Mathematics

Welcome to the Maths team at Saint Michaels.  Here you will find friendly and approachable staff who are all passionate about their subject. There is a wealth of experience and enthusiasm between our specialist team of eight teachers. Our aim is to inspire all students to see the relevance of Maths and hopefully study it further at college.

Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems.  It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.  A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. 

The Curriculum

Students are already working towards their GCSE.  All the skills and concepts students learnt in primary school will feed in to their continued study of the subject. All pupils follow a rich curriculum based around engaging, discovery activities ensuring they become positive, active learners and understand that Maths is about concepts and is not restricted to following a set of rules.

Each year pupils will study 6 main topics lasting approximately 6 weeks.  The topic will be studied in-depth and hopefully they will master many skills that can be used to solve problems and then be applied to other areas of the curriculum.  The topic will not be then explicitly taught again as pupils would have been given every opportunity to master it.  However, every year they will be given Home Learning which will help pupils revisit each topic and also there will be some time in lessons to readdress any issue there may have been.

To keep track of students’ progress a short assessment will be taken every 6 weeks.  This will give them a mathematics grade 9-1 on a key topic area that they have studied. They will then fill in a pupil outcome booklet which contains every outcome they will study until their GCSE exam in Year 11.  If a pupil is struggling they are then expected to attend a ‘Drop In’ session at lunchtime to get help rather than ignore an issue which can snowball as the curriculum moves on. The course will follow a progression of concepts and skills, with each step forward building on and consolidating previous knowledge. There is no ‘ceiling’ to the grade of work a pupil can access at any stage of the process.  Pupils will be expected to work in more depth rather than rush on to a different topic.

During Year 11 pupils will be prepared for taking the OCR Linear GCSE course (J560). The nature of this course allows for maximum flexibility and enables the department to tailor the studies of each student to match their abilities. This has been a key factor in our successes over recent years, allowing every student to achieve their very best, whatever their ability.

The current structure allocates marks as follows:

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During Year 11 we will decide if students will take either the Higher or Foundation Paper. 80% of our students will usually take the higher paper. The tier of entry will be based on ability and progress made, not the teaching group they are in.  The exam board has clearly stated that it is easier to get a grade 5 on the Foundation Paper than the higher paper and we will follow their advice to help make the correct decision for each student

For more information, use this link: - http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-mathematics-j560-from-2015/

Home Learning and independent learning opportunities in Maths

Home learning is set weekly and is vital so that each pupil revisits work they have done in earlier years, including primary school.  We have an excellent area on the school Moodle where pupils can access video tutorials on any aspect of Maths they are studying and an associated worksheet.  The use of Manga High is also encouraged, providing an excellent resource to practise Mathematics through good quality games and problems.

Assessments will be 40mins long unless in the sports hall and a summary exam
Year 7-9 (1 hour)
Year 10 (1.5 hours 2x45mins calc and non/calc)
Year 11 (3 hours 2x1.5hours calc and non/calc)

Mathematics Learning Schemes

Maths Learning Scheme Years 9-11

Maths Learning Scheme Years 7 and 8 - 2018