Mathematics Faculty Overview
Welcome to the Mathematics Faculty at The National Academy. Our accommodation includes six fully equipped specialist Maths class rooms all with interactive whiteboards.
All the Academy’s Maths teachers are subject specialists, and carefully design lessons to be as challenging, engaging and interesting as possible. Our department’s ethos is that mathematics encompasses all aspects of everyday life and, as a result, we aim to emphasise the use of mathematics in the real world and problem solving to encourage our pupils to become independent learners in the subject.
As a school we have subscribed to two online learning resources: MyMaths and Maths Watch. Pupils are encouraged to use these to support independent study and log in details are available from your child’s Maths teacher.
All students are expected to provide themselves with basic equipment, including: ruler, compasses, protractor or angle measurer and a scientific calculator.
Year 7 are set on entry to the Academy. All our year 7 pupils follow a new-style curriculum in preparation for the new, tougher GCSE. This new scheme of work focuses on a greater understanding of concepts and their place within or connection to other areas of maths, and aims to improve confidence when approaching more difficult, unstructured problems.
For the most able pupils who are succeeding and completing work quickly, staff provide more challenging extension work in the shape of unstructured or applied problems. These may be worded questions, or may give no clue as to how the problem is to be approached. Many staff source these questions from the current GCSE, so pupils get a flavour of what’s expected in later years.
The remainder of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum is split into 3 bands, appropriate to students ending year 7 with different abilities. Each band follows a parallel curriculum with overlapping learning outcomes and extension opportunities, allowing free movement of students between groups as they develop their understanding.
All KS3 students have at least 4 lessons of mathematics per week. At the end of each unit of work (these last approximately a half term) students complete an assessment, which checks progress and understanding on the topics in that unit. Students are encouraged to reflect on their performance in these unit tests, and use their results to target their areas for improvement through the use of a formal ‘assessment analysis’ process that begins in class. This also provides information to their class teachers, who can then provide personalised interventions to help them progress.
At the end of each academic year, pupils sit an end of year test encompassing all the material taught throughout the year.
All KS4 pupils have at least 4 mathematics lessons per week and are set into ability groups dependent on their end of year 9 results.
The current year 10 and 11 are studying for the new AQA GCSE (course code 8300). Students follow the curriculum appropriate for their ability leading to a mathematics GCSE taken at the Foundation tier (grades 1 to 5) or Higher tier (grades 4 to 9) in the summer of Year 11.
Less able students may be entered for the OCR Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics (4930), either as a standalone qualification or in addition to the GCSE.
The GCSE course is split into up into units featuring a range of topics and lasting approximately one half term. Each unit is concluded with an end of unit test, which is used to monitor students’ progress. As in Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to reflect on their performance in these unit tests, and use their results to target their areas for improvement through the use of a formal ‘assessment analysis’ process. This also provides information to their class teachers, who can then provide personalised interventions to help them progress and prepare for their final examinations. Students will also sit a “mock” exam at the end of year 10, and again in December of year 11.
We ask that pupils achieve at least a grade B at GCSE to continue to study the OCR A Level Mathematics syllabus.
All students have to complete 3 units in order to gain the AS qualification.
Topics covered include:
Core 1 – Coordinate geometry, surds and indices, differentiation, and quadratics
Core 2- Trigonometry, integration, sequences, arc length and binomial theorem
Statistics 1- graphs, averages, probability models, PMCC and regression
Most students who studied Maths in year 12 continue studying Maths in year 13 to achieve the A2 qualification. They study 3 more units:
Core 3- Trigonometric identities, more complex integration and differentiation, numerical methods, natural log
Core 4- Differentiating and integrating trig functions, vectors, division of polynomials, parametric equations, differential equations
Statistics 1- graphs, averages, probability models, PMCC, regression
Students who choose to study A Level Maths and have achieved at least a Grade A at GCSE also have the opportunity to study for an AS level qualification in OCR Further Mathematics. This qualification is made up of 3 units.
Further pure 1- Matrices, proof, equations and complex numbers
Decision 1 – Algorithms, graph theory, networks, linear programming
Decision 2 – Game theory, network flows, matching and allocation problems, critical path analysis