What will we learn in Maths at WGSA?
In maths, our aim is to prepare students for the maths they will use in everyday life. We teach a broad curriculum to all our students to experience the different areas that maths offers including Number, Algebra, Shape and Data.
Beginning in year 7, we try to ensure that students understand the purpose of their learning and how their lessons fit in with the bigger picture of the subject.
We aim to teach a mastery curriculum, meaning that we teach students to have a deep understanding of the concepts so that these can be built on in the future. We want our students to enjoy their lessons, to be able to question things that they do not understand and to challenge themselves, all while knowing that they are supported in their learning by a team of staff who have a passion for the subject.
At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA GCSE Mathematics specification.
How do we encourage students to succeed in Maths at WGSA?
As a team, we encourage all students to try in every lesson. We explain that they will get things wrong and will make mistakes and that this is all part of the learning journey that they are on. We use a variety of activities that give students the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills and to challenge them to apply these skills. These may include mathematical treasure hunts, jigsaws, even mathematical murder mysteries. We do also provide students with plenty of opportunity to simply “do” maths.
We also encourage students to work together in their learning and to support each other. Sometimes students learn more when they can bounce ideas off one another and discover new knowledge and skills, rather than simply being traditionally “taught”
Each year we have students enter the UKMT mathematical challenges to test their skills in mathematical problem solving that is quite different to the style they meet in a typical class. As well as all students receiving certificates of participation, many of our students look forward to being able to take part in later years, wanting to improve on their earlier performance.
In Maths, we ensure our pupils experience success by:
- Modelling Mathematical concepts in every lesson
- Walking through multi-step problem solving questions
- Ensuring that procedural knowledge is consolidated if it is not secure
How do Maths lessons at WGSA help students to prepare for the world of work?
Maths is everywhere in the real world, and we highlight the areas of work where individual topics might be used. We try to make students understand that every career uses maths in some way and that by achieving well in this subject, they will be opening so many doors for their future.
We try to explain that having a good mathematical basis will be beneficial to students, not only if they choose to study maths beyond GCSE, but with other subjects too. Psychology and Geography for example utilise mathematical skills, especially using statistics, not to mention science. Many apprenticeships prefer a good GCSE pass and students will discover that they will use maths every day even after leaving full time education. We encourage students to think about where particular skills might be useful outside the classroom and in their working lives.
How we promote WGSA’s vision and values in our maths lessons?
In maths, we try to encourage all students to have the Belief that they can achieve and have the Courage to make mistakes, and to try again. We encourage our students to have the Ambition to become independent, confident learners who have their own Love of learning and discovery of new areas of mathematics. We hope that through this discovery they also develop their own sense of Integrity by supporting each other when mistakes happen and celebrating each other’s successes.