How do Sparx use interleaving and spacing?

How does Sparx Homework utilise interleaving?

In Sparx Maths, questions are either delivered using scaffolding or interleaving.

Scaffolding

Sequences of questions on the same topic, carefully designed to support students and lead to a high chance of success.

Interleaving

Questions from different topics are mixed, giving students the opportunity to practice method selection and build an understanding of the similarities and differences between topics. This strategy provides an increased level of challenge and has been shown in research to improve long-term learning. 

When we create homework for a student, we make a judgement about the students proficiency on each topic by looking at their previous activity on that topic as well as more generally. We then make a decision about what difficulty of questions is most suitable for the student on that topic and also whether they need the support of scaffolding or are ready for interleaved practice.

How does Sparx homework utilise spaced repetition?

Spacing topics out over time gives students a chance to retrieve what they've learnt and has been shown to improve long-term learning. As such Sparx Homework is made up of topics added to the planner for the current week and topics that are brought back from previous weeks.

Topics are brought back in consolidation homework after three weeks and ten weeks so each topic will typically be seen by a student in three homeworks over the course of a few months.

However, we can't guarantee this for every topic and every student for a few reasons:

  • The number of questions in homework varies from student to student.
  • We prioritise giving students more practice on topics that they have previously struggled with.