Maths is the only language spoken by everyone in the world and all young people who aspire to have a salaried job in the future need to master the subject of maths. Maths is used in nearly all aspects of life and at the Academy we aim to prepare students in the five branches of the National Curriculum:
· Functional Skills – mathematical processes and applications
· Geometry and measures
Key Stage 3- Years 7 and 8
The transition process between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 is given high priority in the first two weeks when students enter the Academy. Students are given a diagnostic test to identify their strengths and weaknesses after which intervention programmes are put in place to help narrow any gaps in their learning. In Year 7, students are taught in mixed-ability groups with six sessions of Maths per week, covering:
· Shape, space and measure/ geometry
· Data handling
· Using and applying mathematics
During years 7 and 8 pupils are assessed once every term (with an end of year exam during the summer term) and this informs any set changes. Based on their end of year exam in year 7, pupils are placed into sets at the beginning of year 8.
Key Stage 4- Years 9 – 11
All pupils follow the Edexcel Linear programme in mathematics at key stage 4. Pupils are taught to develop both calculator and non-calculator skills and apply them to real-life scenarios to improve their functional skills. The linear programme is assessed in June with two examinations of equal weighting (one calculator, one non-calculator). Our students will sit two mock exams, the first in December and the second in March.
Key Stage 5- Years 12 and 13
In Year 12 the mathematics course is formed of three parts: two core modules and one applied module. In the two core modules, students build on their knowledge and understanding from GCSE topics including algebra, geometry and trigonometry but also explore new topics such as calculus. In the applied module, students use their mathematical skills in real-life scenarios: examples in ‘statistics’ include learning to analyse trends from data and the assessment of probabilities, whilst in ‘mechanics’ students learn to solve problems using concepts such as force, velocity, power and centres of gravity.
In Year 13 three further modules are taken: the core modules challenge and deepen understanding of topics met in year 12 mathematics. Students also have the opportunity to study any applied module they didn’t take in year 12 (either statistics or mechanics). The course is solely examination-based: there is no coursework or controlled assessment. Each of the six modules will be assessed through a 90 minute examination and students sit three exams in each year.
To help students who are struggling with maths we have established a ‘Maths Gym’ where pupils are given individual support, during one/ two periods a week, with the focus on the four key operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).