Frequently Asked Questions

Schemes of work | Assessment | Products | General

Schemes of work

How did you construct the units of the schemes of work?
The National Curriculum contains a lot of mathematics. For example, there are 49 'statements' within the Year 6 expectations, and some of those are substantial in themselves. In each year we have grouped these statements into the units - or topics - in each scheme of work. There are between 13 and 19 units in each scheme of work.

Why do you label the schemes of work with 'stage'?
We have decided to use the word 'stage' to organise these pathways as it is the language used in the following National Curriculum extract: "The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils' understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on."

Is 'stage' the same as 'year'?
Stages 1 to 6 align with the Year 1 to 6 Programmes of Study in the 2014 National Curriculum. The 2014 NC KS3 and KS4 Programmes of Study, and the DfE Mathematics: GCSE subject content and assessment objectives, are not structured using a year-by-year progression. Stages 7 to 11 suggest a potential structure for progressing though all of the GCSE subject content.

Do I use Stage X with pupils in Year X?
Look at the tables here and here to help with this important decision.

Should all secondary students start on Stage 7?
Not necessarily. Look at the tables here and here to help with this important decision. Assuming that one stage is covered in one year, students starting on Stage 7 will cover all GCSE content.

Is Stage 11 available?
Not yet. It will be ready to use from September 2016, as will Stage 10 Lite to help prepare students for the new GCSE.

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What are the Kangaroo Maths Mastery Indicators?
The Mastery Indicators are, in our opinion, the minimum expected outcomes by the end of each stage. There are 13 in every stage. They are critical in developing conceptual understanding and essential for pupils to make progress.

Why are they called Mastery Indicators?
They are the concepts that need to be understood deeply in order to make secure and sustained progress over time.

What are the Essential Knowledge statements?
In each stage, the essential knowledge statements outline critical information that pupils need to know. Mastery Indicators + Essential Knowledge = Fluency in the Fundamentals of Mathematics.

Is there an overview of the Mastery Indicators and Essential Knowledge?
Yes, here.

Why are there only 13 Mastery Indicators in each stage?
In the past, NC level descriptors and GCSE grade descriptions (F, C and A only) existed. Their purpose was to help ascertain the position of students at the end of a Key Stage. However, in both these cases only a subset of the curriculum was included: the curriculum has always been larger than the list of statements used to help assess where a student is in their learning. We set ourselves thirteen Mastery Indicators as a target since we feel it is manageable for detailed targeting and assessment. And to show that we are not triskaidekaphobic.

How can I assess pupils’ depth of understanding of the Mastery Indicators?
The BAM Tasks help you to assess this through problem-solving, reasoning, exploration of misconceptions, and application to contexts within and beyond mathematics. The tracker sheets can be used to help with this.

Are there BAM Tasks for Stages 1, 2, 10 or 11?
Not yet. We are delighted that schools are finding the BAM Tasks so useful and we will endeavour to produce more in the future.

Are there answers to the BAM Tasks?
We do not put answers to these tasks on our website as students would find them very quickly.

How else does Kangaroo Maths help with assessment?
In addition to the BAM Tasks we have produced three types of assessment that can be used for summative purposes:

    Got It?: A collection of holistic assessments designed to assess pupils' understanding of all the key concepts within a stage and help build a mathematical profile against age related expectations. The assessments are structured in an order such that Question 1 assesses statement 1 in the medium term plans (the 'Stage X Mathematics' jigsaw diagrams), Question 2 assesses statement 2 and so on.
    TestBank: For those schools wanting to create tests, the TestBank provides questions based on the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum. Most of these questions are the same as those in the Got It? documents described above, but arranged in the same order as the units of the Kangaroo Maths schemes of work. End of section assessments for each stage of the schemes of work are easily created by copying the relevant section. Available as PDF files for Stages 3 to 9 and complete with markschemes.
    Exams: The examinations provide a collection of questions, very similar in style to the Got It/TestBank questions, which provide full coverage of the Kangaroo Maths Mastery Indicators and Essential Knowledge statements outlined on the overview page of each of our schemes of work. Available as PDF files, there are two papers of 60 marks each (except Stage 3 which is 50 marks each). Stages 5 to 9 are presented as one calculator and one non-calculator paper. Complete with markschemes.

How do I use a 'Got It?'?
They are designed to help schools periodically review progress against national expectations. They will yield diagnostic information.

How do I use the TestBank?
Some schools use them to create termly or half-termly tests. Other schools are choosing to use them as a review - in non-test situations - at the end of a year. They will yield diagnostic information.

How do I use the exams?
The intention is that the exams are used at the end of the year. They will yield diagnostic information.

Can I edit documents in the Assessment Package?
All documents provided in pdf format are related to our stage-by-stage assessment structure. Customising these documents could easily lead to a break down in the carefully designed progression we have developed at Kangaroo Maths. We do not provide Word versions of these pdf documents. However, pdf-editing software is freely available and you are welcome to edit them in this way, although school branding should not be removed.

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How much does Kangaroo Maths cost?
Potentially nothing. It depends on what you want to use. Everything in Kenny's Pouch is free, including the schemes of work and a good proportion of the assessment material. 'Bring on the Maths' resources and the 'Assessment Package' are the products that schools can purchase.

What is the annual subscription to Kangaroo Maths?
To this day, Kangaroo Maths does not, and has no intention to, operate annual subscriptions. Everything in Kenny's Pouch is free. 'Bring on the Maths!' resources and the 'Assessment Package' are purchased with a one-off fee.

How much does 'Bring on the Maths' cost?
The price list for the different packages is here.

Do the same 'Bring on the Maths' activities get used in different packages?
There are no identical activities within the 'Bring on the Maths' packages, although there are similar ideas on occasions. Some of the 'Level by Level' activities are being reworked into the new format of 'Bring on the Maths+'.

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What is Kangaroo Maths?
In 2003, Matt and Steve – two Maths teachers in Gloucestershire – founded Kangaroo Maths. The original idea was, through a website (a novel idea at the time!), to provide schools with access to the first ‘Bring on the Maths!’ package: a rich resource that schools now purchase for a one-off payment. This soon developed into them using the website to share – for free – resources and ideas with other colleagues: 'Kenny's Pouch' was built. Kangaroo Maths continues to be committed to supporting teachers in providing an engaging, exciting and enjoyable curriculum by developing practical ideas and resources that can be used immediately, with ease, in the classroom. The company now offers bespoke onsite support tailor-made to address priorities of schools and partnerships.

Why 'Kangaroo' Maths?
Steve and Matt were rushed into choosing a domain name over a snatched coffee between two Maths lessons. Their first choice was '' (x being a common factor of their surnames) but as teaching with a puppet kangaroo – Kenny – had become a worryingly regular feature of their teaching at the time, Kangaroo Maths was suddenly born! Do they regret not snapping up their first idea before Simon Cowell came along and changed British TV for the next decade? Not at all. Really. Not in the slightest.

Are you interested in my resources?
Thank you for taking the time to ask. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee to be able to find the time to respond as we juggle Kangaroo Maths with our 'day job' in schools.

Why are some of the documents only available as pdfs?
All documents provided in pdf format are related to our stage-by-stage assessment structure. Customising these documents could easily lead to a break down in the carefully designed progression we have developed at Kangaroo Maths.

Can I have a Word version of your pdf?
We are not providing Word versions of pdf documents. In addition to the reasons stated above, the formatting is complex. However, pdf-editing software is freely available.