Mathematical thinking is important for all members of a modern society as a habit of mind. It has widespread uses in the workplace, business and finance, and in personal decision-making. Mathematics is fundamental to national prosperity in providing tools for understanding science, engineering, technology and economics. It is essential in public decision-making and for participation in knowledge of the economy.
Mathematics equips students with uniquely powerful ways to live in, describe, analyse and change the world. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder for all students when they solve a problem for the first time, discover a more elegant solution, or notice hidden connections. Students who are functional in mathematics and financially capable are able to think independently in applied and abstract ways, as well as being able to reason, solve problems and assess risk.
Mathematics is a creative discipline. The language of mathematics is international. The subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. The study of mathematics has developed over time as a means of solving problems and developing high level abstract thinking.
We begin in Year 7 by articulating the process of becoming a mathematician and thinking mathematically. Particular skills are thinking for yourself and asking questions; writing down what you notice; being organised and systematic; being sure and testing and explaining your ideas.
To support learners in becoming aware of what they do when working mathematically we use KS3 curriculum time to immerse students in a topic for a longer block of time which enables them to make deep progress. Over the course of a year, students will cover 6 broad topics as well as having space and time for some interesting diversions along the way.
At KNGS, we use a wide range of rich mathematical tasks where students are challenged to work collaboratively to improve their mathematical thinking. All students are given the opportunity to study difficult topics whilst also consolidating previously studied topics. We believe that the most effective learners persevere with challenging tasks and learn by making mistakes. Everyone can improve with hard work, effort and determination.
In KS3 the content covered is:
- Integers and decimals – calculating with both, use of directed numbers, place value.
- Algebraic expressions – expanding brackets, substitution, equivalence
- Angles and construction – using angle facts and mathematical equipment
- Number properties – LCM/HCF, prime numbers and prime factors, venn diagrams
- Area and perimeter – 2D shapes, problem solving
- Data Handling – Averages, statistics, experimental data.
- Fractions – Calculating, equivalence, simplifying, ordering, conversion, fractions of amounts
- Algebra – Solving Equations, equivalence, rearranging, manipulation, functions
- Probability – scale, calculating, assessing risk, fairness
- Angles and shapes – parallel lines, angles in polygons, problem solving
- Mappings and sequences – Functions, nth term, quadratic sequences
- Graphs- Linear functions, co-ordinate system, using the equation of a straight line
In Mathematics we begin our GCSE studies at the start of Year 9. We follow the Edexcel syllabus, and all students take a non-calculator and two calculator exams at the end of Year 11. Mathematics teachers will provide a comprehensive programme of study.
The KS4 curriculum is broken into a series of stages. Each stage is incrementally more difficult. Once students have completely mastered a stage they move onto the next. Students complete regular stage tests which highlight strengths and weaknesses, and all have a stage checklist glued in the front of their book informing them of what they are currently working on.
To get the best possible grades in this subject, students must be prepared to:
- Work with best effort at any task offered by teachers
- Make mistakes and learn from them
- Persevere when something is challenging
- Accept responsibility for learning- ask their own questions, push themselves, look things up in a textbook, use MyMaths, and see teachers for extra help
- Complete all classwork and home learning to the best of their ability
Mathematics is a ‘hands on’ subject. The best way to learn is by doing. Students experience a wide variety of lesson styles and activities, including discussion, group work, sorting cards, matching activities, written work, games, and interactive computer based learning. The maths curriculum lends itself to interesting, engaging lessons in a variety of styles.
For the most able students and those considering studying mathematics at A-Level we offer Further Mathematics at GCSE as well. For this course students follow the AQA specification. This is studied in an extra lesson after school in Year 11. The course content is an excellent way for students to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-Level.
Homework is set in Mathematics for a variety of reasons. These include; practising techniques, application, problem-solving, computer based learning, investigations and writing up findings amongst others. Homework is checked regularly and feedback is given to help the students improve. In KS4, students have additional work to complete each week using the MathsWatch videos. These videos and tasks allow pupils to revise topics and seek help to overcome difficulties with the support of teachers and parents. This supports students in developing as independent learners of mathematics. All students have their username and password for MyMaths, Mathswatch and the PiXL maths app stuck in the front of their planner. These fabulous resources can be used to further accelerate progress.
‘Maths Clinic’ is one of the school’s most popular extra-curricular clubs. Students can drop-in for help with homework, revision, exam practice or just to work on some nice problems. ‘Maths Clinic’ is on Tuesday and Thursday after school and Friday at lunchtime. ‘Puzzle Club’ is also available for Mathematical problems and puzzles.