Here’s How To Avoid The Expense of Maths Interventions For SATs in Year 6

Looking to support pupils to catch-up in maths before SATs? Find out why Headteachers across the UK are intervening earlier to plug gaps and cement knowledge even before Year 6.

When we look at the gaps that some Year 6 pupils have on entry into our one to one SATs revision programme, it’s clear that both the pupils and their dedicated tutors have a steep challenge ahead of them.

Before they can even start on revising key concepts, or practising SATs questions, they need to work from the ground up, sometimes even to develop an understanding of something as essential as Place Value.

Here’s what Karen Bridges, Deputy Head at Green Park School, says: “Thanks to Third Space our children are happier and more confident with all aspects of mathematics. They make better progress and achieve well at the end of Year 6.

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With accountability for primary schools weighted so heavily towards SATs results, it’s in Year 6 that many schools start to really notice and worry about children who are still below the expected Year 6 level.

Often these children have received lots of support from teachers and TAs over their time at school, but, in a class of 30, even with small group tutoring interventions, it’s hard for some children to get the personalised input they need.

So when in year 6 a school is able to focus a core part of their budget towards one of our one to one tutoring programmes for their target pupils they may have already struggled in maths for a while.

This means that not only will they have multiple learning gaps, but also their confidence in maths is likely to be low.

Time and time again we see pupils from across the country leaving Year 5 still struggling with key topics, the same topics that trip them up when it comes to their SATs.

We do our best in the 14 weeks we have these pupils and many pupils are able to turn their maths performance around in that time. Most of them will achieve expected standard, through a combination of dedication, their newly won belief in themselves, and extremely hard work from them and their teachers, and our tutors.

But what if…

  • What if we’d been able to work with these pupils earlier in their school career? By the time they’d reach Year 6 we’d have already plugged any outstanding Key Stage 2 gaps.
  • What if in Year 5 they were already used to the idea of talking for 45 minutes to an adult, of developing their reasoning, justifying their answers, and learning problem solving techniques.
  • What if we’d already been able to develop their resilience and growth mindset so each new challenge was met with enthusiasm?

What if we’d been able to do this with the pupils – and regrettably there are always a few – for whom our online maths tuition comes too late?

We can provide all this to the pupils in your school who already struggle in Maths.

If you’re now looking at the results of your Year 4 or Year 5 assessments, and wondering how you’re going to bridge the chasm between where your pupils are now and where they need to get to in Year 6 we’d like to help.

And of course, we know your budgets are tight, and we want to help you where we can.

We were one of the first and largest tuition partners in the National Tutoring Programme and have over 10 years of experience in school led tutoring.

Why Are Schools Choosing to Start Their Interventions Before Year 6?

We’ve written before about why your your KS2 SATs interventions should begin lower down the school. The key reasons that Headteachers are choosing to use our 1-to-1 tutors earlier in KS2 are as follows:

1. They understand the value of intervening early and the impact it can have not just on pupils who are working at or just below ARE, but on those working some distance away from ARE.

2. They are laser focused on narrowing the attainment gap in their school and realise that if the gap is widening between KS1 SATs and KS2 SATs, it’s better all round to address it at its narrowest.

3. Pupils in receipt of pupil premium are distributed across KS2 years and they are looking for a targeted intervention with clear per pupil accountability.

4. We’ve already been working with the school’s current Year 6 for a term or more and so now have the evidence that the intervention is right for their school to roll it out across more years.

5. They are making some hard choices with regards to budgets and outsourcing and as staff retire or leave, some heads are choosing to use our tutors as a flexible way to provide same day interventions.

A Third Space Learning online lesson designed by curriculum experts, using pictorial representations to support learning.

What to expect from a term of one to one maths tuition

1. Diagnostic assessment that identifies every child’s individual gaps

All your pupils will receive an initial diagnostic assessment which looks at both their attainment level and their attitude to Maths.

This is used for you and us to benchmark progress and to get an early feel for a pupils gaps.

2. Weekly 1-to-1 tuition for every pupil improves attainment

Each pupil receives a weekly lesson from their own personal expert Maths tutor. The tutor follows a programme of study that fits the pupils own needs/gaps, and is matched to their speed of progress. Pupils are free to ask questions in a safe and secure environment.

3. Growth mindset techniques build confidence and resilience

Following a programme personalised just for them, in a low-stakes environment,with rewards for effort, helps pupils become more confident and willing to engage in their class Maths lessons.

4. Progress reports provide oversight and support for your teachers

You and your teachers can see at a glance the progress of individual children and a cohort of pupils using Third Space – which topics have been tackled, which a child is secure on, and which need more work.

An overview progress report for a Year 6 pupil currently sitting our 1-to-1 Maths Intervention
An overview progress report for a Year 6 pupil currently sitting our 1-to-1 Maths Intervention
A lesson by lesson breakdown of how that same pupil is progressing
A lesson by lesson breakdown of how that same pupil is progressing

5. Thousands of premium ready made resources in the Third Space Learning Maths Hub for ALL your teachers

All schools using our maths intervention programmes receive premium access for all their teachers to our Maths hub of hundreds of resources, assessments and CPD.

“I love Third Space resources! They are well presented, visually appealing and the topic matter is linked to mastery in the new maths curriculum – meaning I don’t have to search for new resources. Plus I can use them as whole class starters, mini challenges, or even as little booklets for fast finishers, they’re very flexible!” – Alison Pearce-Kelly, Teacher, Buckland Primary School

If you’re interested, find out more about our Year 3-5 catch up maths programme.

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Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of students across hundreds of schools with weekly maths intervention programmes designed to plug gaps and boost progress.


Since 2013 these personalised one to one lessons have helped over 150,000 primary and secondary students become more confident, able mathematicians.


Learn how we can teach multiple pupils at once or request a personalised quote for your school to speak to us about your school’s needs and how we can help.


The Ultimate Guide to Effective Maths Interventions [FREE]

Find out how to plan, manage, and teach one to one (and small group) maths interventions in primary and secondary schools.

Includes a 20 point checklist of techniques to improve your one to one teaching.

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