The Mathematics department is made up of 8 dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. The Director of Learning leads the department with invaluable support from the KS3 and KS4 coordinators (Deputy Directors of Learning). The department is also fully supported by a HLTA and senior faculty ETA. All teachers in the department follow up-to-date and detailed schemes of work which include online resources such as mathswatch and Collins connect. The success of the department continues to grow as 65% of students achieved A*–C in their GCSE Mathematics examinations in 2016, compared to a national average of 61%. 63% of students made at least three levels of progress.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8 students receive six lessons per fortnight in mathematics, rising to 7 lessons a fortnight in Year 9. In Years 7 and 8 students follow a Mathematics Mastery style curriculum. Students are set based on data from their previous school and from our own testing throughout Year 7. Students currently embark upon their GCSE course in Year 9.
Two years ago we successfully applied to join the Mathematics Mastery community run by the ARK schools network. The Mathematics Mastery programme was developed using research findings and evidence as well as drawing on best practice nationally and internationally to create a curriculum designed to achieve mastery in Mathematics. The key principles of the programme are
- Students study fewer topics in greater depth
- Mastery for all students
- Number sense and place value come first
- Problem solving is central.
The vision of the Mathematics Mastery network is:
“Mathematics education should be so much more than just passing exams and Mathematics Mastery will help us achieve this. We want every child to not just pass GCSE mathematics but pass with top grades and to leave school with a love of mathematics. ”
Basically the Mathematics Mastery community want every school leaver to achieve a strong foundation in mathematics, with no student left behind. In addition, Mathematics Mastery means that a significant proportion of students will be in a position to choose, if they so wish, to study A level and degree level science, technology, engineering and mathematics related subjects.
The Mathematics Mastery curriculum has problem solving at the heart, encouraging the use of mathematical language to promote accurate explanations and justification. Achieving mathematics mastery is through depth of understanding as opposed to covering lots of topics more superficially.
A typical Mathematics lesson is made up of a ‘Do Now’ task which a student will do on their own as the teacher takes the register and will be based on learning from previous lessons or concepts learnt at primary school. Then there will be new learning, where the teacher will explain a concept followed by a ‘talk task’ which will encourage a student to develop mathematical curiosity and language. There will be exercises to develop learning of a particular concept and this will involve a mixture of group work, individual learning or paired work and finally there will be a plenary which should reflect on the learning that has gone on in the lesson. To aid the sense of discovery and to encourage problem solving we will be using manipulatives in all our lessons. You may have used them when you were in school – they include bead strings, Dienes blocks, Fraction counters, Cuisenaire rods, 100 grids, number lines and multilink cubes. The use of manipulatives coupled with a constant focus on problem solving will mean that students are much more able to understand mathematical concepts.
The rigorous assessment schedule enables teachers to monitor progress of students continuously and testing is just one method. In every lesson, teachers will be assessing what students do or do not understand and will deal with misconceptions immediately. Moreover, all our students will be appropriately challenged; tasks are rich and investigative and will challenge students to think mathematically.
Recent studies have shown that students make progress at a faster rate when studying a mastery curriculum.
Key Stage 4
In Year 10 students receive seven lessons per fortnight in mathematics. Students study the curriculum areas of number, algebra, ratio, geometry, statistics and probability in line with the new GCSE requirements. They aim towards either the Higher Tier (grade 9-5) or Foundation Tier (grade 5-1) GCSE examinations.
In Year 11, students also receive seven lessons per fortnight in mathematics. Students study the curriculum areas of number, algebra, shape and statistics in line with the current GCSE requirements. They aim towards either the Hiher Tier (grade 9-5) or Foundation Tier (grade 5-1) GCSE examination.
Students use the ‘Collins GCSE Higher & Foundation’ interactive books as their main resource with new curriculum versions being using for the new GCSE. We provide our innovative ‘Route Maps’ which chart the learning journey taken by students.
GCSE Statistics gives students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in a key component of maths that is relevant to everyday life. They’ll develop a core statistical grounding, as well as transferable skills and understanding that’s applicable to a range of other subjects. It will also benefit those progressing to other A-level subjects such as the sciences, geography and psychology.
GCSE Statistics has a Foundation tier (grades 1 – 5) and a Higher tier (grades 4 – 9). Students must take two question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.
A student taking Foundation tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1 to 5. Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for grade 1 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.
A student taking Higher tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4 to 9. A student sitting the Higher tier who just fails to achieve grade 4 will be awarded an allowed grade 3. Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for the allowed grade 3 will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.
The ‘Further Mathematics’ GCSE is offered to the high achieving year 11 students as an additional qualification and to help facilitate their transition to A-Level mathematics.
Before/After School Clubs
The Mathematics department runs several after school activities:
- Homework Drop-in
- Numeracy Breakfast Club
- KS4 Drop-in Workshops
- Further Maths
- Exam Preparation (Every morning)
Formal intervention and revision sessions are provided throughout year 11. These include pre-school and after-school targeted intervention sessions as well as general after-school revision sessions.
Selected students in Years 7 and 8 are entered into the UKMT Junior Challenge and in Years 9, 10 and 11 selected students are entered into the UKMT Intermediate Challenge.