Why Study Mathematics

Mathematics is a subject vital to providing young adults with the life skills they require to be an effective and productive member of society. However it can also be viewed as an enabling subject, ensuring pupils can fulfill their potential in other areas of the curriculum, by providing them with the numeracy, reasoning and problem solving skills which can be applied to every other area of study they undertake both within school and in the wider environment. Some of the more interesting careers which require a good grasp of mathematics include computer games designer, sports scientist,  animator, special effects director, statistician, computer scientist, forensic scientist, architect, engineer, doctor and of course teacher.

The Department

In the mathematics department we are focused on providing a supportive learning environment for all pupils, we actively encourage pupils to take risks with their learning. Not arriving at the correct solution first time in mathematics is not “getting it wrong” but should be seen as an opportunity to try a different approach to solving the problem, to share your ideas and modify your solution. Approaching mathematics in this way allows pupils to develop their mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills. We are a forward thinking department and are continually looking for ways to improve teaching and learning.

We currently have four full time mathematics teachers including:

  • Mr Collins as head of mathematics
  • Mrs Gill as second in mathematics with specific responsibility for developing numeracy across the school and leading on a project to develop algebra skills and multiplicative reasoning.
  • Mr Westgarth as teacher of mathematics
  • Mr Chart as teacher of mathematics

The department is supported by our learning manager Miss Mitchell.

Vision

We firmly believe in a stage, not age approach and the development of our own “Mathematical Mastery” curriculum allows pupils to make rapid progress in all areas of the subject.

All pupils in years 7 to 11 are set according to their prior attainment in mathematics. Pupils are provided with opportunities to build on their previous understanding and skills in every area through a five year program of study. We evaluate a pupil’s starting point at the beginning of each topic area using a “Learning Journey” which outlines the potential progression across the topic area during the five years pupils are with us. We ensure they develop these skills from their individual starting points by meeting every learner’s specific needs within the classroom. Pupils move on once they have demonstrated they have mastered the particular skill.

At the end of year 11 pupils take a GCSE in Mathematics, we currently use the AQA examination board but continually review this in light of government legislation to ensure the examination board best meets the needs of our pupils. The GCSE mathematics exam can be taken at foundation (grades 1-5 available) or higher tier (grades 4-9 available).

Development of numeracy is an essential life skill. To ensure all pupils improve their numeracy we have dedicated a registration session each week for the use of numeracy ninjas in year 7 and the development of practical skills such as finance, measurement and data in years 8-10. The effectiveness and impact of these are under constant review by Mrs Gill and the numeracy programme will continue to develop.

Encouraging a love of mathematics and joy of problem solving is a focus for our extra-curricular programme. We currently enter pupils both as individuals and teams into the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) challenges. The school also runs a variety of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities which provide pupils with an opportunity to experience and apply their mathematics within a cross curricular context. These activities have included taking part in regional design competitions and running the schools Green-power car.

The diagrams below outline the curriculum for 2019/20

Homework

All pupils are expected to continue their learning outside of the classroom. Pupils in years 7 and 8 should expect to complete 30 minutes of mathematics homework each week.  Pupils in years 9 to 11 should expect to complete 45 to 60 minutes of homework each week. In years 10 and 11 this will be in the form of GCSE examination questions.

In addition, we are introducing an exciting home learning maths programme this year to support maths revision and homework for every student. The programme is called Hegarty Maths and aims to; motivate students, engage with parents and to improve attainment in maths for every student.

The programme will also help parents and carers to understand the concepts taught in school.

The system teaches via short videos followed by online assessments which are monitored and tracked by your child’s Maths teacher. 

Your child will receive one homework a fortnight from the HegartyMaths platform and each homework can take up to one hour to complete properly.   Your child may complete more work should they wish.  The HegartyMaths homework will consist of two main parts:

1) Watching and taking detailed notes in their homework book

2) Completing quiz/assessment that follows the video showing full working in their homework books.

 

A Sample learning Journey

IT Opportunities / Websites

As a PixL school, we have access to the PixL maths and times table apps. Every pupil has a login and can access a wealth of support materials through this.

https://www.pixl.org.uk/

http://studymaths.co.uk/

https://corbettmaths.com/

https://revisionmaths.com/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z38pycw

 

Please click on the links below to access our Hegarty Support Guides and a letter of explanation.

/files/documents/Hegarty_Maths_-_Norham_letter.pdf

/files/documents/Parent-Hegarty_Maths_-checklist.pdf

/files/documents/Hegarty_Maths_student-guide.pdf

For further help / information

Please contact:  john.collins@ntlp.org.uk