Some Controversial 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
“All Science requires Mathematics. The knowledge of mathematical things is almost innate in us. This is the easiest of Sciences, a fact which is obvious in that no-one’s brain rejects it; for laymen and people who are utterly illiterate know how to count and reckon.” Roger Bacon
“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 and other web based learning in College as well as through home learning.
All home learning documents are all available on HAP (home access). The content is regularly updated, often before mocks or half term assessments or at other relevant times. 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 containing targets and historical attainment data. All these are kept in assessment folders. Home learning and assessment documents are kept in the assessment folder too and the complete portfolio provides a vital source for revision and tracking.
Recording of all assessments is kept in departmental trackers for monitoring, analysis and review.
Key Stage 3
- Key Stage 3 is taught during Year 7 and Year 8.
- 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, which 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 consists of a twenty question drill, differentiated over three tiers. Home learning is reviewed with students to consolidate learning.
Year 7 topic order:
Click to view out Year 8 course outline
Year 8 topic order:
Key Stage 4
- The GCSE course starts in Y9. It is taught in modules to split the coverage (see chart below). The examination specification used is the linear OCR J560 GCSE (9-1). The course uses electronic resources which can be printed or shown on the IAWB.
- Groups are set according to ability and setting is reviewed regularly.
- Home learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught and form therefore an accurate reflection of content to be mastered. Where appropriate the task may even be partly completed in class. The purpose of the tasks is to provide challenging questions which are aimed to enhance learning as well as providing a source for exam preparation. Completion of tasks is important and is regarded as formative. Assistance of teachers, parents or others may play part in their completion and is regarded as an aid to learning. The 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), performed under exam conditions, are used to monitor progress of students and provide feedback on attainment.
- The content of the course is divided into three modules which are taught subsequently in Y9-11. This is followed by a review in linear format for the final examinations.
- Students aiming at grades 9-6 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.The target grades aimed at tend to vary per set, with some overlap. Final GCSE examinations take place at the end of Y11, through three papers of 1hour and 30 minutes each.
- Two of the papers allow the use of a calculator, the other (second paper) does not.
Working with students at our feeder primary schools
Year 9-11 topic order:
Key Stage 5
Maths: 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, which must include GCSE Grade 6 in Maths and an aptitude for the subject
- New AS and A2 Specifications were introduced from September 2017, with first (AS) examination in 2018. Examinations can in principle be taken at AS but it is foreseen that most students will opt for the A2 course.
- The Mathematics courses follow the AQA specifications 7356 (AS) and 7357 (A2)
- The Maths Department offers AS and A2 Further Mathematics courses too when demand is there. Courses offered are AQA specifications 7366 (AS) and 7367 (A2)
- In addition re-sits are offered for sixth-form students requiring a grade 5. The GCSE re-sit 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 A2 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 A2 course builds on a Y12 course which completes AS coverage. The AS is examined by two papers of 1hr30 min each (see schedule below). Where students are not taking AS they will instead take mock papers at the end of Y12.
- Students who successfully complete Y12 can continue to A2. The A2 examinations consist of three papers of 2hr each (see schedule below).
- Similar to KS4 Home Learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught and form 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 of students
- In KS5 an increasing element of independence, rigour and self-study is essential to be successful.
AS and A2 units taken (AQA). AS exams will not be taken if students continue to A level
Staff Names and Roles
Mrs H Emsley (HEM) – Subject Leader – Mathematics p/t
Mr M R Hulzebus (MHU) – Subject Leader – Mathematics p/t
Mrs S Davey (SDA – Teacher
Miss S Doyle (SDO) – Teacher, Assistant Headteacher
Mr S J Lord (JLD) – Teacher
Miss M McConnell (MMC) – Teacher
Miss R Popa (RPO) – Teacher