Given the anti-textbook ethos that has permeated through our profession in the past few years and the constant stretch on our budgets it’s not surprising we’ve moved away from textbooks in our primary school classrooms, but where does that leave our teachers?
Forced to plan bespoke lessons for their classes, often without the necessary time, or depth of knowledge required to do an outstanding job, while our pupils received an inconsistent education with different methods of teaching and without the worksheets and textbooks they required for practice.
As an experienced maths teacher, I’ve seen my fair share of textbook series. Most were dull at best and, at worst, caused pupils problems in understanding concepts, often repetitive, and designed to embed a single method but requiring very little deeper thought or problem solving.
I required an ongoing teacher pedagogy, and books outlining how to teach well and provide pupils with opportunities to learn thoroughly. And where could I also find the time to replicate the planning that is available in textbooks with the consistency that flows from year 1 to year 6 addressing the issues of changing classes and different methods being taught (an OfSTED priority)?