Mathematics KS3 & KS4

Mathematics KS3
In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils will study mathematics according to National Curriculum specifications. All pupils will cover a mastery scheme of learning that will encourage depth of understanding of all topics in maths.

Mathematics KS4
In Years 10 and 11 pupils are encouraged to study for GCSE exams. Those who may take a bit longer to access GCSE will be entered for the Number and Measure Level 1 or Entry level Maths.

Level: GCSE

Exam Board: Edexcel and AQA

Assessment:

• Two written papers in in June 2015 (current Year 11)
• Three written papers in June 2016 (current Year 10)

Topics covered during course:

The topics break down into four mathematical areas namely Algebra, Number, Geometry and Handling Data.

Level: Number and Measure Level 1

Exam Board: Edexcel

Assessment: Two written papers

Topics covered during course:

Number and Measure

Level: Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics

Exam Board: AQA

Topics covered during the course:

The course is based on the National Curriculum programmes of study leading to achievement at National Curriculum levels 1, 2 and 3.

Assessment: Wholly assessed by teachers, it recognises small steps of achievement based on practical tasks, and provides opportunities for progression to our GCSE Mathematics specifications. Students may enter for both qualifications.

Maths Department Philosophy

In this maths department, we believe in empowering students. Negative past experiences, learning disabilities, and current life stressors all affect a student’s ability to gain access to the linear, analytic functions of the brain required to do maths.

It is now widely known that Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison appeared dull and slow as students. Winston Churchill flunked English. Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig von Beethoven, Louis Pasteur, and Hans Christian Andersen had learning disabilities. As we look out over our maths students or mark their exams, we cannot know the depths of their abilities. All we know is what they can currently access.

Therefore, it is in their best interests that we provide an atmosphere that is safe and positive so that they can begin to open their minds to maths. This is not to say that we “lower our standards” or that we become floor mats and “water down our courses.”

It is to say that we mirror positiveness and possibilities to them. We provide them with support. We give them consistent feedback on the bits of progress that they make so that they continue to put one foot ahead of the other working their way up the maths mountain.

We may be the first teacher they ever had who believed that they could do maths or the first to present it in enough different learning modes so that they could finally grasp it.

We may be the first maths teacher who ever gave them permission to make mistakes and to take the risks that allow them to learn.

When we as maths teachers are willing to examine our academic past and think about the courses we enjoyed the least.

When we are willing to recognize that our maths abilities gave us a certain intellectual status so that we had permission to not do so well in perhaps P.E. or English.

When we are willing to admit our discipline is no better and no worse than any other academic discipline but that it currently enjoys a reputation as being the best indicator of intelligence, then we can truly realize the incredible courage it takes for students whose skills lie elsewhere to enter our maths classrooms.

Therefore it is our belief that to be truly effective with our students, we need to recognize the possibilities that are keeping our students from learning. We need to encourage, encourage, and encourage. We need to facilitate our students’ use of the extra supports that we have for tutoring, coping with math anxiety, personal counselling, and diagnosing and coping with learning disabilities. It is also helpful if we have read materials on maths anxiety so that we do not perpetuate some of the negative ideas that fill students’ heads and cause static preventing clear thinking.

7 Cornerstones of Great Teaching in Maths

• Great teaching in maths builds confidence, a rigorous understanding of mathematical concepts, and raped recall of key knowledge; all underpinned by a secure conceptual understanding.
• Rich questioning is used throughout our teaching to promote deeper understanding and expose misconceptions.
• High quality practice allows pupils to consolidate understanding, develop efficient methods, and instil in pupils the ability to make logical extensions of gained knowledge to solve unfamiliar problems.
• Lessons are designed to build resilience and independence, supporting students in working in unfamiliar situations, dealing with mistakes and tackling challenging or complex problems.
• Teaching is informed and supported by high quality feedback, marking, accurate self, and peer and teacher assessment to inform the learning journey.
• Fostering a good relationship between students and teachers is essential to promote effective learning and teaching.
• An awareness of the bigger picture makes the journey as important as the solution and real life contexts are used where appropriate