Key Stage 3 students are given the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematics taking in to account prior knowledge from Key Stage 2, following the Renewed Framework.  This gives them a firm foundation to then move on to Key Stage 4.  The scheme of learning develops all the mathematical, personal learning and thinking skills needed as well as assessing pupils’ performance.

All students start their GCSE mathematics course at the beginning of Year 9.  During this course the majority of students study at foundation level with the intention of the more able students moving on to higher level in Year 11.

All Key Stage 4 students follow the Edexcel GCSE mathematics scheme of learning at either foundation or higher level.

The qualification of mathematics encourages students to develop confidence in, and have a positive attitude toward mathematics and to help them recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and society.  The students are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts including number, algebra, geometry, measures, statistics and probability.

More able students in Year 7 and 8 take part in the UK Maths Challenge at Junior level and the more able students in Years 9, 10 and 11 take part at Intermediate level.

We also enter pupils for the team challenge where pupils from Years 8 and 9 compete against other schools from the North East.

In 2010 our team came 8th out of 20 schools.  This was our first attempt at this competition.

Key Stage 3

What will I learn in Year 7 and 8?

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

a)      Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.

b)      Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

c)       Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems.

The programme of study for key stage 3 builds on work covered at key stage 2 and allows students to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge in science, geography computing and other subjects.

Decisions about progression should be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content in preparation for key stage 4. Those who are not sufficiently fluent should consolidate their understanding before moving on.

How will I learn?

You will learn how to use and apply knowledge, skills and understanding in practical tasks, in real-life problems and within mathematics itself.  You will learn through demonstration, practice, questioning and discussion.

What abilities, aptitudes, skills and interests will I need?

Number

Algebra

Ratio and Proportion and rates of change

Geometry and measures

Probability

Statistics

Key Stage 4

What will I learn in Years 9, 10 and 11?

The Edexcel GCSE in mathematics is a linear qualification which consists of work on number, algebra, geometry and measures, statistics and probability and ratio, proportion and rates of change.

These are 3 written papers; 1 non calculator and 2 calculator, each worth 33.3% of the final grade.

Tiered papers

Foundation grades 1-5

Higher grades 4-9

Each paper will have a range of question types, utilising both structured and unstructured questions.

How will I learn?

You will learn how to use and apply knowledge, skills and understanding in practical tasks, in real-life problems and within mathematics itself.  You will learn through demonstration, practice, questioning and discussion.

What abilities, aptitudes, skills and interests will I need?

You need to be able to communicate your understanding to others. You will need to be able to work independently and with others. Come willing to learn and we will do the rest.

What opportunities can this course and qualification lead to?

It is essential that everyone can demonstrate competence in mathematics both for continuing in education or for going into employment.  If you have studied this subject at Higher level you will be able to access grades 9-5 and at Foundation level 5-1. If you have studied GCSE at Higher level and obtain a 9-6 then you can progress onto A-level mathematics. Employers generally require that you are competent at maths and this means that you possess a 9-4 grade at GCSE.