A high quality mathematics education should not only give students the skills of numeracy required to carry out tasks that are essential in daily life but also inspire an enjoyment and wonderment of this crucial subject. This is our aim as a faculty. Mathematics is taught in strands with number skills providing the foundation for which algebra, geometry and measures, statistics and probability are built. Teaching helps students to make connections between the different strands of mathematics and to discover and explain patterns. Students are aware that learning mathematics is a life-long experience and as such KS3 builds on knowledge learned at KS1 and KS2 whilst providing a platform for further study at KS4, KS5 and beyond. Students learn best when work is challenging but not inaccessible and links with prior learning are explicit. As such teachers quickly and effectively establish the appropriate practice required to further students’ understanding of a topic without unnecessary repetition.
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all students:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that students develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions;
Visit KS3 Mathematics Frog page here: https://frog.themfg.co.uk/frogos/maths
The GCSE course flows on naturally from KS3 encompassing all features of the KS3 curriculum and building on knowledge at either the Foundation of Higher tier or entry. Students are taught mathematical content through the same wide ranging strands and in addition are expected to; recall and use knowledge, select and apply mathematics in a range of contexts and also to interpret, analyse and generate strategies to solve problems. The mathematical content which is required to be covered is always applied to ‘real-life’ contexts with the aim to not just teach students mathematics but also to give skills that they will use in their adult life.
A key part of KS4 Mathematics is communication. Students are taught to set their work out in a clear and logical manner which can be understood by others. Specific vocabulary must be learned and used appropriately with understanding that mathematical definitions may be different to everyday usage. Students must be able to give clear and concise reasons for their answers and justify any conclusions that they give. In order to do this, students learn how to break down the information given in a question and filter what information is required in order to answer the question that has been set.
Students learn to distinguish between rules and patterns which are always true rather than only in certain cases. The skills of generalising results and proving relationships using algebra are some of the most challenging and also rewarding skills for students to learn and support is given to help students to do this.
Economic awareness is a feature of the KS4 curriculum with students being required to solve problems involving money in many different contexts; in particular comparing between scenarios to calculate the best value including currency conversions, understanding of household bills and proportional change to name but a few.
The GCSE is assessed by three linear examinations with equal weighting, two with and one without a calculator. Each examination is 1 hour 30 minutes and all are sat at the end of Year 11. We plan on using the AQA examination board in 2017.