“Being a good mathematician is not about knowing all the answers; it’s about how you behave when you don’t know.”
Our ethos as a department is to foster a love of mathematics, encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills. We often get asked, “when are we going to use this?” We like to use the analogy of footballers lifting weights. “They do this to make them fitter and stronger, but they don’t lift those weights on the football pitch“. Similarly, by practising maths you are training your brain to become fitter and stronger, and to be able to apply these critical thinking skills to a variety of other areas.
We aim to offer a good balance of support and challenge, and encourage our students to be independent and resilient learners. We have a track record of outstanding results at both GCSE and A Level. Maths is one of the most popular choices in the 6th form.
Key Stage 3
Our students are set when they arrive in Year 7, based on information from their SATS, primary schools and an initial assessment. We regularly review these sets to ensure each student is receiving the appropriate level of challenge and support. We base our scheme of work on the White Rose Schemes of Learning, which provide an excellent balance of new topics interleaved with previous work. Sequencing the topics in this way allows students to practice the skills of recall and retention, which are both vital to be successful at mathematics at all levels. An overview of the topics are given below and can be found on the first page of each students’ maths book.
We believe that regular assessment provides a sense of structure for our students, as well as giving us key information about performance in KS3. Our assessments are always followed by a feedback lesson targeted at the areas where students may not have performed so well. Students can then do some further follow up at home by using the Sparx Maths website (details below).
Several of our assessments throughout the year are “Open Book Assessments”. We believe providing students with the opportunity to prepare reference materials by extracting key information and following worked examples not only helps to reduce “test anxiety” for some students, but also helps students to ensure their notes are in good order for use as they progress through the year and through the school.
We subscribe to Sparx Maths and use this as the basis for home learning at KS3. Students are set weekly homework.
- Students complete the online questions, showing all workings in their books
- Students reflect on their result, and re-try if necessary
- Students can watch videos to support them with the tasks
Students’ workings are quality checked by class teachers at regular intervals. Students can write an online comment to their teacher if they would like support.
Students can also use Sparx Maths to undertake independent learning on any topic.
Year 7 – STEM club, UKMT activities, CED.
Year 8 – STEM club, UKMT activities, CED.
Year 9 – STEM club, UKMT activities, CED.
Year 10/11 – STEM club, UKMT activities, CED.
Year 12/13 – Maths Captains, MathsFest trip.
Stretch & Challenge
We participate in the UKMT Maths Challenges which provide ample opportunity for stretch and challenge of our pupils. We also participate in team events, and our STEM club provides an opportunity for students to get involved in a range of extra-curricular activities. Check out our STEM club twitter page for more information.
Where can Maths take you?
A Maths qualification can open up so many doors and is always viewed favourably by potential employers. There are a wide range of careers which maths applies to, in areas ranging from engineering to entertainment. Maths is more than simply being able to solve an equation or perform mental arithmetic; it teaches us how to logically approach a problem and opens up the world around us, as well as being able to help us develop mental resilience. These skills are desirable in any career and some of the most popular are listed below:
- Air Traffic Controller
- Data Analyst
- Medical Scientist
- Financial advisor
- Urban Planner
- Computer Scientist
How parents can support their child’s learning?
Parents can support their child’s learning by checking the weekly completion of the Sparx Maths homework and asking their child to show them their key learning and notes at the end of each homework.
Parents of Year 11 students can ask to see their child’s assessment folder and use this to structure a revision plan targeting weaker areas.
Our assessment dates and topics are always posted on Google Classroom and parents can regularly check this as well to support their child with revision.
Sparx Maths: https://www.sparxmaths.uk/
5 a day revision: https://corbettmaths.com/5-a-day/gcse/