Aims

Our aim is for students to:

  • Enjoy and develop a love of mathematics appreciating its beauty.
  • Develop fluency in their mathematical skills and develop confidence in using them effectively
  • Tackle increasingly difficult problems, learn from their mistakes and develop high levels of resilience
  • Apply mathematics to everyday situations and appreciate how mathematics can be used to solve real life problems
  • Reason mathematically, generalising findings and develop arguments using mathematical language.

Course Structure

The mathematics curriculum has been developed drawing its influences from other mastery curriculums from both within the UK and around the globe. The Maths faculty was fortunate enough to be a host school in one of the early phases of the Shanghai teacher exchange program. This experience and subsequent work led to a complete revolution in both how we order topics and how concepts are subsequently built upon.

Our new Mathematics curriculum was first introduced in September 2017, initially just starting with Year 7. In 2019-20 Years 7 to 9 will be following our new curriculum.

Students in all Years are taught mathematical content to extend their level of prior attainment.

Within each Year group students are working on topics and content at one of 3 levels.

Ability level Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Exceeding age-related expectations *Stage E Stage D Stage C Stage B Stage A
Working at and above age-related expectations *Stage F Stage E Stage D Stage C Stage B
Working towards age-related expectations Stage G Stage F Stage E Stage D Stage C

 

* In Year 7 all students who met or were close to meeting age related expectations are taught in mixed attainment groups for the first term to ensure that setting is as accurate as possible from January.  A more detailed version of this table can be found in appendix 1.

Every stage is split into 14 equally sized blocks of work which are covered over an 8 lesson period (generally taking 2 weeks). Within each stage the ordering of the blocks of work has been very carefully considered and subsequently refined. There is a strong focus on numerical and algebraic skills within the earlier blocks of each stage. These skills are then built upon within later blocks where there is a stronger focus on geometrical and data handling skills.

An overview of the ‘key ideas’ of each stage is included later within this document. Detailed overviews of each block can be found in appendix 2.

In all Years a key emphasis is placed upon students mastering key ideas and concepts. Every lesson has a highly focussed lesson objective. Strategies such as concept/non-concept, directly tackling misconceptions and careful building of skills are used within the majority of lessons. There is a key emphasis placed upon students developing their mathematical vocabulary and accurate use of mathematical notation. Students are given opportunity to develop their skills by being presented with questions that focus on fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Students are encouraged to make notes in lesson to support their learning. They do this in their purple exercise books along with independent consolidatory work, which they complete.

Assessment

Every block of work features an assessed homework task which contains questions covering every objective (see appendix 3). Students are given the opportunity to self-evaluate their understanding of each skill after every homework task using a red, amber and green rating. This is recorded in the assessment tracker (see appendix 4) at the front of the student’s yellow assessment books. Students are encouraged to complete remedial work in green pen after each assessed homework to work on objectives they have struggled with. There is then an opportunity for students to revise their judgement on the understanding of a skill.

In addition to assessed homework tasks, students are tested on a half termly basis. These assessments are made up of 15 mark sections covering each block that has been taught that half term (see appendix 5). Assessment scores are recorded in a shared database which builds up a profile of each student’s progress as the year develops. Students also record their progress graphically in the back of their assessment books in addition to evaluating their general performance in these tests and setting themselves targets to improve their learning.

At the end of school year, Years 7 to 9 students sit two one-hour test papers that contain questions encompassing every block within the stage. These tests are put in place to give students opportunity to develop their revision and exam preparation skills as well as developing exam techniques.

In Year 10 students sit a full set of GCSE papers in June for the first time. This gives students a clear idea of what they will face the proceeding year. Teachers carefully analyse students answers in these tests to identify areas of weakness and to further refine predicted grades.

Students sit two further full sets of GCSE papers in Year 11 with a similar focus. These assessments take place in November and February.

From Year 7 students’ progress is internally tracked against provisional FFT targets using estimated GCSE level for internal tests.

Support of PP students

When decisions are made about setting (particularly at the end of the autumn term in Year 7) we look for opportunities to place pupil premium students in higher attainment classes than previous results and data may place them. Within these groups students are then supported by teachers by thoughtful positioning on seating plans, targeted questioning and support with homework.

Where possible if pupil premium students are falling behind we look to put additional support in place. This is currently done through individual one on one support.

Curriculum Enrichment

We look to provide opportunities for students to enjoy mathematics beyond the classroom in every year of their time at JMHS. In 2019-20 these opportunities included:

  • Maths Club, which is run on a weekly basis and is very well attended by upwards of 30 students
  • Junior, intermediate and senior Maths Challenges which we regularly enter 40% of our cohort into (Years 7 – 10) and all of our Sixth Form.
  • Junior and senior team Maths Challenges with teams taking part in regional competitions
  • Year 7 house Maths competition with every student being involved in round one culminating in a final attended by parents.
  • Gifted and talented workshops run half termly involving Year 7 and 8 JMHS students and Year 5 and 6 students from feeder primary schools.
  • Year 10, 11 and 12 maths inspiration lectures in Bristol

Careers

Embracing the Shanghai concept of concrete, abstract, generalise has made it straight forward to illustrate how many careers and professions use mathematics in their daily practise. All blocks of work include activities with mathematics being used in the real world.

Stages – Key Ideas

Stage G

This stage has been specifically put together to help students who have not been successful with their maths at KS2. There is a very heavy focus on numeracy skills. Students particularly focus on building confidence with number; this includes looking at place value, number bonds and times tables. There is also a focus on transferable maths skills to support other curriculum areas such as time and measurements.

Stage F

Again, this stage has a heavy numeracy focus; however, students now look beyond integer numbers. Students build an understanding of how fractions, decimals and percentages are used to represent parts of numbers. They are also introduced to pictorial representations of parts and wholes using bar models and double lines. Later in the stage students look to apply these skills in geometry and data representation topics.

Stage E

This is the first stage that all students will complete at some point in their time at JMHS. After developing an understanding of negative numbers students are formally introduced to algebra and how to manipulate algebraic expressions. This leads on to other related topics such as solving equations. In addition to these algebraic skills students are also taught how to use formal geometry notation such as how to identify line segments and angles using labelled vertex positions.

Stage D

This stage builds upon students’ introduction to algebra with students now beginning to manipulate expressions they have formed, rearranging equations and formulae. This one core skill is applied frequently throughout the rest of the stage with blocks of work on compound measures, perimeter and area and Pythagoras. The idea of mathematical proof is also introduced. Students also continue to build their repertoire of numerical skills looking at significant figures and how multipliers can be used to solve percentage problems.

Stage C

This stage marks the beginning of a student’s preparation for higher level GCSE. Early on in this stage students are introduced to manipulating quadratic expressions, index laws and simultaneous equations. These skills are then revisited in many of the other units throughout the year. In the second half of the year higher level geometry skills are introduced such as trigonometry and vectors, building upon earlier foundations. There is also a stronger focus on data handling than earlier stages. Students are taught set notation, how to deal with probabilities involving multiple events and techniques linked to cumulative frequency.

Stage B

Students are now expected to use their higher level algebra techniques fluently. These skills are then honed through topics such as manipulating algebraic fractions and completing the square. There is also a focus on students being able to fluently move between an algebraic and graphical representation of various functions. Links are created between geometric techniques such as working with Pythagoras, trigonometry and vectors in three dimensions. In addition, this stage builds upon students understanding of proof, this is extended to looking at geometric proofs involving circle theorems.

Stage A

This stage has a significantly reduced content as it will only be completed by the highest attaining students in Year 11 before they move onto their revision. Key algebraic techniques will be extended and again there is a focus on interlinking between various higher level techniques.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Y7 to Y11 Schedule

Appendix 2:  Stage overviews

Appendix 3:  Sample assessed homework

Appendix 4:  Example assessment tracker

Appendix 5:  Sample assessments