Our curriculum has just undergone radical changes and all lessons have been rewritten so our pupils can become the very best mathematicians, with a focus on teaching for mastery. We will challenge them to think, act and communicate ideas to expand their experiences of Maths. Teaching for mastery in Maths is essentially the expectation and belief that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the maths they are learning and our new approach aims to raise standards – meaning that more children should achieve the expected standard in mathematics. Our five year curriculum plan aims to build on the foundations laid during KS2. Each unit builds on prior knowledge that pupils already have, giving them the opportunity to recall and recap that knowledge on a regular basis. Concepts are built in small, logical steps and are explored through clear mathematical models and images. The focus is on depth – not acceleration – so that all children have a chance to embed learning.
pupils learn about number, algebra, geometry, ratio and proportion, statistics and probability. The pupils will develop their problem solving and reasoning skills to effectively apply this knowledge to successfully answer a range of probing mathematical questions, and will be given the opportunity to increase their understanding of how mathematical principles can be applied to a range of contexts in everyday life situations and across most other curriculum subjects.
The intent behind the mathematics curriculum is to develop pupils’ numerical skills and give them the opportunity to apply these in a range of contexts.
The curriculum follows a 5 year progression that initially builds on knowledge from KS2 in the nation curriculum throughout KS3, and then continues to build on the KS3 knowledge in KS4 through application of these basic concepts and skills in more challenging contexts, more often that not combining different skillset areas.
KS3 explores all areas of mathematics. pupils build on their number skills, allowing them to be fluent in their use of fractions and decimals, as well as integers with the four operations, and pupils begin to explore other forms of number involving standard form and index form. Within algebra, pupils have the opportunity to become confident with algebraic manipulation and solving equations. There is an increased focus on multiplicative reasoning and how this links with ratio and proportion, as well as reiterating properties of shapes and the key facts involving angles.
KS4 then builds on the key foundations from KS4. In number for example, pupils are expected to calculate with different forms such as standard form. In algebra, pupils look at quadratic equations and make links with graphs when solving equations. Ratio and proportion is linked with geometry when trigonometry is introduced, and looking at statistical analysis builds on pupils’ knowledge of the data handling cycle.
What is key with our curriculum is that the pupils are challenged to think critically about each skill they learn. Questioning really focuses on pupils’ understanding of the concept, not just what something is, but also what it’s not for example, and this enables pupils’ reasoning skills to be developed. Small steps through the concepts really allow for the depth of pupils thinking about each concept. This ensures pupils are continually challenged. The curriculum concentrates on the interleaving of skills throughout, not only through recall tasks, but also through making connections with multiple concepts when exploring a topic in depth.
The intent with our curriculum is for pupils to be fluent in mathematical skills and concepts, have developed reasoning skills to explain concepts, and have the ability to transfer and apply these skills to different contexts to solve problems.
The order of the units of work in the curriculum is dependent on the concepts covered in the block before. For example year 7 begins with sequences. This is a block with no prior knowledge, to allow for setting to take place in schools, however the introduction to algebra is dependent on concepts covered in the previous block. Within our resources, there is clear indication as to the prior knowledge covered in previous blocks. This pathway continues right through the 5 year curriculum, with each block building on knowledge from previous blocks.
Assessments take two forms – end of block and AP. End of block assessments are short and formative, with questions allocated one or two marks. AP assessments are longer with more problem solving questions, requiring pupils to combine more topics from the previous term. KS4 end of term assessments are GSCE papers, increasing the rigour and exposing pupils to problems encountered at GCSE level.
As well as developing their numerical skills, our curriculum enables our pupils to
- Develop their fluency in all areas in mathematics, and apply that fluency to many different contexts.
- Become experienced problem solvers, through exposure and study of many different types of problems
- Practice resilience, by looking at concepts from many different angles
- Develop reasoning skills, through consistently asking pupils why?
- Increase their love for mathematics, by introducing content in small steps to increase pupils’ understanding and success.