Mathematics - St Mary's and St John's CE School



The Mathematics Department is firmly committed to the notion that mathematics can be a fulfilling and enjoyable challenge. We adhere to the National Curriculum with the fundamental belief that every student has the potential to find joy in mathematics and excel in it. Our curriculum emphasises a deep understanding of mathematics, encompassing mastery in Key Stage 3, problem-solving development in Key Stage 4, and robust mathematical approaches and communication in Key Stage 5. 

Furthermore, our department is dedicated to ensuring that all students grasp the practical applications of mathematics in real-life situations. We encourage students to embrace new concepts, handle uncertainty, and tackle unconventional problems. It's these problem-solving and critical thinking skills, rather than mere calculation abilities, that render mathematics an essential foundation for numerous careers. 


What are the key principles of the Maths Curriculum? 

When designing the Maths Curriculum and supporting resources, our main aim was to ensure that we deliver a coherent teacher and student experience. The Maths Curriculum is sequenced to build on prior learning, enables a deep understanding of the concepts taught and supports the delivery of high-quality teaching and learning. The supporting resources have been designed to complement each other and link to the curriculum, providing teachers and students with a coherent journey through secondary maths. 

Here are the eight principles of the Maths Curriculum: 

Encourages depth of knowledge  

By designing the curriculum as a 5-year programme, we have ensured that suitable time is given to cover concepts in depth, providing students with a strong foundation to build upon each year. 

Provides full curriculum coverage  

We have ensured that the Maths Curriculum provides full coverage of the KS3 national curriculum and the GCSE mathematics specification. 

Empowers all teachers  

The curriculum is supported by a suite of resources that supports teacher planning and delivery but, most importantly, gives teachers ownership over their lesson plans. Every context is different, so we want to ensure that teachers have the flexibility to create the lessons that work best for them and their students. 

Provides impactful assessment  

The Maths Curriculum is supported by formative baseline and termly assessments, complete with mark schemes, which provides teachers with crucial insights on student progress to help inform their planning. 

Develops fluency and problem solving  

We acknowledge that fluency is essential for giving students the secure toolkit they need to deepen their understanding. Equally, we have ensured that problem solving is a prominent feature throughout. This balance ensures that students build the confidence they need to be successful in maths. 

Provides retrieval practice  

Through intelligently designed resources, we regularly interleave prior knowledge to give opportunities for retrieval practice. Cross-topic content and, at times, stepping back before moving forward, allows students to consolidate the knowledge they need to take them confidently through the curriculum. Constant revision of concepts through this well-structured retrieval practice ensures that the content can be taught in depth, and in a timely manner. 

Supports all learners  

We have structured the curriculum with flexibility in mind to ensure that all students can be supported. Suggested building blocks are provided to support this journey, and the language we have used throughout is student friendly. Tiering decisions are not required until late into Year 10. This gives students and teachers the time they need to make this, sometimes complex, decision. 

Challenges all learners  

For each unit of work, we have provided opportunities to deepen knowledge as we believe that deepening knowledge and understanding of each topic before moving on aids long term learning. Where suitable, we have also suggested areas for further teaching.

How has the Curriculum been structured?

The curriculum is presented on a termly timescale to allow flexibility. The timings given within a term are a guide, enabling teachers to adapt the curriculum to fit their context and classes. Each term is 12 weeks in length, ensuring there is a buffer for revision and assessment, and for any additional teaching time that may be needed. Each term consists of blocks of related units, for example, the block on “Number sense and calculations” is made up of 6 related units. 

Tier of entry  

We have given students and teachers the time they need to make tier of entry decisions by keeping the Foundation and Higher tiers aligned until late into Year 10. Until this point, we have not included any ‘higher only’ content but have instead ensured that learners are securing the depth of knowledge they need to move into the final phase of the GCSE, no matter which tier of entry they follow. 

How has the curriculum been sequenced?  

The carefully considered sequencing of content ensures that students have gained the fluency required to access upcoming units of work. Subsequent units provide many opportunities for frequent retrieval of prior knowledge by incorporating cross-topic content. We have also considered how areas of maths progress through the years, ensuring previous work is continually built upon and concepts are developed. Building blocks are signposted throughout so that prior learning can be revisited if required, to allow all students to move forwards with confidence. 

How can I support my child? 
  • SPARX has a range of explanatory videos and home learning tasks to support the learning taking place in class 

  • Dr Frost Maths has all our courses available to students who are logged in, and they can practice key skills and watch videos to support their learning 

  • Encourage your child to practice their mental maths regularly by asking her what the time is, how much something will cost, how much change to expect etc  

  • Encourage them to attend Maths Clubs to ask questions and get support from their class teacher

How are students assessed? 
  • Small class assessments at the end of each topic

  • Regular skills quizzes

  • End of term assessments that will include everything they have learnt so far that year

  • In lessons students will be assessed by questioning, classwork, and home learning tasks

What equipment is needed? 

A calculator (recommended to the same standard as the Casio fx-83GTX or fx-85GTX as this will be adequate through to year 11), protractor, pair of compasses, ruler, pen, and pencil are always essential at all times. Students will also need a ring-binder to organise their classwork, home learning and assessments; dividers will be provided.

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