What we are trying to achieve through our curriculum
As a department we are inherently ambitious for our students, supporting them in achieving their full potential in what is a highly rigorous subject.
All students follow the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9. We believe that studying the National Curriculum over three years provides a solid foundation for all students. In Years 10 and 11 students study in preparation for their GCSE examinations.
The sequence of learning has been planned in such a way that ideas build over time. Our students study the curriculum in a spiral approach; this allows them to continuously revisit previous learning and build on the foundations laid previously. The spiral approach is beneficial as it aids retention of knowledge and enables topics to be committed to students’ long-term memory.
Knowledge and vocabulary are highlighted to students and are used to make essential connections between different aspects of Mathematics. Most lessons start with an activity designed to retrieve previous understanding, this could be from the last lesson, the last topic or further back.
Our intent as a faculty is to foster and develop an interest in Mathematics through a varied and relevant curriculum. We believe that the habits of thinking mathematically are life-enriching and that it is vital to be numerate to participate fully in society. Our aim is to ensure that every young person, regardless of background, has a rich and meaningful mathematics education.
The Mathematics department is made up of an assortment of well-qualified, skilled and experienced teachers, and new teachers develop their teaching skills and pedagogy by working with our in-house Lead Practitioner.
How our curriculum is delivered
Teachers employ various assessments for learning strategies, including mini-whiteboards, group discussions, traffic lights and paired work. These strategies promote increased thinking time when responding to the teacher’s questions.
Students in Key Stage 3 and 4 are formally tested twice per half term. These tests use Pearson exemplar papers, starting with fluency questions and finishing with problem solving questions. Their tests are glued into students’ books to aid revision. Results are tabulated and students receive advice about their strengths and what they need to do to improve, and are given an action question to work on.
The difference our curriculum is making
Mathematics results at Formby High School are significantly above the national average and an increasing number of higher grades and fewer low grades show improvement at all levels of teaching and learning.
Extended written work in students’ books demonstrates an increased ability to articulate a reasoned mathematical argument and teacher questioning and thinking time allow students to more fully articulate their reasoned mathematical arguments. In addition, teachers challenge students to explain their reasoning to their peers and the whole class.
Mathematics at Key Stage 3
The department is committed to ensuring that every student develops their understanding at a pace that is appropriate for them. To achieve this, students are placed in ability groups to allow them to further their skills and become increasingly confident over time. We use prior assessment information as well as baseline assessments and teacher opinion to ensure students are placed I the right set.
The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is tailored to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their potential and provides them with a solid foundation to start their GCSE qualification. Student performance is reviewed through regular assessment which is used to support each student to reach the next step in their journey.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Students start their GCSE at the beginning of Year 10 and are taught in ability groups working towards the reformed GCSE qualification that will award a numerical grade of 1 to 9.
With the increased level of challenge, the Mathematics department at Formby High School aims to ensure that every student is thoroughly prepared for the end of Key Stage examination. As such, a strong emphasis is placed on developing problem solving skills and applying Mathematics to everyday situations. We aim to develop students’ resilience and offer a comprehensive programme of support throughout the GCSE programme.
Key Stage 5 Curriculum
A Level Mathematics is a popular choice at Formby High School and students enjoy a rich curriculum that allows them to flourish and achieve their potential. Students follow the Edexcel qualification for both A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. In addition to Core and Further Pure modules, students study a combination of Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Mathematics that prepares them well for progression to undergraduate study.
Alongside A level Mathematics, we offer Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) which is a new qualification designed for students who have achieved a grade 5 or above at GCSE but who do not wish to continue to A Level. It helps to develop students’ mathematical skills and thinking and supports A Level courses such as the Sciences and Geography as well as technical and vocational qualifications.