Year 1- Maths


The lesson focused on the children being able to understand and use the following vocabulary: more, less and equal. This was the second lesson in the sequence. This lesson built on the previous objective of counting to and from 20.

The lesson was observed for 20 minutes and focused on cohesion throughout the session.

The children were asked to sort statements and decide if they were true or false. All children worked in pairs, with some children supported by an LSA.


What Went Well

  • All of the children were engaged at the beginning of the session.
  • The children used their prior knowledge when discussing the vocabulary and the statements.
  • The use of key vocabulary was modelled by the teacher e.g. ‘amount’ when referring to quantity but ‘number’ when referring to the numeral.
  • The activities were structured in small steps and modelled beforehand.
  • Misconceptions were discussed and addressed throughout.


Next Steps

  • Demonstrate that there could be more than one answer when trying to find a number between 12 and 16.
  • Some children would benefit from focusing on fewer examples during the first activity.
  • Some children would benefit from further modelling during table tasks.
  • Further use of visuals would make the work in their books clearer (e.g. + for more and – for less).

Year 2 – Maths

The focus of this Maths lesson was cohesion. 20 minutes of the lesson was observed by the Year 2 teacher.

Previously, the children had completed two weeks worth of work focusing on measurement. The aim of this lesson was for the children to use what they had learnt in previous lessons, to solve measurement word problems.

The lesson started with some key vocabulary displayed on the board:
metre stick

The children worked collaboratively using a Numbered Heads Together, to discuss each of the key words. This allowed the teacher and LSA to quickly assess the children’s understanding. As the children fed this back to the class, carefully planned questions were asked to deepen their understanding. Following on from this, the children were given a word problem linked to the key features which had been discussed. The children used a Think Pair Share to identify key information from the question. They were then able to use base ten so solve the problem. They could also use a ‘part, part, whole’ to show their working out.

What went well?

The starter activity allowed for prior knowledge to be assessed quickly and misconceptions were picked up on. This activity supported the children when solving the word problems. The use of concrete resources supported the children.

Even better if

The children found it difficult to transfer the question on to a ‘part, part, whole’. They required a template for this, which showed this aspect needs to be developed further. Some language that is used in word problems needs reinforcing further for some children as they were confusing whether they needed to add or subtract.

Reception – Maths

The focus of the lesson study was cohesion. The Nursery teacher observed fifteen minutes of a Reception maths lesson.

In the lesson the teacher modelled to the children how to subitise when adding together two sets of objects. The children began by counting using the counting hoop, with a particular focus on counting on from the number five on the counting hoop.

The children then added together sets of objects displayed on the whiteboard, reinforcing prior learning e.g. How many apples are there? How many pears are there? How many pieces of fruit are there altogether? The teacher ensured that the number of pieces of fruit in the arrangement on the left for each example contained five pieces of fruit. This enabled the teacher to begin to introduce the concept of ‘adding on from five to calculate how many pieces of fruit there were altogether.

The teacher then displayed two sets of Numicon pieces on the screen to further consolidate the concept of adding on from 5, as the children could recognise the number five Numicon piece from their earlier experiences of working with Numicon.

What went well

The children were engaged for the input and showed that they were secure in counting and that some secure with the concept of adding together two groups of objects.

In the follow on activity the children in the most able group were able to use the Numicon pieces to add by subitising.

Even better if

The counting hoop used in the lesson starter had numbers attached to the markers in order to provide the children with visuals too support their understanding of counting on from a given number, which was a concept than ran through the whole lesson.

Year Four – Maths

The focus of this lesson study was cohesion.  15 minutes of the maths lesson was observed by the Year Three teacher.

As the aim of the lesson was for children to complete word problems independently, the lesson started with a rally robin discussion of words that we can use when adding and subtracting. This was so that children could spot the important information that they needed to know in order to complete their word problems.  The children then applied their knowledge of the vocabulary by looking for clues in a word problem to find which operation they needed to use.  The children identified the words and the teacher underlined these key words on the screen. There was further discussion about context specific words such as ‘eats’ and ‘buys’ which may have indicated the operation that the children needed to use. Following on from this, a bar model was used as a visual representation to support the understanding of the word problem.

What went well:

The pace of the lesson suited this class as they were all engaged, working collaboratively and their learning was deepened through pre-prepared questions. Children had the opportunity to discuss their ideas as well as record their number sentences on their whiteboards to aid their understanding.  Visual representations were used, however, this was done once the lesson study had finished.

Even better if:

Concrete resources were used to support understanding for EAL children in particular. A word mat could have been used to support some children’s understanding by indicating the operation each word represented.