The Faculty of Mathematics aims to develop the whole child and equip them with the numeracy and maths skills which enable them to perform to the best of their ability in all subjects, not just Mathematics.
Rationale and aims:
As teachers we aim –
- To provide all of our students, regardless of ability or age, with opportunities to become independent, motivated learners with high levels of numeracy and mathematical capability ready for the next stage of their education or career.
- To acknowledge the relevance of students’ own experiences, and to value and promote their individual contributions.
- To develop confident students who have skills which are transferable not only to other subjects within our College setting, but also in the real world.
- To develop a keenness and appreciation for enquiry, engagement, problem solving, and all areas of maths up to and including some of the more abstract concepts and theories.
Focus for year 7 students
Throughout KS3 we follow departmental schemes of learning which are based around the main areas of maths:
- Developing fluency, reasoning mathematically and solving problems
- Ratio, proportion and rates of change
- Geometry and measure
We combine a wide range of activities and tasks designed to meet the needs of individual students providing them with sufficient support and challenge and enabling them to discover and understand maths across all of these areas.
We have built, and continue to adapt, a programme of assessment which matches the scheme and is tailored to individual students. This enables the student, parent and teachers to monitor progress made and areas for further development.
Focus for year 8 students:
In year 8 the focus is on reinforcing and developing the skills acquired in year 7 whilst also increasing the level of challenge and expanding on content so that all learners thrive. There is a scheme which runs in a similar way to that in year 7 where students will explore work within the main strands of maths whilst continuing to build on their basic number and cross-curricular numeracy skills.
Focus for year 9 students:
During year 9, students will start to follow our GCSE programme. This scheme of learning is set up to cover all the areas of maths (as at KS3) however at much greater depth. The scheme is separated into smaller sections (modules) which each have a focused assessment in order to monitor progress for each student. At this stage students will be separated into Higher and Foundation groups however there is movement between these groups where we feel it is in the best interests of the student. Both tiers allow students the opportunity to achieve a C grade – and we are extremely proud of our improving levels of students achieving this threshold each year.
Focus for year 10:
During year 10 students will continue to follow the scheme of learning started in year 9, again movement between groups is possible as achievements are monitored. At the end of year 10 all students will sit an ‘in-house’ mock exam which consists of a full set of GCSE papers taken in exam conditions. This allows us as staff to plan for year 11 and also allows each student a very realistic idea of exactly which grade they are currently attaining.
Focus for year 11:
As students move into year 11, they are entering the final stages of their GCSE and examination preparation becomes the primary focus. Students will all have an individual breakdown from their mock exam to support them in their focus for revision. All lessons are aimed at covering the content of the whole syllabus with an increased exam focus, particularly for the work which is graded at the ‘top end’ of each of the relevant tiers of entry. Teachers use the analysis of all assessments and mocks to determine the long term plans for each group and individual. As teachers we also aim to provide students with practical and helpful tips on managing their revision load, alongside real strategies for how to revise for maths. We can also offer sessions for parents and carers where needed so that they are best enabled to support their child through the maths exam process.
Focus for A level
Mathematics at AS and A2 is designed to build on the highest level of content from the Higher tier GCSE, and then leads into new branches of maths which can continue to degree level. We cover Core maths including coordinate geometry, trigonometry, differentiation, integration, sequences and series, and logarithms. We also cover modules involving Decision maths and Statistics. The Decision maths looks at algorithms and processes on networks needed to solve real life logistical problems such as the ‘Travelling salesman’ or ‘Chinese Postman’. Statistics cover some of the techniques used in collecting and analysing data as well as looking at probability and potential outcomes. All students are expected to spend a similar amount of time to contact with their teacher working independently on ensuring that the content covered is consolidated and understood thoroughly. This level of independence in their study is paramount for the transition to University.