MATHEMATICS: STATEMENT OF INTENT
Mathematics is an essential foundation of many other subjects across the curriculum and prepares students for life beyond education in the home, in the workplace and at leisure. At Christ the King Catholic High School, we provide a Mathematics curriculum which promotes the diversity of Mathematics in the world around us and instils in students fundamental skills that will become vital in an ever changing and advancing society.
Mathematics develops problem solving skills which can be utilised in any context and teaches students how to deal with challenges. It promotes clear and logical thought processes and it underpins many of today’s careers in Science, Technology and ICT. Year 8 students have the opportunity to demonstrate these skills during the Extended Learning Day activity ‘The Oil Trading Enterprise’, designed to build an understanding in finance and trading on the stock exchange.
The Mathematics Department fully support students with their learning and individual needs and as such we offer Maths Club during lunch, Study Support after school and Mathematics Intervention during morning registration to provide additional individual support for our students. The Mathematics department regularly use ICT as a teaching and learning tool and encourage students to use programs such as MathsWatch, DrFrostMaths and GCSE Bitesize, and iPads are available as a teaching and a learning tool in classes. MathsWatch is used as a homework tool and allows students to revise topics and have a personalised learning programme. Homework is recorded online so students and parents/carers have access to homework given and the deadlines set.
All students have a revision booklet that to create their own revision notes and develop their long-term memory recall and retention skills. One lesson per week is dedicated to undertaking on-going formative assessment of students’ mathematical skills and this allows staff and students to identify areas for development and reflect on their learning.
Within our department we are fortunate to have a Mathematics specialist HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) who provides excellent one-to-one support to students requiring motivational and academic guidance, as well as teaching smaller classes, providing a more focused approach as required.
KEY STAGE 3
Students in Key Stage 3 follow a curriculum consisting of number; algebra; shape, space and measure; and handling data. Students then learn how to use and apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt in these areas to real life situations, and in problem solving activities such as participating in The Oil Trading game, during which the students have had the opportunity to meet and question professional stockbrokers.
We are keen to ensure that all students perform to the best of their ability and receive a teaching programme tailored to their individual needs. Therefore, there is a strong focus on times tables and number for Year 7 students.
We regularly share good practice and resources to ensure department staff are acquiring new skills and provide more engaging and varied lessons for our students. Students undertake formal Summative assessments twice each year and their progress is tracked against their expected rate of progress. This information allows us to identify students who would benefit from extra support from our Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
We recognise the outstanding effort and progress of our students by presenting termly certificates, having a department reward card and sending weekly praise postcards. Student interest and motivation is also developed by working closely with our Careers Leader, providing STEM activities and school trips to Lancaster University and BAE Systems in Samlesbury.
KEY STAGE 4
Students in Key Stage 4 follow a linear course with Edexcel examination board either at higher or foundation level. Students have responded well to this course and the Edexcel specification and there are plentiful resources. Students sit three GCSE examination papers at the end of Year 11, one ‘non-calculator’ paper and two ‘calculator’ papers. Higher Tier candidates can achieve grades 3-9 and Foundation Tier candidates can achieve grades 1-5. Students are assessed in November and February in Year 11 to determine the most suitable tier of entry. This course is also supported by Study Support lessons, which take place after school for any students wanting more individual or small group support. Students are highly motivated to do well and many continue studying Mathematics at Further Education and progress to careers in engineering, accountancy and medicine. In 2017, we had twelve school leavers who went on to study A Level Mathematics or a course related to Mathematics.