Maths

Our goal is to engender in our students an appreciation of the intrinsic value of mathematics and this is apparent in our drive to see all students achieve mathematical confidence through developing a deep understanding of the subject.

We believe that building students’ relational understanding requires a diet of explicit teaching of mathematical communication; problem solving strategies as well as regular deliberate practice and the application of knowledge plus opportunities to share and inspire the awe and wonder we each hold for our subject.

Student attainment and confidence is built by encouraging them to

  • be fluent with mathematical calculations and methods
  • reason logically and be able to discuss mathematical arguments
  • apply their knowledge in unfamiliar mathematical problems and in other subject areas.

Our Schemes of Work are arranged in stages that run from Year 7-11. Each stage covers a year and consists of around 20 units. Each unit has been designed to identify and refresh pre-requisite knowledge before introducing new content. Units are sequenced in a spiral format so that previously taught content is revised and used in other contexts to help students identify the links between different areas of mathematics. Units fall into one of 5 areas of mathematics: geometry; algebra; number; ratio and proportion or probability and statistics. Successive stages build on the learning from the previous stages leading up to entry in either Foundation or Higher Tier GCSE Mathematics at the end of year 11.

Students are broadly grouped on their prior attainment. Initially, we use the KS2 SATs outcomes as the basis for this grouping but we complete a baseline assessment in the first term of year 7 to confirm the groups and following formal assessments throughout the year groups for all years are reviewed and students can be moved to the most suitable group for them.

We assess the learning of our students through discussion of homework, observation of classwork and in class questioning as well as informal and formal written assessments.

Students are actively involved in assessing their own work so that they develop their understanding of concepts as well as appropriate strategies for solving problems and communicating their work clearly. We use Directed Improvement Reflection Time (DIRT) to go through every question, to embed understanding and to help students set themselves learning goals. Students receive personalised “RAG” sheets where each topic assessed is linked to a code on Mathswatch, an online resource where students (and parents) can review the topics identified as requiring further work.

We expect every student to bring a scientific calculator to maths lessons as well as their basic school equipment. Students are given homework each week and there is a break time “catch-up” session staffed in M7 for each year group where students can get support with their homework. Before each formal assessment students are issued with a revision list on SMHW.

As well as participating in all levels of the UKMT individual and team challenges we organise trips to open lectures at the Oxford Mathematical Institute as part of the whole school Symposium programme for students from year 7 to 13.

A level students applying for degrees in Mathematics at Oxbridge or certain Russel group universities are required to take additional examinations. To support them in accessing the style of questions in these additional exams we offer students the chance to attend fortnightly problem solving workshops at the Mathematical Institute. A level students also support students in KS3 and KS4 with mathematics in tutor time or small group tuition  providing them with leadership opportunities.

Students are entered for the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics exams at the end of year 11. This qualification involves three 90 minute exam papers. The first is a non-calculator paper and the other two are calculator papers. All three papers are equally weighted.

Students are assessed on three assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Using and applying standard techniques (50% Foundation; 40% Higher)
  • AO2: Reasoning, interpreting and communicating (25% Foundation; 30% Higher)
  • AO3: Solving non-routine problems in mathematical and non-mathematical contexts (25% Foundation; 30% Higher)

Students entered for the Foundation tier can be awarded grades 1 to 5; Higher tier grades 4 to 9. Decisions about tier of entry are made collaboratively with students and parents and can be revised up until March of year 11. Some students are entered for the Edexcel Entry Level Mathematics qualification (in year 9, 10 or 11) which recognises attainment based on the maths skills that lead up to GCSE content.

All year 11 students are also entered for the Edexcel GCSE in Statistics. Statistics is increasingly a large part of modern life and the ability to effectively interpret and present statistics is essential in many careers. GCSE Statistics is also offered in two tiers of entry with the same grade opportunities as in mathematics. Students are taught Statistics by their KS4 Maths teacher as there is a significant overlap with the probability and statistics area of the maths GCSE.

A level maths students are entered for the OCR B (MEI) specification at the end of Year 13. They each require a graphical calculator.

The qualification consists of three 2 hour written exams:

  • Pure and Mechanics
  • Pure and Statistics
  • Pure and Comprehension

A level Further Maths students are entered for the OCR B (MEI) specification at the end of year 13.

The qualification is assessed in 4 written papers at the end of Year 13:

  • Core Pure
  • Mechanics minor
  • Statistics minor
  • Modelling with Algorithms

For students wishing to continue to study mathematics post-16 we also offer a Level 3 Qualification in Mathematical Studies with AQA. This course is designed for those not taking A Level maths but who may need to use mathematics in their other exams or careers or those who just enjoy maths but do not want to study the full A level course. The course covers personal finance, estimation, analysis, statistical techniques. The students are examined through 2 written papers at the end of year 13.

Students may also take A Level in Accounting with AQA. This is a vocational course suitable for students with an interest in learning skills involved in Accounting through key case studies. The students are examined through 2 written papers at the end of year 13.

Director: Ms Dasgupta

Subject Leader Mathematics: Ms Gibbons          

Subject Leader Computing: Mrs Green