Aims and philosophy of the department
The basic purpose of the Aldworth Mathematics Department is to develop an approach toward mathematics in which students, both individually and in groups, explore the concepts of maths under the teacher's guidance.
We aim to provide an environment so that each student will:
- discover for themselves patterns and relationships between mathematical ideas and operations;
- establish techniques that are appropriate to logical reasoning and problem solving, whether it be in mathematics or any other facet of life;
- master basic mathematical facts and operations and their practical applications;
- understand the fundamental mathematical skills necessary to achieve economic well-being and to make a positive contribution throughout their lives;
- understand the impact and use of calculators and the computer so that both maths and technology can be used together in the students' daily environment, now and in the future;
It is clearly understood that each child is an individual, and that individuals learn mathematics at different rates and in different ways. It is the aim of the maths department to provide all students with a common core of maths knowledge, with individual differences addressed by differing teaching approaches and speeds.
It is the intent of the department to provide students with the tools for independent thinking and active learning in a non-threatening, motivating atmosphere so as to encourage a successful mathematics experience and competency which are necessary for further secondary and post-secondary pursuits.
The Mathematics department consists of eight members of teaching staff and one teaching assistant. All members of the department are well qualified for their roles and strive to get the greatest level of progress from each individual pupil. Due to the level of expertise within the department we regularly host and assist trainee mathematics teachers.
Key Stage 3
During Key Stage 3, year 7 and 8, a number of problem solving and investigative tasks are used to allow the pupils to be involved in the mathematics they are undertaking. The basic concepts become a solid foundation for an active and inquisitive mathematical brain, this will lead itself into new and exciting areas of mathematics; its use is a solution rather than a problem.
Key Stage 3 Assessment
Pupils are regularly assessed through self, peer and teacher led marking. There is also a full assessment every term of the topics covered up until that point and a traditional end of the year assessment.
Key Stage 4
Pupils begin their GCSE preparation in year 9 and will therefore have covered everything that could be examined by the end of year 10, if it is appropriate for the student they will sit their GCSE at this stage. Opportunities to extend their mathematical studies in year 11 will then be made available; be that Additional Mathematics, Statistics, Managing Money or a consolidation and extension of their GCSE knowledge.
The link below is to the correct part of the Pearson website for the 9-1 Mathematics GCSE syllabus which your child will be sitting:
The topic areas listed below are an overview of the order in which we will cover the GCSE syllabus in year 9 and 10. These topics are not exhaustive and there will be other topics linked in to each section. As information about the new GCSE specification becomes available adjustments will be made to ensure the greatest opportunity for success is provided for each student.
- Written methods
- PPF HCF LCM
- Circle theorems
- Data Representation
- Construction and Loci
- Index Laws
- Standard Form
- Area and Perimeter
- Fractions, decimals, percentages
- Solving Equations
- Linear Graphs
- Simultaneous Equations
- Ratio and Proportion
- Averages of grouped data
- Trial and Improvement
- Upper and Lower Bounds
- Surface Area and Volume
- Surd Manipulation
- Compound measures
- Real-life graphs
- Transforming graphs
- Rearranging formulae
- Solving quadratics
The end of year 10 and year 11 will cover student specific content and will change dependent on the individual student.
Key Stage 4 assessment first GCSE sitting 2017:
- 6 key questions on the most recent topic area are used once every two to three weeks, more to identify what still needs to be worked on than to see where pupils are at, although obviously fulfilling both roles. Termly test results give an overall current grade and judge the pupil’s progress. Ultimately they are assessed through 3 equally weighted papers, two of which allow calculators, at the end of their GCSE studies.
- Edexcel GCSE Linear Mathematics 1MA1 Foundation (1-5) or Higher (4-9).
- Further qualifications can be achieved in the aforementioned additional study areas.
- Maths help clinic is held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at break, lunch and after-school by the head of department
- UK maths challenge
- Team maths challenge
- Cipher Club
- STEM club
- Trips and guest speakers
How can I support my child's learning?
- Every student gets a login for the mymaths website, this provides a lesson and questions on every topic area that could appear on the GCSE Mathematics exam. Spending time working through the appropriate parts of this, most likely set as homework, with your child will help them considerably.
- Stress the importance of mathematics to your child. Even if you did not do well at it yourself, or are not confident, do not make this the first thing you say to them when discussing maths; you are their hero so if you appear as if you are saying that mathematics is unimportant they will not value it.
- If you would like some help with mathematics then please contact the department and we will be happy to assist you.