Mission Statement/ Aims:
The Mathematics Department aims to provide all students with a rewarding and enjoyable experience of Mathematics. We will prepare students to become confident, numerate individuals who are able to deal with all aspects of Mathematics in their chosen career and in all aspects of their adult life.
This will be accomplished through our commitment to excellent teaching, a well-designed curriculum with an interesting variety of lessons to motivate and engage all students. We have high expectations of all students so that they will recognise and achieve their full potential. We hope that students will develop their own skills in analysis, reasoning, creativity, collaboration and self-evaluation so that they can meet the mathematical problems they face with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm.
Curriculum Details – Maths
Students in Year 7-11 follow the White Rose Maths scheme of work, adapted to the needs of our students. This scheme has been inspired by internationally recognised practice, particularly drawing on evidence from Singapore and Shanghai. It is a limitless curriculum, which allows students to investigate the different strands of Mathematics, and through problem solving and rich tasks, deepens their understanding of the subject. The scheme prepares them for both their GCSE examinations and for real life, interleaving topics well and developing transferable skills.
Learning is based on the concrete, pictoral and abstract approach. Students are encouraged to use the manipulatives that are available to them and also draw diagrams to support their working. There is also an increased emphasis on the use of the correct mathematical language.
Assessment takes place midway within each year, and informally on a fortnightly basis in order to support the students in ‘knowing more and remembering more.’ Students are also given an end of year exam covering all topics studied throughout their time in school.
Homework is set using an online website called ‘Hegarty Maths.’ This enables students to get instant feedback on their work, watch videos when they are struggling, and message their teachers to inform them of any difficulties. This is set on a weekly basis according to the school homework policy.
Students in Year 10 and 11 follow the AQA New GCSE Maths Specification (8300) and individual feedback from all assessments helps students to work independently to improve their grades.
Students are entered for either the Higher (Grades 9-4) or Foundation (Grades 5-1) tiers. Final decisions on this are not made until we are satisfied that we know what is best for each student.
Students will sit 3 written examinations at the end of year 11:
- Paper 1 – Non Calculator paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks
- Paper 2 – Calculator paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks
- Paper 3 – Calculator paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 80 marks
There are many websites that can be used at home to support their learning, but we recommend the following:
Pupils need to bring their own pen, pencil and ruler. In addition they may wish to bring their own 180° protractor, compass and calculator. In lessons and exams we use a Casio calculator with model number fx-83GT X and would recommend that if you are buying a calculator to bring to school or use at home you buy this model to avoid any confusion.
There is a lot of emphasis on how pupils present their work in Maths. All graphs and diagrams must be completed with pencil and ruler and pupils should show all stages of working. These expectations apply to both homework and classwork.
Within the Mathematics faculty we intend to promote STEM activities and are particularly keen to engage girls. We have visited the STEM jobs for girls’ conference and are looking for more local events ran particularly to encourage girls to participate more in STEM activities, to hopefully inspire them to pursue careers linked to STEM. Nationally we have a huge shortage of skilled people in these areas and women are a growing but under-represented proportion of this workforce.
Students are given the opportunity to attend a ‘VEX Robotics’ enrichment session after school within the department. Places are limited and in previous years we have entered teams at both regional and national level – being invited to World Championships in Florida during one year.
Students are informed about events locally to encourage students into Maths A-level and many are offered the opportunity to compete in UKMT maths challenges and team challenges.
Pupil of the Month
Each teacher within the department selects one student per calendar month as their ‘Pupil of the Month.’ This may be due to their motivation, improvement, an outstanding test result, or generally just being great! We are grateful to Seaham’s very own ‘Lickety Split’ for sponsoring these awards and giving the deserved winners a free ice cream sundae.
If parents have any concerns or would like advice about their child’s progress in Mathematics they can contact their child’s Maths teacher, directly or via the school office.
Parents may, of course, wish to speak directly to the head of department, Mrs James, and are welcome to do so.