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.
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:
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.
How Parents Can Help
Maths & Computing Staff
Director of Learning: Mrs H Skerratt
Assistant Director of Learning: Mr A Okunlola
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: Mrs N Pritchett
Teacher of Maths: Mrs J Reynolds
Teacher of Maths: Mrs T Williams