The Maths department is made up of a good mix of experienced and young committed teachers. We have very high expectations of our pupils and ensure that students get the right level of stretch and support within our lessons. Our Mathematics curriculum promotes mastery of the subject, studying topics for longer and in greater depth. Our assessment structure supports this through the use of exit tickets, regular homework and progress checks.
Our students have a minimum of 9 hours of Maths lessons over a two-week period, giving them sufficient time to gain an in-depth understanding of the Mathematical skills we teach them. Students who need extra support also have opportunities to see their Maths teachers during break, lunch and after school.
It is an exciting time to be studying and teaching Maths, as the new GCSE Maths specifications were recently introduced and have brought radical changes to the way the subject is taught. The most significant developments are the emphasis on problem-solving and application of mathematics. As a department we ensure our students are appropriately exposed to these through in-class activities, weekly Maths problems, Funky Fridays (KS3 Maths problem solving) and entering students in for the UK Maths Challenge.
Key stage 3 is split into two year groups, Year 7 and Year 8. To aid in the transition from primary school we have adopted the Mastery style of delivery. This means students will be spending more time on fewer topics while focusing on the use of mathematical principles to problem-solve which helps them secure a solid foundation in Maths.
In response to changes in the Maths Curriculum we have re-written our scheme of work. It is broken down into 22 units. Yr7 will be expected to cover units 1-12, and then Yr8 will cover units 13-22 focusing on the core contents found in our scheme of work.
We also work quite closely with the Science department to ensure our students have a more enriched experience of learning, seeing how Maths is applied to other subjects. Through this, students also get the opportunity to go on organised trips to the Science museum, the Bank of England and Bletchley Park.
At Key Stage 4, students extend and build their knowledge gained at Key Stage 3. Students study at one of two levels of entry – Foundation or Higher and are examined by the Edexcel Examination Board. As with KS3, students cover all 22 units at a greater depth over 2 years (years 9 and 10). In Year 11 students will have the opportunity to focus on refining their understanding of key topics and develop their examination techniques. This has proven to help with preparing them for their final GCSE exams (three written exam papers; one Non-Calculator paper and two Calculator papers).
Many of our students go off to study Maths at A-levels where they continue to build on the foundation that was set at our school. Our maths curriculum prepares students for further education in A-level Maths, Further Maths and Statistics.
Schemes of work are received by all students from Yr7-11 which is in-line with the national curriculum. The purpose of our student friendly scheme of work is for students and parents to keep track of their progress over time. MWC refers to Maths watch clip numbers which aid our students with independent study and consolidation. Exit tickets and Progress checks are assessment strategies for teachers and students to determine whether students have understood the skill that has been taught. Teachers use different forms of assessment to promote independent learning to ensure students maximise their potential. F/H refers to the tier Foundation/Higher. KS3 (Yr7+8) follow the Foundation tier and then tiers are differentiated when they move onto Yr9 onwards. Students are tested termly but set changes do happen at teachers’ discretion based on in class participation, homework and other curriculum activities.
Our department is keen to promote independent learning across all year groups.Years 7 and 8 are given one independent study task every week using Mathswatch clips. This should be completed in their blue A4 exercise books.Years 9 to 11 are given an orange A5 exercise book for their independent learning with a minimum of one task set every week based on teachers’ discretion.
Independent study tasks are checked by teachers every Thursday for all year groups. These tasks are separate tasks from their normal weekly homework. The aim is to promote students to become independent learners.
vle.mathswatch.com (students have their login details)
www.justmaths.co.uk (students have their login details)