“Without Mathematics, there is nothing you can do. Everything around you is Mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” – Shakuntala Devi
The Key Stage 3 curriculum builds on the knowledge students have gained in their primary schools. It is our aim for students to believe and know that they ‘can do mathematics’.
During year 7 and 8, students are taught at the appropriate level a balanced variety of topics. These include: Number, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Ratio and Proportion and Rates of Change.
They will experience a wide range of activities such as group work, using ICT, Investigations and national Maths Challenges.
A Mastery framework has been developed so that students:
- Are able to apply key facts and concepts in contextual situations
- Can apply their knowledge across topics and subjects, and within problem solving situations.
During KS4 are taught at the appropriate level a balanced variety of topics from areas of:
- Ratio, Proportion and Rates of change
- Geometry and Measure
GCSE Mathematics is a linear course and students will be entered for either a higher or a foundation paper at the end of Year 11. This will depend on their ability and progress during the two years in the lead up to examinations. At both entry levels, candidates are required to sit three papers at the end of Year 11. Each paper is 1hour 30minutes, the first of which is a non-calculator paper.
The GCSE tests students’ knowledge in three areas on the papers:
AO1: These are direct mathematical calculations, where the students can display their knowledge of methods and their ability to recall facts.
A02: Students are required to use reasoning and interpretation to help them answer the questions. They are also expected to lay out their work clearly, explaining their reasoning and methods at all stages and drawing conclusions from the answers.
A03: These are problem solving questions. Students are required to interpret information, often given in written or diagrammatical form, drawing on their mathematical knowledge from all aspects of their work rather than a single topic. Again, students are expected to provide a clear narrative explaining their reasoning throughout with calculations and a final conclusion.
AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics
This qualification fills the gap for high achieving students by assessing their higher order mathematical skills, particularly in algebraic reasoning, in greater depth, thus preparing them fully to maximise their potential in further studies at Level 3. It offers the opportunity for stretch and challenge that builds on the Key Stage 4 curriculum and is intended as an additional qualification to GCSE Mathematics, rather than as a replacement.
The content assumes prior knowledge of the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study and covers the areas of algebra and geometry, which are crucial to further study in the subject, in greater depth and breadth. This qualification places an emphasis on higher order technical proficiency, rigorous argument and problem solving skills. It also gives an introduction to calculus and matrices and develops further skills in trigonometry, functions and graphs.
The AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics is an un-tiered Level 2 linear qualification for learners who:
- Either already have, or are expected to achieve, grades 7, 8 and 9 in GCSE mathematics
- Are likely to progress to A-Level study in Mathematics and possibly Further Mathematics.
Mathematics A Level
Studying Mathematics at A-level leaves student with the research skills that will allow you to find solutions to problems, investigate theories, and therefore give you the ability to find new information more effectively. This can give you a number of advantages in the careers market, and gives you a plenty of job opportunities. The mathematical knowledge they gain will be broad and widely applicable, preparing them for a wide range in destinations at either university or in the work place.
Content includes in-depth treatments of calculus and proof, trigonometry and geometry, with applied modules in statistics and mechanics. Mathematics A Level is a two year course examined at the end of Year 13.
Further Mathematics A Level
A Level Further Mathematics will both extend and deepen students’ knowledge and understanding beyond the standard A level Mathematics. Students who take it often say it is their favourite subject.
As well as learning new areas of pure mathematics, they will study further application of mathematics in mechanics and statistics. Studying Further Mathematics consolidates and reinforces standard A level Mathematics work, helping them to achieve their best possible grades. If students are planning to take a degree such as Engineering, Sciences, Computing, Finance, Economics, Medicine, or, more obviously, Mathematics itself then Further Mathematics is highly desirable by the universities and will hugely benefit the student. Students who have studied Further Mathematics find transition to such degrees far more straightforward.
AQA Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Mathematics)
Core Mathematics is a new course to St Thomas More (taught from 2020). It is a level 3, 1 year qualification, examined at the end of Year 12. It is typically for students who enjoy Maths and want to continue, or perhaps lack confidence in the mathematical content they may need in other subjects at A level, such as Science, Geography, Business Studies, Psychology and DT.
In terms of UCAS points it is worth equivalent to an AS Level (40% of an A Level) so, for example, grade A in Core Maths would be worth 20 UCAS points.
A qualification in Core Mathematics can also reduce an offer for certain universities.
The content of this qualification is drawn from a range of GCSE content areas, predominantly: statistics, probability, algebra and ratio, proportion and rates of change, together with 20% of content drawn from beyond and above GCSE content.
The aim of the course is to:
- Develop competence in the selection and use of mathematical methods and techniques.
- Develop confidence in representing and analysing authentic situations mathematically and applying mathematics to address related questions and issues
- Build skills in mathematical thinking, reasoning and communication
GCSE Mathematics GCSE resit students
Students in sixth form who have not achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE Mathematics must complete a resit. Students must attend all lessons and complete independent study during the year. There are opportunities for students to resit in November and in June.
These students may also take a separate qualification in Functional Skills Mathematics which is a Level 2 qualification in real-life mathematics which will equip ours students with the right skills to reach their future destination, whatever that might be.
Teaching in Mathematics, Core Mathematics and Further Mathematics will usually be in small groups. Strategies that are often implemented in addition to group work include the use of min-whiteboards, good questioning techniques, encouraging discussion, jigsaws and using posters to explain understanding. Students are encouraged to be active in lessons as opposed to a ‘passive learning’ style so that learners deepen their understanding, asking questions and supporting each other where needed.
Mrs K Douglas – Curriculum Leader
Dr C Browick – Assistant Curriculum Leader (KS5)/KS5 Data Manager
Mr C Brindle – Head of Year
Mrs C Caton
Mrs L Coates – Assistant Curriculum Leader (KS3)
Miss R Cooper – Head of Year
Mr M Craigen
Mrs A Gill – Intervention
Miss K Jellema
Mr R Joyce
Mrs J McIlduff
Dr J Powell – Director STEM
Mr S Rayson
Mr D Snedden – Deputy Curriculum Leader
Mrs J Szoltysek
Miss B Watkins