The curriculum is designed so that all pupils achieve excellence, excel at mathematics and become an asset to the world of work and further education.

Intent: The curriculum aims to ensure pupils:

  • are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, developing deep conceptual understanding through the teaching of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations resulting in an ability to recall and apply knowledge efficiently;
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships to communicate arguments and proofs using mathematical language;
  • can solve problems by applying mathematical skills to a variety of problems with increasing complexity, illustrating resilience and perseverance;
  • see the importance of mathematics in everyday life; thirst for more following challenge and engagement; and grow in Body, Mind and Spirit.

The maths team at St Michael’s comprises friendly and approachable staff who are all passionate about their subject. There is a wealth of experience and enthusiasm between our specialist team of nine teachers.

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 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. 

Curriculum Implementation

Pupils will be continuing to use the skills and concepts already learnt in primary school and these will feed in to their continued study of the subject. All pupils follow a rich curriculum based around engaging 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 and starter activities which will help pupils revisit each topic and also there will be some time in lessons to address any issues there may have been.

To keep track of pupils’ progress a short assessment will be taken every 6 weeks.  If a pupil is struggling they are then helped further in class or they can 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 difficulty 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.

Home Learning and independent learning opportunities in Maths

We have chosen to use Sparx maths as a platform for home learning. Sparx Maths creates up to an hour’s worth of perfectly tailored practice homework for each pupil each week driven by our learning scheme. The practice is both challenging (to ensure pupils need to think) and, crucially, achievable (so that pupils can be successful).  We also ensure the practice uses spaced repetition and interleaving to support a change in students’ long term memories.  We are pleased that Sparx is inclusive and can adapt to all students’ current level of expertise. This has promoted engagement, confidence and ultimately learning.  Sparx has algorithms running constantly to choose the most appropriate work.  Therefore it is essential that pupils complete work independently until Sparx encourages them to seek help from their teacher.

We also 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 table below shows the topic being taught each term alongside the topics that will be revisited and when any formal assessments will occur. 

Before each of the assessments referenced above, a few lessons will take place in class revisiting topics for the assessment and developing exam technique.  This will be 2 lessons in Year 7 rising to 4 lessons in Year 11.

Each assessment is 40 minutes long and will be taken in class. The summary exam, which lasts one hour, will take place in the sports hall.  In Year 11 the mock exam will be 2 x 1.5 hour papers (one calculator and one non-calculator)

During Year 11 we will decide if pupils will take either the Higher or Foundation Paper. Usually about 80% of our pupils will 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

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Mathematics Learning Schemes

Maths Learning Schemes Years 7-11