Mathematics

Maths-header

Mathematics at Swanmore College is an exciting, challenging and rewarding subject for pupils of all abilities. Pupils learn key concepts and mathematical skills and then have opportunities to apply these in problem solving activities. At all times, pupils learn the relevance of mathematics and understand how it is used in real life.

We aim to provide a learning environment so that each student can:

  • discover the patterns and relationships between mathematical ideas and operations;
  • establish techniques that are appropriate to logical reasoning and problem solving, whether it be in mathematics or any other facet of life;
  • master basic mathematical facts and operations and their practical uses;
  • understand the fundamental mathematical skills necessary to achieve economic well-being and to make a positive contribution throughout their lives;

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

The new Key Stage 3 National Curriculum, which started in September 2014, gave the Department the opportunity to redesign its curriculum structure from a spiral model to that of a ‘mastery’ approach.  This means that our present Year 7 and 8 pupils are taught topics for longer and in more depth, allowing them to extend their learning as far as they are able to and build their long term memory for future learning.

For KS3 there are four mathematics ‘pathways’. Students will study two of these pathways through year 7 and year 8. The starting pathway depends on the students KS2 grade and the progress they make through the year.

The KS3 SOW has been tailored to focus on mastery of number in the first term of each of the four pathways. Other topics including algebra, shape and space, probability and ratio are then introduced through the year.

Key Stage 4

Pupils will be sitting the Edexcel GCSE mathematics exam at the end of Year 11.

Pupils begin their GCSE preparation in Year 9 with the aim to have covered the curriculum by the end of Year 10. This leaves Year 11 for further practise and revision.

The following link to the Edexcel website explains the GCSE mathematics exam in more detail.

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/mathematics-2015.html

During Key Stage 4 Students are examined twice a year using formal mocks. We use real GCSE papers examined under GCSE exam conditions. This gives the students practise at exam technique as well as giving them an accurate current working grade. Following mocks students are given a list of topics that they must work on to further improve their results.

More able students will sit an additional mathematics qualification. This allows them to secure the highest grades in their GCSE as extending into further mathematics topics. We are currently using the AQA Certificate in Further Mathematics. More details can be found on their website :-

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/mathematics/aqa-certificate/further-mathematics-8360

How you can support your child’s mathematics

The best way to support your child’s mathematics is to take an interest in it and to stress the importance of maths to social and economic well-being. In addition:

  • Every student gets logins for the mymaths and mathswatch websites. Mymaths provides a lesson and questions on every topic area that could appear on the GCSE Mathematics exam. Spending time working through the appropriate parts of this, most likely set as homework, with your child will help them considerably. Mathswatch provides videos of teachers explaining key topics.
  • Please stress the importance of mathematics to your child. Even if you did not do well at it yourself, or are not confident, do not make this the first thing you say to them when discussing maths. Your children look up to you. If you appear as if you are saying that mathematics is unimportant they will not value it.
  • Check the showmyhomework website regularly. Homework is set every week and this will be clearly shown on the website. Please encourage your children to try their homework as soon as it is set. If your children do not understand encourage them to seek help in from the websites or from the maths department.