Ensuring curriculum continuity across Year 6 to 7 is a challenge; trying to establish a causal link to what has or hasn’t helped you be successful can be an even greater challenge. Part of our vision in establishing a cross phase Trust was to try to ensure continuity in teaching and learning across the primary secondary divide; what should be a gap, over the summer holidays, can be a huge chasm.
For this academic year Manga High has been our non-negotiable maths homework in Years 5,6, 7 and 8 within the Blessed Edward Bamber Multi Academy Trust.
As part of our continued work on transition between Key Stage 2 and Key stage 3 we have looked to going beyond traditional one off events in the summer term; although, we still have moving up days for our year 6 pupils. We wanted to see more longer term impact and have consequently spent a significant amount of time working on aligning our primary and secondary mathematics curriculum to ensure a continuous learning journey for our children from foundation stage through to GCSE.
Having completed a number of pupil voice exercises with Year 6 and 7 pupils, in addition to the traditional fears of getting lost in high school and meeting new friends, homework at high school was coming up as a significant worry for our pupils. Rumours abounded of it being too hard and there being too much of it. One possible answer was to use the same format for homework across years 6 and 7. Manga High ticked all the boxes for us, so much so that after the initial trials and launch we then decided to extend it to years 5 and 8 also.
Feedback from our pupils tell us that they have enjoyed the activities and have found them really engaging, this is backed up by evidence showing homework completion rates have increased since moving to Manga High. Feedback from our teacher’s has also been extremely positive they find the website very user friendly and find the setting and monitoring of homework quick and easy. Particularly good is the fact that the homework can automatically differentiate, making questions easier or more challenging according to the answers given to previous questions – this means that the same homework can be given to all class members without concern that it will be too easy or too difficult for some pupils. This sets Manga High apart from some other homework platforms we have used in the past.
Most importantly for us our Year 7 pupil’s have been able to build on the work they have done in primary school with Manga High supporting the learning journey, an additional bonus is that pupil’s have achieved well over 6,000 Manga High medals this year. Teachers have continued to use children’s individual data generated from Manga High to further inform planning and plug gaps in learning by being able to see easily topics that children have found challenging and put in support for individuals and groups to allow them to succeed.