Mathematics is a core subject and is taught to all students at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
The school aims to provide an environment where every student can achieve their personal best and have the support that they need to do this. Mathematics is accessible to all and KES aims to provide stimulating and challenging lessons for all age ranges and abilities. Students are encouraged to work hard, become independent thinkers, and feel confident and secure with their knowledge of Mathematics. Lessons provide them with the opportunity to learn how to solve problems across the curriculum, a skill that is rated as one of the most desirable by employers. Each student’s progress is monitored carefully with targeted support or intervention implemented, in order to help all students to be successful learners.
Mathematics rooms are fully resourced and up to date, with interactive whiteboards and mini whiteboards, as well as a variety of practical resources for use during lessons (for example: height and foot measurers, dice, puzzles, tangrams, tarsia jigsaws, etc).
Each year, students have the opportunity to take part in the UK National Maths Challenges and many students achieve bronze, silver or gold certificates showing their development in problem solving and mathematical puzzling.
Key Stage 3
The Key Stage 3 Mathematics course covers: number; algebra; shape, space and measures and handling data and every lesson integrates problem solving. Essential to students’ success is an approach based on understanding and not quick fixes. By exposing students to challenge and deep thought early in their mathematics careers they become better learners and are more prepared for the challenges of GCSE and A-level mathematics. Students are placed into sets in Year 7, according to ability. These sets are flexible and students may move sets if they continue to make better than or less than expected progress. This structure is continued through Years 7, 8 and 9, with each student receiving eight mathematics lessons per fortnight.
Homework is an integral part of the learning process and students are set homework each week. Much of this is via an online platform that is linked directly to our GCSE exam board. This enables students to begin to acclimatise themselves to the newer style questions that they will face when they reach their final exams in year 11. Students are continuously tracked and progress is measured each term.
The Mathematics Faculty has moved away from traditional talk and text methods of teaching and makes every lesson interesting. Students are taught using a variety of methods so every student’s learning needs are accommodated. Mini-whiteboards, card sort activities and Tarsia puzzles, along with online resources, are regularly used to keep all students engaged and to help raise attainment.
Students of all abilities cover the main branches of Mathematics at Key Stage 3. See below for an outline of the topics covered:
- Calculations, orders of operation, fractions, decimals, and percentages, factors, multiples, rounding and approximation
- Formulas, inequalities, expressions, substitution, equations, coordinates, graphs and sequences
- Handling data
- Recording and representing data, measures of average, probability and relative frequency
- Reading and converting measurement units, perimeter, area, volume and time
- Shape and space
- Shapes, constructions, loci, transformations, angles, triangles, lines, polygons, symmetry, circles, Pythagoras' theorem.
Key Stage 4
In Year 10, students are split into two mixed ability bands, which are each split into sets 1 to 5 based on ability. Students will sit either Higher Tier (9-4) or Foundation Tier (5-1). The students in the top two sets in each half will study Higher Tier Mathematics and those in other sets are more likely to sit the Foundation Tier Paper.
A linear GCSE course (Edexcel-Pearson examination board) is followed. GCSE examinations in mathematics are assessed at the end of the course by three papers, each of one and a half hours (paper 1 is non-calculator and papers 2 and 3 are calculator papers). Students have regular practice answering examination questions and mock exams during their final two years of study. The scheme of work has been developed within the faculty, and is regularly reviewed and updated in line with the latest curriculum developments. Staff regularly attend training run by the examinations boards in order to ensure that the best decisions are made for each cohort of students and that they are aware of the latest information to support our children.
This qualification contains five key areas of study:
- Geometry and Measures
- Statistics and Probability
- Processes and applications (choosing correct methods and problem solving)
The course content is covered across Years 10 and 11, although it builds upon key skills taught in earlier years. There is time given at the end of Year 11 for revision.
Students are regularly tested and those who need extra help are identified and supported. Many staff run after school revision classes which are available to support students with any questions they may have.
Key Stage 5
The school follows the Edexcel-Pearson course for A2 Level Mathematics, with students studying modules in Decision Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics as well as Core (Pure) mathematics.
In addition, for the more able students, there is the opportunity to take Further Mathematics.
There has been a significant increase in the number of students choosing to take A Level Mathematics which reflects our popularity and examination success in recent years.