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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.
Our Mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that all students:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that students develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
The scheme of learning is built upon the key stage 3 National Curriculum and has been designed to be coherent between topics and build on and revisit skills taught previously. It explicitly highlights skills and content students should have learnt in key stage 2 so that these skills can be developed further in key stage 3 and beyond towards GCSE and A Level success. Lessons are designed to give an approach that allows students to develop a deeper understanding of concepts rather than simply display superficial success in a single lesson. We expect all learners to display and communicate using correct terminology to help solidify the meaning of keywords.
The curriculum has been designed such that the interconnected nature of mathematics is prevalent. Concepts are studied using prior knowledge and in various context. For example, we use perimeter of shapes to link the use of adding decimal numbers together.
Throughout key stage 3, there is ‘core’ content followed by content designed to stretch and extend. The aim here is not to limit students to a particular tier and hence the outcome at the end of their five years of mathematical study. We have high aspirations for our students and hence our curriculum is built around this.
The Key Stage 3 Mathematics curriculum must:
- develop an appreciation that Mathematics is a universal language, and allows us to communicate with others and to understand, affect and develop the world around us
- develop Mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving which opens the door to other aspects of life and underpins other areas of the curriculum
- develop an appreciation that Mathematics is a subject of beauty and this can be seen in many things from the plants and people we see around us to the machines and technology we design and use in our daily lives
- develop reasoning and problem solving leading to mastery and logical thinking which builds well-rounded and aspirational citizens of the future
From Year 9 we take the knowledge previously learned in Years 7 and 8 and build upon it. The three elements of fluency, reasoning and problem solving are still prominent until the end of Year 11. The mathematics schemes of work for key stage 4 broadly follow the AQA GCSE mathematics specification. The curriculum is designed such that students who excel with lower level content can move freely to the higher content and achieve their full potential. We aim to cover the same content to varying levels of difficulty for as long as we can to ensure that this is possible.
The key stage 4 curriculum intends to develop students’ mastery of mathematics, building on the content developed in key stage 3 with Year 9 as a bridging curriculum to ensure smooth progression between the key stages. Students will follow either the foundation or higher scheme of work depending on prior assessments. Students are not limited to their current tier of study as this is fluid and dependent on the progress that each student is currently making. Problem-solving is at the heart of the curriculum and opportunities to develop problem solving and reasoning skills in maths are embedded within each unit of work.
The Key Stage 4 Mathematics curriculum must:
- develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
- teach students to acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems
- develop skills of reasoning mathematically, making deductions and inferences and drawing conclusions
- teach students to comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context