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Mathematics Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact

 

Intent: Mathematics is all around us and vital to our lives. The practical skills that we require in society vary from the mundane, like keeping track of our personal finances or measuring quantities when cooking to the complex like using Bayesian analysis to combat terrorism or using prime numbers to protect our personal data in cyberspace. Mathematics also provides the structure and language for scientists and economists to convey their theories and discoveries. Mathematicians have also developed ways to illustrate ideas through pictures: Rene Descartes displayed algebra through graphs and Florence Nightingale displayed data in charts. These ideas help us to understand concepts which words are insufficient to convey succinctly.

Having said all this, mathematics has a beauty of its own and it is worth studying in its own right. Although it is a totally man made subject, built on axioms and theorems, there is something of the eternal about subject, as Galileo said, ‘Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe’.

 

Implementation: In Mathematics, we discuss common approaches to teaching topics so we can use our experience and knowledge of our pupils to refine our delivery of the curriculum. Lessons are then planned to reflect these shared approaches. Formative assessment approaches are used in all our lessons so pupils can be encouraged to gauge their own progress. Our curriculum gives full coverage to the National Curriculum Programme of Study. Over the years our schemes of work have been refined and reviewed as we have developed as a department so that mathematics is taught effectively and efficiently. There are a variety of topics covered in each half term and our schemes are also structured in a spiral so that topics are re-visited and built on as pupils move through the school. We use summative assessments sparingly but have a great focus on them being tied to and giving good coverage of curriculum. These accurate assessments enable us not only to track but also to plan for pupil progress.

 

 

Impact: In Key Stage 3 we develop basic skills in calculation and algebra whilst leaving space in the timetable to challenge pupils. They will also cover topics in space, data handling and probability. They have fun solving problems in a non-threatening way, building up their resilience in tackling difficult questions. In Year 9 we complete our coverage of the National Curriculum whilst also starting the study of GCSE mathematics.

In Key Stage 4 we focus on consolidating the knowledge, understanding and skills required for the GCSE. Pupils on our Core course are taught the skills required to achieve a pass grade at GCSE, so vital for opening opportunities later in life and so highly valued by our society. Those doing the Higher course will also achieve this whilst also developing the skills needed to more technological careers. From the mock examination in Year 11 we focus on revision and on students developing a clear strategy for solving problems. The GCSE is a good basis for the mathematics needed in life and also provides an excellent springboard into A-level.

In Key Stage 5 we offer A-level courses in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. These both involve mathematical methods which lead to real life problem-solving and modelling of situations. We have chosen our Specification for its emphasis on applying mathematics to real life situations. The course also enables us to cherish mathematics and its inherent beauty.

Many of our pupils excel in mathematics. We often have a high proportion of those who do Higher Tier GCSE going on to do A-level mathematics. Our students’ grades are outstanding putting us in the top 25% of institutions offering A-level for student progress. We also have a small group of students who take Further Mathematics each year. At least half of these go on to study Mathematics at University.

Mathematics

 

Key Stage 3

 

Year 7

· Number: four operations, decimals, fractions, percentages

· Algebra: sequences, substitution, co-ordinates, graphs

· Proportional reasoning: ratio

· Geometry: angles and shape

· Statistics and probability: processing and representing data and probability

Year 8

· Number: negative numbers, four operations with decimals, fractions, factors and multiples, powers and roots

· Algebra: simplifying, substitution, solving equations

· Proportional reasoning: ratio and proportion, percentages

· Geometry: polygons and parallel lines, properties of shapes, transformations, area and volume

· Statistics and probability: statistical graphs, averages, interpreting data, probability

Year 9

· Number: integers and primes, fractions, powers, standard form

· Algebra: inequalities, linear graphs, re-arranging formulae, curved graphs

· Proportional reasoning: direct and inverse proportion

· Geometry: area and volume, angles, Pythagoras’ Theorem, trigonometry, transformations

· Statistics and probability: interpreting and representing data, communicating statistical ideas

 

Edexcel GCSE Maths

· At the end of the course all pupils sit 3 exams, each of which is 1 hour and 30 minutes long. One paper is a non-calculator assessment.

· In GCSE Mathematics a wide variety of topics are covered and these include:

o Number

o Algebra

o Proportional reasoning

o Geometry

o Statistics

o Probability

· Pupils will also be taught to

o Recall their knowledge of mathematics

o Select and apply appropriate mathematics in context

o Interpret and analyse problems and generate strategies to solve them

· Pupils are set for GCSE maths and these sets are reviewed and changed throughout the course.

· Pupils are assessed regularly throughout the course and this enables pupils’ progress to be monitored and reviewed. These assessments will also help to determine whether pupils are entered for GCSE Higher Tier or Foundation Tier.

OCR A Level Mathematics (using the MEI Specification)

· A-level Mathematics is assessed by three 2-hour examinations.

· There is no coursework option.

· In the first year of the A-level, students will study mainly Pure Mathematics and a few concepts from Mechanics and Statistics. This content covers all of the AS Mathematics programme of study.

· The second year consists of more Pure Mathematics and a little more Mechanics and Statistics.

· The work covered over the two years is the whole content of A-level Mathematics.

 

OCR A Level Further Mathematics (using the MEI Specification)

· A-level Further Mathematics is assessed by three examinations:

o Pure Mathematics: 2 hours 40 minutes (1/2 of final assessment)

o Statistics: 2 hours 15 minutes (1/3 of final assessment)

o Mechanics: 1 hour 15 minutes (1/6 of final assessment)

· There is no coursework option.

· In the first year of the A-level, students will study mainly Statistics and a few new and exciting topics in Pure Mathematics. This content covers all of the AS Mathematics programme of study.

· The second year a wide range of fascinating areas of Pure Mathematics and some new topics in Mechanics.

· The work covered over the two years is the whole content of A-level Mathematics.

· The study of Further Mathematics will add depth to the topics covered in A-level Mathematics.