Maths & Computer Science

Maths

Mathematics helps the mind to reason and change complicated situations or problems into clear logical steps. It is an essential part of the education of a student as it not only develops their numeracy skills that they will use in everyday life but it then extends these into mathematics that supports learning in all areas of the school curriculum. It then culminates in them attaining a GCSE qualification that will open doors to further education beyond Hartshill School. 

 

Key Stage 4

In our second year of the new GCSE we are now increasingly aware of the impact that the new more demanding GCSE has on our students.

Volume of subject content has increased

Demand of content has increased

Total time of exams has increased

Greater emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning

Fewer formulae provided

Fewer marks at lower grades more at higher

All students follow the Edexcel 1MA1 GCSE Mathematics course starting in Year 9. Students study one of two tiers depending on their ability, higher tier aimed at grades 9 - 4 and foundation tier covering grades 5 - 1.  The course is assessed by three GCSE examination papers – one non-calculator and two calculator papers, each one lasts 90 minutes and has a maximum mark of 80.

Maths Tier Images

The course aims to encourage students to develop the ability to think mathematically, to appreciate the interdependence of the different branches of mathematics, to use mathematics across the curriculum and use their skills to solve problems.  

During Year 9 and 10, students will have short assessments following each unit and a longer test towards the end of each term. Each termly assessment will test all prior learning within the GCSE so students build their knowledge base and revisit it regularly in order to improve retention. At the end of Year 10 they sit a full new style GCSE paper and then sit regular papers throughout Year 11 in scheduled mock examinations. A question level analysis is done for each of these papers to inform both students and staff of areas to focus on.

The full GCSE content is taught within year 9 and 10 so that year 11 is spent revisiting all skills in a structured revision program. Maths papers are not compartmentalised like many subjects so every topic can appear on every one of the three 90 minute papers, this makes revision a daunting prospect for students. Therefore the revision programme runs in 2 week blocks. Each fortnight we begin with a short test that covers the progression through a topic. For any questions that a student gets wrong, they will be provided with revision work on those specific skills. At the end of the fortnight, a mirror test is taken so that teachers and students alike can clearly see the progress made and identify any areas that require further intervention. This program ensures no redundancy of work if they already have a skill secured but an opportunity to plug any gaps in their knowledge. Ability varies across the different areas of maths and this enables students to extend strengths and target areas of weakness. Problem-solving booklets and extension work are ready for any student who has indeed mastered the whole topic which will allow them to extend areas of strength and strive for the best grades. These fortnightly chunks allow students to structure their revision accordingly and have a clear awareness of where they need to focus revision following each topics completion.

 

Key Stage 3

Students take a baseline test on entry and are placed into sets based on their ability so each student can be challenged and supported at the most appropriate level. The focus of KS3 is to develop students skills of fluency, reasoning and problem solving in order to best prepare them for the new GCSE course. Lessons are planned in 3 phases:

Maths Words

Students work through 21 units during Years 7 and 8. At the end of each unit, students complete short peer assessments and then longer assessments at the end of each term.

Computer Science

Department Aims

  • To engage students with the exciting new Computing Curriculum.
  • Develop the student’s logical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Develop students analytical and evaluation skills.

 How Parents Can Help

  • At Hartshill School we believe all students have the ability to learn and develop. Our students learn how a growth mindset can help them to achieve their goals. This can be reinforced at home too by telling students that it is hard work and effort that will led to results
  • Downloading free key software such as Python, Kodu and Scratch.
  • Encouraging students to access Moodle from home and show you what work has been completed.
  • Encouraging students to explore websites such as W3 Schools and Code Academy to develop their skills independently
  • Encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of computers in the wider world by reading news articles about Computing
Maths GCSE

Maths & Computing Staff

Director of Learning: Mrs H Skerratt

Head of Computing: Mr C Hearn

Teacher of Maths: Mr J Akhtar

Teacher of Maths: Mr C Alder

Teacher of Maths: Mr K Ghose

Teacher of Maths: Mr J Moretta

Teacher of Maths: Mr S Patel

Teacher of Maths: Mrs N Pritchett

Teacher of Maths: Mrs J Reynolds

Teacher of Maths: Mr K Singh

Teacher of Maths: Ms Alison Walmsley

Teacher of Maths: Mrs T Williams

 

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