Tessa Holledge, Principal, Norwich Primary School, Norfolk and Suffolk Maths Hub

The most successful model of same-day intervention we have tried is called Stretch or Fix, initially used in Years 4 to 6, but now being trialled across the whole school. It works like this. Between 9:20 and 10 am there’s a sharply focused, Shanghai style lesson, When children go to assembly at 10 am, the teacher stays behind to mark the work so far. When the children return, for the rest of the lesson (10:20 to 10:40) they are directed either to a ‘stretch’ (generally open-ended or challenge, or missing number question to further consolidate learning) or a ‘fix’ (more of the basic questions or a re-teaching) And we’ve noticed that the children in the stretch group one day might be in the fix group the next, or vice versa.

And here are some comments from teachers at our school about Stretch or Fix:

  • Opportunity to reassess lesson and provide extra materials for pupils that require it. Time to change seating plan to allow for those that need extra help and those that need more of a challenge and can work independently.
  • Freezes lesson. Yr6
  • Time to reflect and change if necessary. Time to get an extra resource and reduces marking after school. Yr4
  • I think S+F is wonderful because I get to mark every book to really see if I have pitched the lesson properly. Yr5
  • Children have become used to checking if they are on the stretch or fix. It deepens understanding Yr1
  • Very effective when working with small groups. LA children can access the learning much better in fix time. Yr2
  • Good to work with small groups on specific problems/misconceptions Yr2
  • Less need for writing next steps as most ready for next lesson. Yr2
  • Very effective with small groups and specific focus for children at similar level Yr2/3
  • Instant assessment, pick up on people being left behind, less marking after school, more compact lesson to keep children focussed.
  • Helps children who are struggling with intervention straight away to stop children falling further behind. Also chance in stretch to deepen and extend Yr 3
  • Time to reassess and try plan B! Yr6