Instructions and advice for creating a Scheme of Learning in Sparx
If you are not sure what a Scheme of Learning is in Sparx please see our What are Schemes of Learning in Sparx and how do they work? article for more information before you create yours.
Step 1 - Choose how to start building your scheme
SoLs in Sparx are created either by:
- Choosing a template from our list and keeping it exactly as it is or making changes to it
- Copying a scheme from the same year or a previous academic year
- Creating an entirely new, blank scheme of learning.
Go to the More tab at the bottom left of Teacher Portal and choose the Schemes of Learning page, then select the Templates tab:
Search or filter the list of templates to find a template that you wish to use as the basis for your Scheme of Learning. Use the Options dropdown next to the name of the SoL to Preview the content in more detail before you decide if you wish to use this template.
Find out more about the curricula we cover in this article: What curricula are covered by Sparx?
Select Use in my school to copy it to your list of schemes.
Option 2 - Copy from an existing scheme of learning
Any scheme that shows in This academic year, Archive or Next academic year can be copied by using the same options menu on an existing scheme.
Option 3 - Create a new scheme of learning
In the This academic year or Next academic year tab, you will see a New blank scheme button which lets you create a fresh scheme.
Step 2 - Fill in the basic details
When copying or creating from blank, you will be presented with a popup to start adding details.
Name: Give your SoL a name that is easily recognisable and understandable to your department.
Base Curriculum: choose the curriculum that most closely represents the level you will be teaching this SoL at. For example for a Year 7 class in the UK working at expected levels choose KS3, or for a Year 8 class in an international school who is working at the equivalent of a Year 10 class in the UK, choose a GCSE option. This will help us ensure that the right content level is presented in Sparx.
Academic Year: link your SoL to the academic year you want to teach it in. You will need to make new versions of your SoLs for each academic year but it is quick and easy to make copies of previous SoLs and make edits where needed.
Finally click Create to make your copy.
Step 3 - check and edit the content of your SoL
Once you have made your copy of a SoL it will appear in the corresponding tab for the academic year you selected on the Schemes of Learning page. Go to the Options tab next to your SoL and select Edit to be taken to the scheme of learning builder page:
- View objectives: if you have used a copy of a SoL then you will now be able to view the objectives from the original version in the right hand pane organised into weeks, but if you chose to create a SoL from a blank template then the right-hand pane will be empty.
- Check the schedule: we recommend you browse the list of objectives in the right hand pane to check which week they are scheduled to be used and to make sure that you are happy with the timings.
- Check the holidays: By default, all weeks will contain homework. To the right of the week numbers, each day of the week will show, and any highlighted in blue are days you have set as holiday in the school settings page. You can use this information to decide whether to use the homework type dropdown to set a week as No homework. This means no homework will be handed out during that week. Setting a week to this that contains topics will automatically push the topics down a week for you.
- Change the order of scheduled objectives: if you want to change a scheduled objective then you can do this by dragging it into a different week or into a different order within the week. For example, some schools choose to reduce the number of objectives in a week where students are off timetable, and schools using Sparx Lessons may want to choose the order they will teach the objectives within each week. You can bulk move topics up or down up or down a week by clicking the Move topics dropdown on the right-hand side, depending on what you wish to do.
- Add or remove objectives: if you want to add more objectives to your week, or if you are starting from an empty template, then you can search topics in the left hand pane and drag chosen objectives into the schedule on the right. You can also delete objectives by clicking the cross to the right of the objective title.
To help you make decisions about which objectives to add or remove use the orange i icon next to each one to see a Description, the Example Questions which will show you every question a student could receive, and Teaching Notes:
Once you are happy with your SoL then you can publish it using the options menu:
Step 4 - Making further changes after publishing
Please note: editing a scheme of learning mid-year that is being used by one or more classes will result in any manual changes made to future weeks on Planner for those classes being overridden.
If you need to make more changes to a scheme after publishing it, you can do so by clicking the options menu and selecting Edit.
You can make any changes to a scheme as described above, and when going back to the scheme list view, you will notice a new Draft version of the scheme has been created underneath the originally published scheme.
You can choose to preview the draft version if you want to check you've made the right changes before you're finished, or delete the draft if you no longer require it.
Once you are happy with the changes you are going to make, select the Options menu on the draft and select Publish changes. You will receive a confirmation popup before these changes apply, which will explain how this will impact homework plans if the scheme is assigned to one or more classes.