Maths Curriculum Vision
We want pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason and to solve problems. Our curriculum embraces these National Curriculum aims and sequences learning in a way that allows pupils to most efficiently and effectively assimilate the key pieces of knowledge needed to access the next step or learning and ultimately understand and apply mathematics to their full potential.
To learn mathematics effectively, some things have to be learned before others, e.g. place value needs to be understood before working with addition and subtraction, addition needs to be learnt before looking at multiplication (as a model of repeated addition). For other topics, the order in which they are taught is not important. For example, it doesn’t really matter whether angles is taught before statistics or the other way round, so for these more ‘stand-alone’ topics (they all have some dependency, e.g. on number, if not on each other) we try to organise these to give as varied a curriculum as possible in each term and year.
In year 7 we start with algebra as this is key to the secondary curriculum as well as being comparatively new for pupils. The curriculum in based on variety (e.g. shape following number following algebra) to ensure that pupils constantly experience new topics to aid engagement whilst not allowing too much time to be left between topics being re-visited to help with recall. This revisiting is complemented by layering which allows pupils to recall, revise and progress.
The fundamental idea behind our curriculum design is to support pupils to be able to perform simpler tasks so they can then move on to perform more complex tasks. For example, we cannot expect pupils to add two numbers together before they understand what each individual number represents.
This thinking gives rise to a typical sequence of ‘blocks’ or subtopics of mathematics.
Within each of these blocks we then have ‘key learning concepts (KLC)’ which are again sequenced in order of difficulty and dependency. These clearly show the small steps that pupils must make to progress and defines the key pieces of information that a pupil must acquire before being able to take the next step. These KLC’s also form the lynchpin which pupils can base their recall and revision.
Our curriculum is designed to use skills that have already been learnt in different contexts ‘interleaving’ and to remember and build on the same context visited at an earlier stage ‘layering’. This both helps pupils to remember and to make connections between different parts of the curriculum whilst ensuring that they can see and understand why the earlier steps in their learning are so important.
For example, in Year 8, fractions and percentages will feature in:
- Standard index form
- Area of trapezia and circles
- The data handling cycle
…before being built on and extend in Year 9 and beyond.
“I love the beauty of Maths, it is black and white with the answer being right or wrong but it is so colourful with the variety of methods to get to that answer. I love the debate it causes and the delight when students understand. Each topic of so varied and different from each other it never gets boring. I love introducing algebra to students for the first time and seeing then grasp how to use letters in calculations. No one ever thinks Maths is easy – but no one is bad at Maths.” Assistant Head Teacher, Mrs. C. Cragg.
“I have always enjoyed mathematics. I’ve always looked forward to learning new mathematics, and tackling new problems. I like it when you can almost feel the cogs in your head turning. Don’t get me wrong, initially I didn’t want to pursue mathematics as a career. Maths is much more than just a set of numbers (sometimes we use letters too). What really interests me about maths now is how precise and logical it is and how you can find maths in the world around us. Pretty much everything in the world follows some kind of mathematical law. You get a “Maths feeling” when you get a question right as well.” Head of Maths, Mr. P.Patel.