Introduction to Maths at Plashet School
Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for Mathematics, the cultural world is one country
– David Hilbert
The Mathematics Department at Plashet School aims to:
- Ensure that the students achieve their full potential within Mathematics
- Ensure that students can use Mathematics in everyday life as a tool, and for other subjects by developing key problem solving and analytical skills.
- Encourage students to have a positive attitude to Mathematics as an interesting, creative and aesthetic subject.
- Develop an awareness of Mathematics and its historical development within a multicultural context.
- Promote self-esteem and confidence amongst our young women by experiencing the joy of success in Mathematics.
Neglect of Mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of the world
The Mathematics Department encourages participation in a wide range of events and activities to enrich the study of Mathematics and enhance the enjoyment of the subject for pupils. Some of these are listed below.
The Key Stage Three Curriculum:
Year 7 (mixed ability): Mathematics department is a part of Education Endowment Research Project with Kings’ College. The Best Practice in Mixed Attainment project looked at offering the best teaching to all our students. Research evidence suggests that students with lower prior attainment do better if taught in mixed attainment settings. Plashet has supported the BPMA project by looking at why this is and have devised teaching strategies to characterise successful practice in mixed attainment classes.
Our strategies and learning materials are to be used as example lessons for when the project is rolled out to other schools. Our example lessons not only provide a guide but also support teachers to assess learners without levels with a focus on the mathematical processes.
The resources and strategies developed by the Mathematics department are designed to support the development of pedagogy across the department and in all classes. The project has enabled the department to jointly plan and focus on all groups of learners. We have become better reflective practitioners and continually evaluate the impact of our own and departmental practices.
Teaching at KS3
The key areas of number and algebra, geometry and measures and probability and statistics are taught to students throughout key stage 3. Students extend their knowledge and build on their prior knowledge each year. The subject curriculum document shows how the areas are split into key topics from year 7 to 9. Students use problem solving skills within the lesson. One lesson a fortnight is dedicated to improve students’ numeracy skills, ensuring they have strong foundations and are mathematically fluent.
Problem solving and developing mathematical thinking: We use investigations and Nrich tasks in our teaching to develop mathematical thinking and problem solving skills. Investigations allow pupils to demonstrate their own creativity in approaching mathematical problems as well as developing their perseverance – a crucial skill for a good mathematician. We also appreciate the need for pupils to practice their examination technique and be able to answer questions under examination conditions. Pupils are assessed 4-5 times a year, allowing each pupil to know what level they are working at and what they need to do to improve. Students are given a final assessment at the end of key stage 3.
Timetable and homework: Pupils in Year 8 have 7 periods a fortnight of Mathematics lessons, and those in Year 7 and 9 have 6. This allows for a range of activities including some practical work. Pupils should expect to receive around 25 minutes of homework once a week and Mymaths homework regularly at the end of each topic. Written homework would be formally marked by their teacher with written and verbal feedback once in a three to four weekly cycle. If your daughter is finding her homework difficult, please see the ‘Helping Your daughter With Maths’ page for tips on how to assist her.
The Key Stage Four Curriculum:
Mathematics (Edexcel): All students are entered for GCSE Mathematics which is assessed by two examinations at the end of Year 11: one non-calculator and one calculator. 30-40% of these papers have functional skills and problem solving questions.
- Although Mathematics is a compulsory subject for GCSE, we hope that students will also enjoy the subject and gain much benefit from the course. Study at KS4 aims to equip students with mathematical competence and problem solving strategies in the following areas:
- Number and Algebra
- Geometry and Measures
- Statistics and Probability
The scheme is in the form of three tiers:
- Entry Level: non GCSE certificate – designed for students gaining L2-3 at KS3
- Foundation: GCSE Grades C-G – L3-5 at KS3
- Higher: GCSE Grades A*-D – L 5-7+ at KS3
- Setting in Ability groups: Pupils are split into 11 sets according to ability at the start of Year 10. This differentiation allows all pupils to attain the highest grades while being suitably challenged.
Timetable and Homework: Pupils have 7 periods a fortnight of Mathematics in both years. All work will be taught in lessons. All pupils will have around 30 minutes of homework twice a week and will take regular tests to enable them to track their progress and understand their weaknesses. It also allows them to practice examinations technique in preparation for the formal examinations.
Assessments: Regular assessment tests take place to assess the various components of the course. There is an end of Year 10 exam based on Edexcel linear specification for mathematics. Mock examinations take place in December of Year 11. Students in Year 11 will do practice exams at the end of March and in the month of May to prepare them well for their actual GCSE Mathematics exam and help students diagnose priorities for revision.
EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF MATHEMATICS:
NRich has many puzzles for all ages and promotes the enrichment of Mathematics by interesting and engaging problems. Some are better than others so be picky when you look at the materials available and don’t choose anything too easy!
HELP WITH THE SYLLABUS:
- MyMaths: http://www.mymaths.co.uk/
MyMaths provides lessons, example and questions on all of the topics pupils learn in school. It allows pupils to practice certain topics as much as they want by producing different questions each time, and marks the work for them, showing them where they have gone wrong. It also has ‘booster packs ‘allowing GCSE pupils to work from A to A* grades, and is particularly effective for revision. The log in is plashet and password angle.
- MathsWatch: www.mathswatch.co.uk
MathsWatch is a set of mathematical videos and worksheets available via subscription service online. It allows pupils to review the topics taught in class and practice some questions via worksheet linked to the video on the same topic.
Please contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.