Ready to meet the summer six challenge?

    Published: 06 June 2019

    Following the great feedback from our #HfLSummer6 tasks from last year, the daily tasks will be returning after the half term break. Between Monday 4th June and Friday 12th July a new question of the day will be posted each weekday via our social media platforms. The questions are taken from the ESSENTIALmaths planning sequences, which were launched in September 2017 and are currently being used in over 350 schools within Hertfordshire and beyond.

    Added challenge for #HfLSummer6 2019

    We know adding greater depth and challenge to age-related tasks is a continued focus in many schools. So this year each task will have a suggestion of how they could be extended.

    This example is taken from #ESSENTIALmaths year 2 learning sequence.

    pictorial algebra

    The challenge box asks pupils to consider whether it is possible to identify whether the star is an odd and even number without simply giving the value of the star. This gives pupils the opportunity to reason about numbers and their relationships. This aligns to one of the GDS year 2 TAF statements, where teachers will want to consider what children know about adding three odd digits or three even digits. Some pupils may be able to draw on previous experience to identify that if star + star + star = an odd number then the star must be odd. Others may need to experiment with concrete apparatus, or gain support from drawing pictorial models, to identify this relationship and then, crucially, explain their understanding.   

    Pupils responses from 2018/19

    In addition to the #HfLsummer6 questions, we have also released questions in the run up to Christmas and Easter. It has been fantastic to see how teachers have adapted the tasks and also to examine the responses generated by the pupils. We have had many great examples submitted to us but here are just three of our favourites from the last year.

    The one where Year 6 adapted the year 1 task:  This original robot task was from the year 1 #ESSENTIALmaths plans to provide pupils rehearsal of adding three single digits to ensure the total for each robot combination was less than 20. The maths subject leader adapted the tasks to challenge pupils across in the school. This photo shows that year 6 pupils were tackling fractions with different denominators. Whilst some robot combinations required a full calculation, others allowed the pupils to use reasoning to determine whether the sum was going to be less than 1.

    robot maths problem

    The one where the pupil refused to give up: This festive Suko task proved to be a real head scratcher for many adults and pupils alike. It was great to hear that this pupil was determined to find the solution and chose to grapple with this over two days. The teacher said the pupil chose to continue the task beyond the designated lesson and, once victorious, even took it home for his mum to try!

    Suko problem

    The one where Reception got involved: Currently #ESSENTIALmaths plans are available for Years 1-6 (although watch this space). That didn’t stop this Reception class getting involved in this Easter challenge. This class used number plates to investigate the ‘numbers within numbers’, choosing to focus on combinations of 2, 3 and 4 to create 8 Easter eggs in different ways. This fantastic practice is something we love to see begin in the EYFS and continue throughout the primary phase.

    Eggs problem

    How can I get involved this year?

    #HfLSummer 6 questions will be posted at 7am weekdays on Twitter between Monday 4th June and Friday 12th July:

    Mondays – Years 1 and 2

    Tuesdays – Year 3

    Wednesdays – Year 4

    Thursdays – Year 5

    Fridays – Year 6

    How you use the questions is up to you! It has been a pleasure to see how different schools and teachers have used our materials in different ways to maximise the impact on the pupils’ learning. You may choose for your pupils to work individually, in pairs or small groups, or use questions as part of a whole class discussion. Some teachers may choose to use questions from previous year groups to provide revision or address gaps or misconceptions which have been identified.

    And finally

    We would love to see even more pupils’ responses and strategies, including any use of jottings or concrete materials that may have been used. Please reply to our posts with photos if you have permission to share the images.  Please use the hashtags #ESSENTIALmaths and #HFLSummer6 so others can find your Tweets.


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