Common questions about Schemes of Learning (SoLs) in Sparx
- When should I start my SoL from?
Who chooses what SoLs are used in Sparx and do they match our curriculum?
Schools have full control over what SoLs they use in their site and they can change them at any time. Sparx has a large number of topics and objectives available to be added to SoLs, meaning that we are able to provide content for most school curricula:
We have content that covers:
- Key Stage 3 (English curriculum)
- GCSE (English curriculum)
- Cambridge IGCSE (syllabus codes 0580 and 0980)
- Edexcel International GCSE (specification A)
- Edexcel International GCSE (specification B)
- OxfordAQA International GCSE
- 200+ KS3 topics
- 300+ GCSE topics
- 250+ International Qualification topics
What can I do if I find that a topic in the SoL is no longer suitable for my students when I come to teach it?
If you need to make a small adjustment to what you are teaching then we would recommend simply making a manual change to the topics in the homework Planner for the week or choose a different objective in lessons if you are using Sparx Lessons.
If you find that a large proportion of the SoL you are using is not appropriate then we recommend building a new one and linking that to the class instead.
You might also find this article useful:
Can I add topics from any curriculum and level to my SoL?
You can add topics from either KS3, GCSE, or international qualifications, regardless of the year group, so that you have complete flexibility and are able to support or stretch your students.
Why are there lots of topics with the same name in the SoL builder?
We cover a number of curricula and levels in Sparx which means that some topics have the same or similar names. When choosing your topic you can check the qualification and level underneath the title:
Can I delete a SoL?
It is not possible to delete a Scheme of Learning at the moment. For now, we suggest that you rename the SoL you no longer need in such a way that it falls to the bottom of the alphabetical list of SoLs in your site. E.g. add a Z to the start of the SoL name.
Who creates the SoLs in a school's Sparx site?
Schools typically create their own SoLs each year, which can take from a couple of minutes each if copying an existing template, to up to an hour if creating a new SoL from a blank template.
Once a SoL is created and published it can't be changed, but new SoLs can be made to replace your old ones if your curriculum or other requirements change during the year.
How many SoLs can I make and how often?
You can make as many SoLs as you choose - most schools create two or three differentiated SoLs per year group but some schools choose to make one SoL per class. Just remember to label your SoLs clearly so all staff members know which one they should be using.
What time frame do SoLs cover?
Schemes of Learning (SoLs) can be created for up to one academic year at a time - most schools set up their curriculum for the whole year. Occasionally however it might be necessary for a school to build one or two terms worth of curriculum content at a time, for example, if the school starts using Sparx mid-way through an academic year. To do this simply don't add any topics to the weeks that are not needed in the Scheme of Learning Builder.
Can I use a Scheme of Learning from a different year group?
You can use a Scheme of Learning which was created for a different year group by following these steps:
- Go to the Schemes of Learning page from the More menu on the left-hand sidebar
- Find the Scheme of Learning you would like to use
- Select Copy from the Options dropdown on the right-hand side
- Name your new Scheme of Learning appropriately, select the year group you would like to use it for, and click Create
You can now assign this new Scheme of Learning to any class in the year group you chose.
Can I edit a Scheme of Learning part way through the year?
It is not possible to edit a SoL once it has been published. If you find that a large proportion of the SoL you are using for a class is no longer suitable, then you can either:
- Copy the existing SoL, make the necessary changes, and assign the new copy to your class.
- Or you can create a new one entirely and assign that to your class instead.
Previous work and any homework that has already been handed out or that is planned to be handed out for the next week will not be affected if you change the SoL for a class.
How do I assign or change a Scheme of Learning for a class?
To assign a Scheme of Learning to a class, follow these steps:
- Click More in the left-hand sidebar and choose Class Manager
- Click the orange pencil icon next to the relevant class
- Choose the new Scheme of Learning from the dropdown
- Click Save
Can I use the same SoL for more than one academic year?
SoLs are linked to academic years in Sparx and it is not possible to use the same one for more than one academic year. If you want to use similar SoL content as in a previous academic year you can simply copy the original SoL and link the copy to the new academic year. We would recommend that you name each version of the SoL clearly so you don't accidentally link an old SoL to classes.
Should I put topics in the first week of my SoL?
When creating your SoLs we recommend that you start adding topics a few weeks into the term rather than from the first week. This will allow you time to make sure you and your students are ready for homework to go out.
For example, if you add your first topics to the second or third week of your SoL this will give you time to settle your students into your class, get them used to your class rules and processes, introduce them to Sparx and how it works, and finally set the first homework.
If you are ready to set the first homework sooner than you thought you can add some topics manually using the Planner, but if you build your SoL to start from the first week and then have to delay the first homework for some reason then students will miss out on those first topics.