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Maths

We strive to provide a strong foundation of mathematical skills for all our students and to realise the potential of each individual. Each year the demands on our children increase to secure a good grade in mathematics at GCSE. Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to solve problems, to calculate, to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically and to make sense of data. Mathematics is important for students in many other areas of study, particularly Science and Technology. It is also important in everyday life, in many forms of employment and in decision-making.

As a subject in its own right, Mathematics presents frequent opportunities for creativity. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder; especially when problems are solved or when more elegant solutions to problems are discovered. We want all our students to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason mathematically and to solve problems by applying their mathematical understanding to a variety of problems.

At Merrill Academy our Mathematics team have consistently supported students wanting to follow their life dreams and career aspirations. Within the Mathematics department, we aim to set challenging targets with high expectations for all students. We strongly believe in the importance of offering a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning to help motivate students. We will always look to ensure that the students are actively participating and enjoying mathematics.

Support within Mathematics

We have a dedicated team of learning support staff and teacher's assistants which means they are able to support students with the subject knowledge as well as providing the required support within the lesson. We have MIPs in place across all Key Stages. These Math Intervention Plans are totally individualized to ensure students are helped with the actual concepts they struggle with and not a generic level of work (Big Math’s program –KS3 and Groups of 5 interventions at KS4).

KS3 Curriculum plan/map

Students will study the areas of Number, Ratio and Proportion, Algebra, Shape and Space and Handling Data. There will be a focus on Arithmetic, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Applying Maths in context.

Year 7

  • Basic Numeracy
  • Area, perimeter and volume
  • Fractions /decimals/ percentages
  • Probability/averages
  • Introduction to algebra
  • Angles and properties of 2D shapes
  • Representing data
  • Working with integers and decimals
  • Multiples, factors and sequences
  • Ratio
  • Solving equations
  • Transformations
  • Interpreting data
  • Re-visiting key numeracy skills
  • Consolidation of factors/LCM’s and HCF's

Year 8

  • Angles, parallel lines and properties of shapes
  • Probability
  • Fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio
  • Manipulating algebra
  • Area and volume
  • Graphs
  • Averages and representing data
  • Non calculator numeracy work/rounding
  • Transformations
  • Solving linear equations
  • Use of BIDMAS and mental maths skills
  • Further equations work using trial and improvement and quadratics.
  • Constructions, nets, volume and surface areas
  • Collecting analysing and interpreting data
  • Factors, Multiples, HCF, LCM
  • Sequences

At the end of Year 8/start of Year 9, We use the results of the End of Year test from Year 8 together with all the formative and summative assessment to decide whether students will follow the Foundation or Higher route in Years 9, 10 and 11. Groupings are reviewed regularly.

Foundation route

Year 9

  • Unit 1 Number
  • Unit 2 Algebra
  • Unit 3 Graphs, tables and charts
  • Unit 4 Fractions and percentages
  • Unit 5 Equations, inequalities and sequences
  • Unit 6 Angles
  • Unit 7 Averages and range
  • Unit 8 Perimeter, area and volume 1

Higher route

Year 9

  • Unit 1 Number
  • Unit 2 Algebra
  • Unit 3 Interpreting and representing data
  • Unit 4 Fractions, ratio and proportion
  • Unit 5 Angles and trigonometry
  • Unit 6 Graphs
  • Unit 7 Area and volume
  • Unit 8 Transformation and constructions

How are Students assessed at KS3?

At Key Stage 3 we lay a thorough foundation of all necessary skills and endeavour develop, through investigative and thought hands on activities, a deep understanding of the mathematical concepts. Students are initially placed in groups based upon the information we get from junior schools. Students follow a scheme of work below. Challenge and support are built into lessons, with the focus being on depth of understanding. Groupings are reviewed regularly. Students are assessed using both formative and summative assessment. Students are told what their strengths are and what they need to do in order to improve. Students will be given a minimum expected grade for GCSE and they will be assessed regularly to establish whether they are on track, above, below or significantly below. Year 7 and 8 take part in the mathematical games and UKMT Mathematical Challenges.

Homework:

Homework is an important part of the course and will be set regularly. The nature of the tasks set will vary and may include the follow up of class-work activities, 'Hegarty Maths' set tasks, combination of electronic homework and paper based homework are used.

KS4 Curriculum plan/map

At the end of Year 9/start of Year 10, students are to do the GCSE Baseline test (Foundation or Higher), to help decide whether they should follow the Foundation or Higher route in years 10 and 11.

Year 10 course content as follow:

GCSE (9-1) Foundation

  • Unit 1 Number
  • Unit 2 Algebra
  • Unit 3 Graphs, tables and charts
  • Unit 4 Fractions and percentages
  • Unit 5 Equations, inequalities and sequences
  • Unit 6 Angles
  • Unit 7 Averages and range
  • Unit 8 Perimeter, area and volume 1
  • Unit 9 Graphs
  • Unit 10 Transformations
  • Unit 11 Ratio and proportion
  • Unit 12 Right-angled triangles
  • Unit 13 Probability
  • Unit 14 Multiplicative reasoning
  • Unit 15 Constructions, loci and bearings

GCSE (9-1) Higher

  • Unit 1 Number
  • Unit 2 Algebra
  • Unit 3 Interpreting and representing data
  • Unit 4 Fractions, ratio and proportion
  • Unit 5 Angles and trigonometry
  • Unit 6 Graphs
  • Unit 7 Area and volume
  • Unit 8 Transformation and constructions
  • Unit 9 Equations and inequalities
  • Unit 10 Probability
  • Unit 11 Multiplicative reasoning
  • Unit 12 Similarly and congruence
  • Unit 13 More trigonometry
  • Unit 14 Further statistics
  • Unit 15 Equations and graphs

Year 11 course content is split into six strands that are encompassed under the headings

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rate of Change
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Separate schemes of work are written (Class teacher writes - Medium Term Plan) to suit both the higher and foundation tier and theses are constantly reviewed and updated to ensure the content meets the needs of the students.

How are students assessed at KS4?

At Key Stage 4 students are grouped based on ability and minimum expectation. Groups will follow either the foundation or higher tier course. Students will study the areas of Arithmetic, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Applying Maths in context.

Students are assessed on at KS4:

Students are assessed using both formative and summative techniques. Students are told what their strengths are and what they need to do in order to improve. Students will study a linear course which means that students will have three examinations at the end of the course. There will be one non -calculator and two calculator papers. All the papers carry equivalent weighting and are 1½ hours in length. Please be aware that unlike the previous GCSE course there will be no ‘Formula Sheet’ at the front of each exam paper. Students are now expected to learn ALL formulae that may be needed during the exams. The government have also taken the opportunity to make the course more challenging. This means that there are now topics included at foundation level that were previously only in the higher grade paper. New topics have also been introduced to the higher level paper. In addition, the syllabus has been amended to include more complex multi-staged problems at both foundation and higher level as a way of raising standards.

There are two Levels of entry: Higher - Grades 4 to 9 (with 9 being the highest) and Foundation -Grades 1 to 5

Please note the grades from A* to G have been replaced with grades from 1 - 9 and that these new levels are NOT related to the Key Stage 3 levels 1-8.

We actually begin teaching the GCSE syllabus in year 9 in order to give students as much time as possible to access the extensive course. In order to support the students as much as possible. Please note that we still continue to assess students after each term and where appropriate move students between groups. Progress will then be monitored through the use of a PLCs. There is no coursework in GCSE Mathematics.

Homework:

Homework is an important part of the course and will be set regularly. The nature of the tasks set will vary and may include the follow up of class-work activities, 'Hegarty Maths' set tasks, combination of electronic homework and paper based homework are used.

Extension Activities / Planned Trips

We offer a range of opportunities for our students to attend intervention and support with homework within the maths department. Year 7 and 8 take part in the UKMT National Maths Challenge, in which they complete against students nationally to achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold certificates. Other enjoyable activities we offer:

  • PiXL Maths APP
  • Hegarty Maths
  • Big Maths
  • Pi day (14th March)
  • Events/Trips/Visits
  • Sam Learning
  • A level taster session
  • Study support after school (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)

Careers Information / Next Steps

Mathematics includes skills which are important in everyday life beyond school. It supports studies in other subjects, particularly Science and Technology. It is also an important requirement for most areas of employment. Future careers directly involving maths are Accountancy, Banking, Actuary, Engineering, Pharmacy, Quantity Surveyor and Medicine for example.

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