To those who do not know Mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty of nature. … If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.”
Richard Feynman. 1918-1988. Physicist. The Character of Physical Law

As a department our challenge is to encourage students whatever their ability to ‘know mathematics’ so they can appreciate its beauty and power as well as apply it to practical situations.

In all years decisions about progression are based on the security of students’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage.

In addition to their normal lessons, those who are not sufficiently fluent are given a programme of consolidation via intervention sessions. These consolidate their understanding, through additional practice.

Enrichment activities provided for the more able include individual and team challenges from the UKMT and the Further Maths Support Programme. We also enter students into the Cipher Challenge organised by The University of Southampton.

Key Stage 3

We currently teach Year 7 students in mixed ability groups before placing them into sets in Year 8.  The setting is based on their combined ability in Mathematics and Science and prior data that the school has.

A variety of resources are used to support students’ learning, including the use of ICT.

The new 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 pupils 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.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas.

Year 7 – Students build on their work at Key Stage 2.

The main areas of study will be:

  • Integers and decimals
  • Sequences and functions
  • Measures, fractions and decimals
  • Representing data
  • Operations, symbols and expressions
  • Calculation and measure
  • Data and probability
  • Angles and 3-D shapes
  • Integers and graphs
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Transformations and symmetry
  • Averages
  • Calculations, equations and formulas

Year 8 – Students build on their work in Year 7.

The main areas of study will be:

  • Integers, measures, probability, fractions decimals and percentages, expressions and formulae, angles and shapes, equations and graphs, calculations, transformations, sequences, collecting and representing data, ratio and proportion, algebra, construction and 3D shapes, analysing and interpreting data.

Year 9 – Students build on their work in Year 8.

With changes in GCSE first examined in 2017 there will be more emphasis in Year 9 on the new focus of the new GCSE by developing fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts:

  • Acquiring, selecting and applying mathematical techniques to solve problem
  • Reasoning mathematically, making deductions and inferences and drawing conclusions
  • Comprehending, interpreting and communicating mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context
  • Students will also learn mathematical formulae which will no longer be given at GCSE

The main areas of study will be:

  • Sequences and graphs
  • Proportional reasoning
  • Geometrical reasoning and constructions
  • Equations
  • Surveys
  • Measures
  • Calculations
  • Graphs
  • Probability
  • Transformations and scale
  • Expressions and formulae
  • Interpreting statistics
  • 3D shapes

Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11 students are taught in groups based on their mathematical ability.

All students now follow the new AQA GCSE Mathematics Specification (Code 8300) for examination in 2017 (For detailed guidance as to the topics studied please follow the link here). This new specification introduces some significant changes. There will be a new grading system for GCSE Mathematics from 1(lowest) to 9(highest). Students will be entered for either Foundation (Grades 1-5) or Higher (Grades 4-9).

There will be three papers each worth a third of the overall mark. Paper 1 is non-calculator, in Papers 2 and 3 calculators are allowed. Each paper is 90 minutes long and consists of a mix of question styles from short single-mark questions to multi-step problems.

The mathematical demand increases as the student progresses through the paper. Students are also expected to know all the formulae required and these are no longer given as in the previous GCSE.

It is also hoped that the more able in Year 11 (the majority of set 1) will still take the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics (Code 8360). This qualification concentrates on higher end GCSE topics and introduces topics such as matrices, differentiation and functions, it also builds on topics now in the new GCSE such as the equation of the circle and more advanced trigonometry. This qualification strengthens our provision and foundations for students who wish to go on to study Mathematics at a higher level post-16.

Where appropriate alternative qualifications such as Entry Level can be offered to students for which GCSE is not suitable.

Updated February 2019