Curriculum - Subject Information

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Maths

Maths is a core subject that students will study throughout their learning journey.


Reason for sequencing the curriculum for every year group in the way it is, and the subject specific/pedagogical approach taken:

In year 7, it is important that students start with something new to encourage their interest in the subject. Therefore, we begin with a statistical project on actual data. They can use skills that they have learnt in year 6 and develop it further with advanced displaying and analysis of the data. We then cover some number skills before we can approach Algebra, which will again be new techniques for them which are reliant upon their number skills. Year 7 will visit different elements of the curriculum each term. For example: term three will include, Ratio and Proportion, Number, Algebra and Geometry. Year 8 follows the same format of 4 different elements of the curriculum being covered each term. This reinforces the skills from year 7 and takes them a step further, the extent of which is determined by the group's ability. Year 7 and 8 covers all elements of the curriculum: Number, Algebra, Geometry and Measure, Statistics and Probability and Ratio and Proportion and allows the students to develop the skills needed for the GCSE course. In year 9, we start the GCSE for foundation and higher. The higher scheme of work begins with Grade 5 topics which are the crossover questions. These topics are taught in year 10 and 11 for the foundation candidates. On the higher course, the units get progressively harder, concluding with Grade 8/9 units in year 11. The reason for the sequencing for year 9 is to consolidate and stretch students with all maths skills before approaching the high level Algebra and the problem solving and reasoning questions that are now part of the GCSE papers. Year 9 and 10 will build on these strengths in all elements of the curriculum to allow all students to access the longer questions on the papers.

At the end of each topic we do a mini test and at the end of each half term, all years will have an assessment which covers all elements of maths. Year 9, 10 and 11 will have part of or a full GCSE exam paper so they can get used to the format of the questions, the requirement for each type of question and the mark schemes. This rotates between calculator and non-calculator papers. This is enhanced by weekly homework, which is again a mixture of all the units of the curriculum. This helps with students' memory and practice of skills they continuously need. Year 7 and 8 are also given assessments every half term which rotate between calculator and non-calculator papers.

Year 7 are put into groups dependent on their SATS results and a baseline test we do in the first two weeks. After every assessment we review each student with their expected progress at each stage. This is based on the fine grading system, using the end of year minimum expected progress established by the school.

Students are exposed to GCSE type questions on a regular basis and cover all elements of the curriculum per year. It is important to consolidate the basic skills in all the elements, before we can introduce GCSE topics, therefore the units get more challenging as students make their way through the school. An area of importance is problem solving and reasoning, which dictates that time needs to be spent on reading and interpreting the longer style questions. 


How we build on prior learning:

Following discussions with our feeder primary schools, we discovered that new students would have done a great deal on number skills for their Key Stage 2 SATS. The arithmetic paper covers Number in a lot of detail, which is why we start year 7 with a different element; i.e. Statistics. In primary school, students are exposed to problem solving and this is an area that we wish to enhance and encourage their reasoning, hence the exposure to GCSE type questions and half term assessments.

Prior skills are built on every lesson. For example, maths that they started their education with, i.e. times tables are needed to work on factions, which is in turn needed for Algebra and eventually problem solving. The curriculum is based on units, but each unit requires a skill achieved in a previous unit.


How we prepare students for the future:

Every student will need problem solving skills for the future and numerical skills for life. All courses at college require maths GCSE and therefore with our teaching of the maths curriculum, we are helping them to progress to further education and get the occupation that they desire.

Students are made aware at the start of each unit, by a topic analysis sheet, which skills they will be learning and how those skills could be transferred to a career.

There are displays around the department, listing the skills that maths provides us with and how they relate to skills that employers would want to see.

Within most units, there are exercises to do with real life. For example, finance problems to do with investments or project expenditure. Statistics units are based on actual data from class surveys or online results. Geometry is linked to building projects.

Arrangements will be made for visits from University students to speak about the opportunities that degrees offer and the careers that this would link to. There will also be a visit from a representative from an industry closely related to mathematical problem solving.

There are taster A Level lessons from a colleague with the trust. There is also the opportunity for teams of Year 8 and 9 students to compete in a maths competition against other students within the trust. This is held at Wymondham College.

Every student will need problem solving skills for the future and numerical skills for life. All courses at college require maths GCSE and therefore with our teaching of the maths curriculum, we are helping them to progress to further education and get the occupation that they desire.

We also use activities students may encounter in real life. For example, finance problems to do with investments or project expenditure. Statistics units are based on actual data from class surveys or online results.


Additional provision to support learning:

All year 11 students are offered revision sessions and intervention on a regular basis. Some students are also given extra lessons where they can revise their maths work. Revision guides are provided for disadvantaged students. High achievers in year 11 are given the opportunity to do a Level 3 Algebra paper and a Free Standing Maths Qualification which bridges the gap to A Level Mathematics.

We have an open-door policy in the department. Every student is welcome to come and seek help at any time.

All years have the opportunity to take part in the national 'Maths Challenge'.

There is a cross-curricular year 7 trip to Norwich Castle, which is for history and maths.

Year 7, 8 and 9 complete 'Numeracy Ninjas' on a weekly basis, which we run as a competition for 'Grand Master' status.

Homework is set each week and is based on all elements of the course.

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