“Any fool can know. The point is to understand” Albert Eistein
“But all things should be done decently and in order.” Corinthians 14.40
- The aim of the Mathematics department at The Catholic High School is to mould young people into logical thinkers, able problem solvers and lifelong mathematicians as a product of stimulating and reflective teaching.
- Our team of enthusiastic Mathematics specialists strives to promote interest, curiosity and enjoyment in the learning of Mathematics by providing a supportive yet challenging environment, where pupils believe they can achieve. And do.
- We seek to help young people develop life skills, through reasoning and also helping them to become fluent in the universal language of numbers that they can use throughout their lives.
- Arithmetic, Algebra, Data, Measurement and Proportion are the areas that all mathematics skills will be embedded within.
- The Mathematics curriculum at The Catholic High School has been designed and adapted to encourage progressive and challenging learning with a heightened focus on depth of understanding and problem solving opportunities using mastery. With four separate pathways to GCSE, pupils move through the Mathematics curriculum at a challenging, yet appropriate level. Pupils are given the opportunity to, not only develop their GCSE knowledge, but develop and foster enjoyment and curiosity in the subject.
- At regular intervals, assessments will be used, linked to each pathway and stage of the curriculum, which will be used to assess our pupils’ understanding of their learning. It is vital that pupils continue to recall and revise their prior learning as the concepts gradually build, becoming more challenging as they progress. Each progress test will be cumulative and encompass skills from their previous year’s criteria. The aim of this approach is to maintain confidence in their skills and encourage heightened curiosity as we interleave new topics. Various revision strategies will be introduced to pupils throughout the course.
- Homework is set using a carousel of activities. Over a half term, pupils will be allocated MyMaths activities, complete a learning homework and, from Year 8 onwards, a GCSE questions booklet based on their cumulative work. In Year 11, pupils will increasingly focus on personalised, differentiated intervention tasks, based on mock paper analysis. Years 12 and 13 also have regular homework using MyMaths and past A Level question booklets.
- Year 7 are taught in mixed ability groups. Our scheme of work has been written using a mastery approach and encourages group work and discussion. Later topics rely on prior subject knowledge. We describe this as a spiralling curriculum. Topics are re-visited and extended at each opportunity. At Key Stage 5, we have carefully planned our order of teaching to ensure pupils have the prior knowledge that they need before starting a new topic.
- In Maths, as in English, we strive for our pupils to enjoy and engage in our subject, developing a life-long love of learning.
- In Year 11, English and Maths have a co-ordinated approach to mock examinations and following these examinations a target cohort is identified of those students who need intervention to achieve a Grade 4+ in both English and Maths.
- The Mathematics department strongly supports pupils with SEND. We work closely with in-class TAs to ensure they can give targeted intervention. The team implement strategic seating plans, provide specialist printed materials, introduce key word banks, differentiated materials and use concrete real life example to re-enforce concepts.
At Key Stage 3, we address the compulsory curriculum requirements in number, algebra, ratio & proportion, geometry & measure, probability and statistics. We recognise that pupils arrive from a wide range of primary schools, so there is some revisiting of KS2 topics for some which is soon expanded and developed into new and more challenging work. Baeline tests are used to assess KS2 prior knowledge and also for setting purposes. Pupils are taught with a mastery approach, teaching for understanding, rather than an algorithm. Interspersed with the teaching are opportunities for project work. This will highlight real world issues, such as statistics analysis and financial problems which will allow pupils to use a variety of mathematical techniques to solve problems together, as well as linking their maths skills to other subjects.
Our main focus at Key Stage 4 is the end of Key Stage external assessments. However, the department still wish to develop a love of learning, an enjoyment of Mathematics and give pupils the opportunity for life-long learning.
Pupils will follow three pathways:
- The top performing pupils follow a three year Higher GCSE scheme, developed by OCR, which is then tailored to the needs to our pupils. In Year 11, pupils are then given the opportunity to access a Level 2 AQA Further Mathematics qualification. Most will finish Year 11 with 2 Mathematics qualifications.
- The middle performing pupils follow a two year Foundation GCSE course. In Year 10, pupils are assessed. Based on these assessments, they will either move on to Higher GCSE to access grade 6 and 7, or re-visit Foundation again, spending more time on the more challenging topics to understand, aiming for a higher pass.
- The lower performing pupils will complete an access to Foundation course initially. These students require additional time and help to understand basic concepts. At the end of this, they will sit an entry level qualification in Mathematics. Following this, they will move onto a Level 2 Foundation OCR course.
The A Level qualification follows the Level 3 Edexcel course in Mathematics. Pupils follow a two year (assessed solely at the end of Year 2) course in Pure Mathematics and Statistics & Mechanics. Teachers are strategically placed for subject areas to give pupils the best possible opportunities for success.
Pupils are encouraged to learn independently, working through past papers and further online revision and extensions.
Pupils can also select to do Further Mathematics A Level, which is facilitated by the North West Advanced Mathematics Support Programme. They complete an online course, supported by an online tutor.
Some groups participate in the UKMT Mathematics Challenge, which offers our gifted mathematicians the opportunity to demonstrate their problem solving skills in less routine situations. Top set classes also participate in the Liverpool University logic puzzles challenges.
Year 9 are given an opportunity to expand their Mathematical knowledge outside of the classroom on a London trip. Pupils complete a Mathematics treasure hunt based on some of the historic landmarks of London.
Cross curricular integration
Science, PE and Geography - Drawing line graphs, pictograms, pie charts etc are covered fairly early in the scheme to allow pupils to access these skills in other subjects.
Physics - A Level Physics is very similar to A Level Mechanics. Pupils are able to access their theoretical Mathematical knowledge to help on their more practical Physics questions.
Suggested Mathematics Reading List
Mathematics of Ciphers by S.C. Coutinho
An interesting exploration into the different types of codes and CYPHERS used throughout history. It covers the elements of basic number theory, physics (potential of photon money!), statistics (frequency Analysis) and computing.
Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable by Brian Clegg
A chronological biography of the concept of infinity, from Greeks to present day.
Story of a Number by Eli Maor
The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose
The Mathematical Universe by William Dunham
The Wonders of Numbers by Clifford Pickover
From Here to Infinity by Ian Stewart
The Art of the Infinite: Our Lost Language of Numbers by Robert Kaplan