**Nicola Adams** is an adviser for Primary Mathematics at Herts for Learning. In this, her first blog, she considers how differentiation or meeting the needs of all learners in the classroom is crucial but not always evident to those observing a lesson. She builds on Rachel Rayner’s blog FOMA – Fear of Maths Accountability to demonstrate how three boxes for differentiation is missing the point, and that observers must engage with the teacher before making judgements.

Picture this. Somebody is coming in to observe your maths lesson and what they see is all of the children doing the same thing. They all have access to the same manipulatives; they can all see the same working wall; they are sat in mixed-ability partners, they are playing a mathematical game… and there is conversation happening. The horror! Are* they *going to say that you are not challenging your more able? Are *they* going to ask why your lower ability children are not being supported by an adult? Are *they* going to say that your more able children simply don’t need the same manipulatives as the others? Just *where *is the differentiation? Continue reading “Differentiation – How different does it have to look?”