Curriculum Rationale - Maths



What do we aim to achieve through the teaching of our subject?

We believe Mathematics is essentially three things:

•            A set of skills needed for adult life.

•            A collection of skills and techniques for solving increasingly sophisticated problems, both within mathematics and also in other subject areas.

•            A unique, logical and rewarding subject, whose study in its own right is both interesting and stimulating.

We aim to help ensure our learner leave their education numerically competent for 21st Century living and are able to interact with the mathematical demands of daily life. We aim that those wishing to study post 16 or 18 are fully prepared for what lies ahead, but for all learners whatever their level of study, that they become resilient in problem solving and in tackling mathematical challenges.

Through the teaching of Maths we aim to:

1. provide a secure, balanced atmosphere where confidence in Mathematics is gained and pupils realise their full potential, whatever their background ability level.

2. develop their mathematical knowledge and oral, written and practical skills in a way which encourages confidence and provides satisfaction and enjoyment.

3. read, write and talk about Mathematics in a variety of ways.

4. develop a feel for number, carry out calculations and understand the significance of the results obtained.

5. apply mathematics in everyday situations and develop an understanding of the part played by Mathematics in the world around them.

6. recognise when and how a situation may be represented mathematically, identify relevant information and select appropriate methods to solve problems.

7. apply mathematics in other subject areas.

8. develop an understanding of mathematical principles.

9. develop the abilities to reason logically, to classify, to generalise and to prove.

10. appreciate patterns and relationships in mathematics.

11. appreciate the inter-dependence of different branches of mathematics.

12. work independently and co-operatively.

13. enquire and experiment, including undertaking extended pieces of work of a practical and investigative nature.

14. use and apply mathematics and mathematical language to communicate, both verbally and by written word, with emphasis on the use of clear expression.

15. become aware of the fascination of mathematics.

16. acquire a foundation of mathematical skills and knowledge appropriate to further study of mathematics and of other subject disciplines.

What are our learners entitled to?

Our learners are entitled to access to an appropriate and relevant mathematical curriculum which prepares, challenges and inspires them to perform to their own very best and try their hardest, whatever their mathematical ability.

Learners are entitled to well prepared and carefully planned lessons delivered by motivate and caring staff.

What building blocks are we trying to establish in preparation for further study?

We build on the good work our feeder primaries using this as our foundation. We view our students’ time here as a 5 year programme of mathematical study (or 7 for those studying beyond GCSE). Our Mathematics curriculum is a spiral based currciulum allowing us to revisit, retrieve and embed skills and mathematical knowledge as well as developing new and higher order skills and knowledge each year.

How does the curriculum we teach reference our local contexts?

Our work with our local primary schools has helped inform our curriculum choices to ensure pupils have as smooth a transition as possible and improve continuity of provision. With a number of our larger feeder schools following the White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning this is something we have adopted in Key Stage 3, starting with Year 7 in the year 2019/20, with plans to expand to other years as they progress.

What skills do we seek to develop in our learners?

It is expected that all pupils will be able to:

1. recall, apply and interpret mathematical knowledge in the context of everyday situations.

2. set out mathematical work, including the solution to problems in a logical and clear form, using symbols and terminology where appropriate.

3. organise, interpret and present information accurately in written, tabular, graphical and diagrammatic forms.

4. use information technology in suitable activities.

5. perform calculations by suitable methods.

6. use a calculator 'sensibly'

7. understand systems of measurement in everyday use and make use of them in solutions to problems.

8. estimate, approximate and work to appropriate degrees of accuracy.

9. use mathematical and other instruments to measure and draw to an appropriate degree of accuracy.

10. recognise patterns and structures in a variety of situations and form generalisations.

11. extract, appraise and use mathematical information from the written page and verbal sources (including catalogues, newspapers, radio and television.)

12. recognise and use spatial relationships in two and three dimensions, particularly when solving problems.

13. analyse a problem, select a suitable strategy and apply an appropriate technique to obtain its solution.

14. apply combinations of mathematical skills and techniques in problem solving.

15. make logical deductions from given mathematical data.

16. respond to a problem relating to a relatively unstructured situation by translating it into an appropriately structured form.

17. respond orally to questions, discuss mathematical ideas and carry out mental calculations.

18. carry out practical and investigative work and undertake extended pieces of work.

19. be encouraged in good work habits and encouraged in fostering a positive attitude towards mathematics, which should be seen as an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

However, it should be noted that many pupils will do much more during the course of their mathematical lessons at John Taylor High School.

Extra-Curricular Activities

At John Taylor High School our students are exposed to a number of extra-curricular Mathematical opportunities and experiences. We have organised visits to external speakers from the world of Mathematics and Science based industries through the MathsFest Shows and Big Bang Science Fairs. Students are able to take part in the annual UKMT Maths Challenges with a number having success at the follow on rounds the Kangaroos or Olympiads. We take students from all stages to the Team Challenges, and in 2018 we took students to the National Finals in London having beaten our local rivals to be regional champions. Year 8 pupils take part in the Keele Masterclass programme and every year we organise a Maths Revision and Enrichment Weekend (MREW) Maths Camp.

Finally, all pupils are exposed to the weekly “Puzzle of the Week” during form numeracy activities, prompting the further discussion and debate of mathematical ideas through a variety of logic and numeracy reasoning problems.

Staffordshire Research School