Diagnostic question packs to help identify starting points in teaching

Identifying starting points in teaching is integral to effective teaching and learning. Teachers need to ascertain what a child has remembered and understood from the previous teaching so they can build on prior learning and develop and deepen ideas and understanding.

Structured under the main topic headings, this maths progression map organises key statements from the test framework into categories to help illustrate progression in key areas across the curriculum.


Embedded within the map are packs of assessment questions for priority areas for years 1 to 6. Each question exemplifies what children should know and understand for success in a particular objective and can be used to probe understanding through rich classroom discussions.

These question sets can be used to:

  • exemplify progression over time for your pupils;
  • highlight gaps in prior learning;
  • identify starting points in teaching;
  • refresh previous knowledge before starting the next stage.

Problem solving elements are embedded within each document.

The map is designed to help teachers to see how their teaching fits into the “bigger picture” by highlighting and exemplifying content that has been taught in previous years and how skills and knowledge will be built upon in following years. It also supports non-maths specialists to identify how to support less able pupils and stretch those who need additional challenges.

How to use our Maths Progression Map

1. In the classroom

Use the questions to spark rich classroom discussions. The focus is not to chase correct answers but instead allow learners to express their true understanding so we can see how they’re developing their ideas. Gaps in understanding and misconceptions can be easily drawn out this way.

2. As part of intervention programmes

Differentiated questions to stretch and support. Use the previous skills and knowledge to scaffold pupil progress and help pupils ‘catch up’ as well as stimulate more able groups.

3. For homework

Send these questions home via a shareable link as part of review. You can share the mark scheme at the same time or at a later date for self marking.