The main aims of the Maths Department are to ensure all students leave in year 11 with the confidence to use maths competently in ‘the real world’, the ability to apply mathematical reasoning in a variety of career paths and the skill set to continue the study of the subject to A Level. By covering all 5 mathematical strands (Number, Algebra, Geometry and Measure, Statistics, Ratio and Proportion) from the outset through spiralling schemes of work, we ensure students are appropriately challenged and encourage students to make links between the strands. Our curriculum is designed to enable all students to access what have traditionally been seen as the more difficult aspects of maths, such as algebra, and develop the resilience and independence to apply what they have learned. In sum, we aim to closely guide our students to become well-rounded and capable mathematicians who, by year 11, are unfazed by the demands of the GCSE examinations, and are able to progress with the qualifications they need for their chosen next steps. 

As all students are required to study maths at GCSE level, our schemes of work are interlinked and interdependent across the 5 years of secondary school teaching and should not be seen as two distinct key stages. This said, the aims of each year group’s scheme of work changes as the student progresses. In year 7 and 8, the focus is to build a foundation of key skills across all 5 strands. Specifically, we want to ensure students are able to fluently work with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio, as well as have mastered the basics in algebra, geometrical reasoning and drawing and using all types of graphs. In year 9, the scheme of work is designed to bridge the gap between ‘the basics’ and the more demanding content of grade 5+ GCSE topics by revisiting skills and developing students’ ability to apply them to multi-step problems. By year 10, students are largely set in accordance with which tier they are doing (higher or foundation) and the schemes of work are tailored as such. It is in year 10 and 11 that students will focus almost solely on the most challenging content with their tier (grade 4 and 5 topics for foundation groups, grade 7-9 topics for higher groups). The schemes of work are designed such that all students will have completed the ‘learning’ of the content by Christmas of year 11, and all focus after that will be only revision and exam technique. 

Our schemes of work are spiralling, meaning that topics are revisited and built upon year on year. For example, in year 7, students are taught how to find the area of some 2D shapes; in year 8, students recap the formulae from year 7 and have a couple more introduced; in year 9, students recap how to find the area of all 2D shapes and apply this knowledge to multi-step problems; in year 10, students recap all formulae and apply this to multi-step, worded GCSE problems. This model is used with many other topics where they are introduced gradually and regularly revisited. This structure is beneficial to students as they regularly revise the content they have been taught before whilst also being challenged to an appropriate level with the new content introduced.