll find all manner of resources to help you follow the White Rose Maths small steps to progress. Sign up for a free or premium account to unlock access to resources designed by teachers, for teachers.

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