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Mathematics

The Mathematics Department Vision...

The department aims to produce students who enjoy mathematics and have confidence in their own abilities. We want our students to see mathematics as something they can confidently learn, is relevant to their lives and will serve them well throughout life.

To achieve this aim, the department uses many strategies to deepen and improve students’ understanding of mathematics. Our programmes of study encourage lots of practise to secure fluency with many opportunities to apply problem solving skills and reasoning, in line with a mastery approach.

The quality of learning and teaching will continue to be improved still further by remembering that we are all learners and that we should strive to continuously improve our own mathematical, as well as learning and teaching knowledge.

Our vision is for every student to enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of their starting points or background.

Years 7 & 8

Students study topics from the six strands of Number, Algebra, Ratio and Proportion, Geometry and Measures, Statistics and Probability. Students will extend their knowledge on topics that they met at KS2 as well as being introduced to new topics and techniques. Students are expected to retain and recall mathematical knowledge and to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

Self-Study

Students are usually set a piece of work to be completed independently once a week but this may vary according to the teacher’s discretion. Self-study tasks include consolidation and extension of work covered in lessons through a written task or on-line activity, problem solving practice, revision or research task.

Student groupings

At the beginning of year 7 students are taught in sets that are formed through key stage 2 data. Around October half-term, students are re-set based on internal testing and teacher recommendation. There is flexibility between the sets and set changes are made after the mid-year and end of year examinations. Those students in need of more intensive support may be withdrawn to a small group outside of their normal lessons and intervention given to raise their grades, self-esteem and motivation.

Assessment of student progress

Daily formative assessment takes place during lessons and by the monitoring of classwork and self-study. Summative assessments take place throughout the year through written topic tasks, progress tasks and an end of year assessment measuring progress for the year.

Years 9, 10 & 11 – GCSE mathematics

Students will study Edexcel GCSE mathematics at either the foundation or higher tier.

Course description

The mathematics course aims to teach students to solve problems and to think logically. The course also aims to develop greater proficiency and confidence with all areas of mathematics alongside the application of the appropriate skills in a variety of situations. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the relevance of mathematics in the real world.

Method of assessment

As of 2015 all students are following the new Edexcel GCSE specification. There are two tiers of entry, foundation (grades 1 – 5) and higher (grades 4 – 9). Students will be entered according their ability and prior attainment.

Some of the old higher topics have now been moved to be covered in the foundation tier, with some additional new content being added to the higher tier.

Foundation:

50% of the assessment will be on number, ratio, proportion and rates of change; 25% will be on algebra; 15% on statistics and probability; 15% on geometry and measure. New content includes trigonometry, standard form, vectors and factorising quadratic expressions.

Higher:

Number, ratio, proportion and rates of change make up 35% of the assessment; algebra makes up 30%; statistics and probability makes up 15%; geometry and measure makes up 20%. New content includes a greater emphasis on mathematical proof, function notation, exponential functions, set notation, geometric series and iteration.

100% final examination over three papers of 1 hour 30 minutes each:

Paper 1 Non calculator (worth 33.3%)
Paper 2 Calculator (worth 33.3%)
Paper 3 Calculator (worth 33.3%)

A very limited formula sheet will be included, but students will be expected to know virtually all the formulae that are taught including for trigonometry, the quadratic formula and area and volume.

Revision

Revision materials will be provided by school in the form of Revision Guides and Workbooks. Alongside this, there is an expectation that year 11 students will attend after school sessions each Wednesday from 3pm – 4pm to complete past papers independently. Various websites are also promoted including www.hegartymaths.com and the PiXL maths app.

Career pathways

GCSE mathematics at grade 4 or 5 or above will be the minimum requirement for many employers or college courses, regardless of whether you intend specifically to study mathematics or not. Courses that are science or engineering based are highly likely to require a grade higher than this.