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Mathematics

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In the Mathematics Department we aim to deliver a curriculum that allows students to develop their mathematical knowledge and build their confidence to use them. Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed around the development of key skills and fluency that allow students to develop higher level skills as they move through Key Stage 4 and their GCSE exams. Problem solving skills are embedded throughout the curriculum, reflecting the increased importance of these abilities, both in new examinations and across the economy.

The curriculum in Mathematics is designed to engage and challenge students in a way that leads to an interest in the subject, but also outstanding results. The curriculum is designed to heighten aspirations in Mathematics and improve students’ expectations of their own results, by exposing them to high level content and skills throughout the curriculum.

The curriculum intends to develop students who are resilient and capable problem solvers through:

  • Modelling of problem solving, showing that there is often more than one way to find the solution. Students are encouraged to use a variety of skills simultaneously to find solutions to problems.

  • Encouraging and rewarding resiliency, insisting that students do not give up on a task when they find issues getting to a solution. Teachers model the importance of resilience by showing that getting things wrong is not an issue, and are in fact a key part of the learning process.

  • Embedding problem solving questions with traditional questions based on fluency. The new GCSE specification requires a much higher level of problem solving skills. Therefore problem solving skills are embedded with more traditional ‘fluency’ questions that would normally be associated with Mathematics.

  • Local and National Maths challenge competitions (both team and individual) are competed in by top sets to further develop their competency with difficult topics and questions.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students develop the key skills that form the building blocks for their Mathematical development. From basic number through to rudimentary algebra, skills are taught in depth to ensure that they are ‘mastered’ before moving on to more complex topics, allowing students the ability to access the more advanced topics covered at Key Stage 4. This stage is vital for success further up the school as students must be ‘fluent’ with key skills and able to apply their mathematical knowledge to answer more challenging GCSE questions.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus. They move through a scheme of work designed to develop their Mathematical skills as well as their ability to problem solve, a skill which is heavily tested in the GCSE examinations. Students are frequently tested on GCSE questions to ensure that they are developing their abilities, leading to outstanding results at the end of year 11. Teachers may pose questions that take a large amount of time and require a number of skills. The process of working through such questions allows students to develop their problem solving and application of knowledge which shows them the importance of not giving up when the answer is not immediately obvious.

Key Stage 5

Mathematics at Key Stage 5 is a highly advanced course, with entry requirements of at least a 6 at GCSE. Again the students follow the Edexcel Specification. The course is split into Core Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics, all of which are tested under the new syllabus. Students are taken through content such as calculus and transformations of graphs, moments and hypothesis testing. A level Mathematics is highly desired by universities and will set a student up very well for higher education.