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 programme when they take part in the ‘Oil Trading’ Enterprise activity designed to build an understanding in finance and trading on the stock exchange.
Developments in our curriculum over recent years have seen a significant improvement in GCSE results, with 70% of students achieving a grade 4 or above in 2018. This is a result of thinking about the needs of each student and having a department that supports them with their learning. As such, we have Maths Club during lunch, Study Support after school and Mathematics Intervention during morning registration, which all provide additional support for our students. We use ICT as a teaching and learning tool and encourage students to use programs such as MathsWatch, DrFrostMaths and GCSE Bitesize to assist them in their studies and use iPads as a teaching and a learning tool in lessons. 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 have access to homework given and the deadlines set.
All students have a revision booklet that they use to create their own revision notes and improve their long-term memory. One lesson per week is dedicated to testing students’ mathematical skills and this allows students to identify areas for development and reflect on their learning.
Within our department we are fortunate to have a Mathematics specialist HLTA who is able to provide 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 are assessed twice each year and their progress tracked against their target levels. 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 CEIAG 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 plentiful resources have been well suited to the needs of our students. 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 their final academic year 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 college 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.