Some Truths about Mathematics
“It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of the ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of Science and proudly claim incompetence in Mathematics.” Richard Dawkins
“Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: Mathematics and Music.” Frank Capra
A high quality mathematics education enables all students to increase their mathematical literacy-understanding mathematical principles, cultivating mathematical ways of thinking, and developing fluency with number, symbolic representation, geometry, and data- which is essential for success in the information and technological environment of the 21st century.
In mathematics lessons, students will have the opportunity to:
- Experience innovative and effective Maths education of the highest quality
- Aim for the highest standards and fulfil their potential
- Develop their understanding and skills through a range of teaching styles and learning activities.
- Pose questions and develop confidence and understanding through communicating and discussing their ideas.
- Nurture their interest in the subject, through enrichment activities
- Appreciate the relevance and real-life applications of the subject
- Identify their current level of attainment and appreciate how to access the next level.
- Celebrate their successes
- Be creative and develop independence.
- Be included
- Be challenged
The Department is housed in a cluster of rooms in the Bradley Building.
All teachers make use of shared resources which are updated and renewed continually.
Interactive Whiteboards are the main teaching medium for electronic documents, including PowerPoint, pdf, flash objects, a variety of media clips and graphics. Learning activities may involve discussion, matching exercises, dominoes/loops and cut and paste or colour coding, ‘treasure hunts’ as well as written exercises on mini whiteboards, in books or collaboratively on the (electronic) whiteboard.
Students have regular access to individualised learning and consolidation through ICT on MyMaths, Mathswatch and other web based learning, as well as through home learning.
The home learning content is regularly updated. This may include revision guidance and documents, including past examination papers.
All students are issued with a course outline/HL tracker, as well as individual assessment trackers. Assessment Folders for each student are maintained as a portfolio of home learning and assessment documents and provide a vital source for revision and tracking.
Progress in all assessments is recorded in departmental trackers for monitoring, analysis and review.
Key Stage 3
- Key Stage 3 is taught during Years 7 to 9.
- Setting takes place from the onset, but this is reviewed regularly as half term results are accumulated.
- In Key Stage 3 textbooks (Essential Maths) are used alongside a variety of electronic resources which are continually updated.
- The curriculum is divided into topics from the main areas of
- Ratio, Proportion and Rates of change
- Geometry and Measures
- Probability and Statistics.
- Topics typically last two to three weeks. (see schedules below)
- Formal assessment takes place through half-term tests in Y7 and Y8. In Y9 the increasing differentiation will mean assessment will be spread and take the form of ‘Topic Tests’. All assessments are accurately levelled.
- Students perform a self-evaluation of topics studied after each assessment. An end-of-year-exam concludes the assessments.
- Home learning is aimed to improve fluency in basic skills and recall, through consolidation of a set of topics over a period of time. It is set weekly and is differentiated over three tiers. Home learning is reviewed with students to consolidate learning.
Year 7 topic order:
Year 8 topic order:
Year 9 topic order: Y9 is likely to see variation in coverage over time, as topics will be quite differentiated between sets. The table below is therefore only a guide.
Key Stage 4
The GCSE course starts in Y10. It is taught in two units, Calculator and Non Calculator, both of which are reviewed in year 11 (see chart below). The examination specification used is the linear OCR J560 GCSE (9-1).
Students aiming at grades 9-5 follow the Higher course, whilst the Foundation course is aimed at grades 5-1. There is an overlap in coverage of both tiers at grades 4 and 5. GCSE examinations take place at the end of Y11, through three papers of 1 hour and 30 minutes each, two of which allowing use of a calculator, the other without calculator.
Groups are set according to attainment at end of KS3 and setting is reviewed regularly.
Home learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught and form an accurate reflection of content to be mastered. Tasks are marked, graded and returned with target sheets which clearly identify areas for improvement. Students can reflect and respond to these.
In addition to home learning tasks, regular mock exams (mostly twice yearly) are held under exam conditions and are used to monitor progress of students and provide feedback on attainment. In the case of mock exams from the end of year 10, students are provided with personalised revision lists based on their performance to guide independent work.
Working with students at our feeder primary schools
KS4 topic order:
Key Stage 5
The current AS and A level Specifications were introduced from September 2017, with first AS examination in 2018. Examinations can in principle be taken at AS but we aim for completion of the A level course.
The Mathematics courses follow the AQA specifications 7356 (AS) and 7357 (A level). The examinations consist of three papers of 2hr each.
The Maths Department offers AS and A level Further Mathematics courses too when demand is sufficient. Courses offered are AQA specifications 7366 (AS) and 7367 (Further Maths).
In addition, re-sits are offered for sixth-form students requiring a grade 4 or 5 at GCSE. The re-sit course allows students to re-take their GCSE in November and/or in June. The course is a short version of the KS4 course.
At AS and A level textbooks are used, but these are supplemented by a variety of electronic resources and printed materials. Students are recommended to purchase a graphical calculator, both for graphs as well as for algebraic and statistical manipulation.
The two year A level course builds on a Y12 course. Unless Y12 students are taking AS they will take mock papers instead at the end of Y12. Adaptation of AS coverage takes place to better suit the final A level examination in Y13, but students wishing to take AS will cover all AS elements in Y12.
Students who successfully complete Y12 can continue to A level.
Similar to KS4, Home Learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught or are in the form of Topic Tests and are therefore an accurate reflection of content to be mastered. Tasks are marked, graded and returned with target sheets which clearly identify areas for improvement. Students can reflect and respond to these.
In addition to home learning tasks, some mock exams, performed under exam conditions, are used to monitor progress with learning.
In KS5 an increasing element of independence and self-study is essential to be successful. Guidance is to students on the independent work that is expected of them.
AS and A level coverage (AQA). AS exams will not be taken if students continue to A level
Staff Names and Roles
Mr P. Stubbins (PST) – Subject Leader Mathematics, Assistant Headteacher
Mrs S. Davey (SDA) – Teacher
Miss S. Doyle (SDO) – Teacher, Assistant Headteacher
Mrs H. Emsley (HEM) – Teacher
Mr M.R. Hulzebus (MHU) – Teacher p/t
Mr S.J. Lord (SLO) – Teacher
Miss M. McConnell (MMC) – Teacher p/t
Miss R. Popa (RPO) – Teacher