Maths faculty

Subject Lead:

Vision: To deliver an outstanding maths education for all students.

Our key aims in the Maths Faculty are:

  • To make mathematics enjoyable, exciting and interesting for all pupils, regardless of their ability, gender or ethnicity.
  • To create a balanced and supportive culture in which pupils are confident to work collaboratively, to apply logic and reasoning to mathematical problems and to apply methods that are efficient and reliable without engendering a fear of failure or derision.
  • To enable pupils to appreciate that mathematics is more than “sums”, so that they consider that it appears all around us and how it can be used in everyday life.
  • To equip all pupils with functional mathematical tools that can be used throughout their lives, particularly to promote interest in science, engineering and other careers and to help pupils set high expectations for their future achievements.

Students in today’s society need to be literate and numerate which is why Maths and English are so important. In 2015, OSA students achieved above national averages for progress.

Our vision: to deliver an outstanding maths education for all students.

The faculty has a clear philosophy on its approaches to mathematics teaching, and as such encourage the teaching the subject in an innovative way. The use of investigative and explorative methods, ICT, classroom discussions and a high level of pupil interaction are some of the techniques that are regularly used in order to enhance mathematical understanding and are encouraged as good practice. The teachers within the team collaborate extensively to get the best from students.

We are committed to using the variety of teaching styles: Class Teaching; Practical Work; Discussion; Group work; Individual work. The faculty provides a wide range of equipment and books so that each teacher can use a style suited to the pupils, the topic to be learned and the teacher’s strengths.

Courses

Key Stage 3

Maths

The curriculum is split into 5 main areas (Number, Algebra, Geometry & Measure, Data Handling and Probability) with equal emphasis placed on each. Alongside these main areas, numeracy remains a focus throughout KS3 and will be taught explicitly at different times within the key stage.

The Maths Faculty do not have a set text book for each year, rather we are innovative in the resources that we use , avoiding the need to rely on set texts.

ICT

ICT is currently taught in Year 7 and will be taught throughout KS3 as students move up through the Academy. Initially the focus is on the basics but more complex skills are taught as the year progresses. Students will learn about word processing and formatting, spreadsheets as well as email etiquette and organising work spaces. The aim of ICT is to upskill students in all areas of ICT so they are able to use them across the curriculum as they move into KS4.

Key Stage 4

Maths

GCSE Maths offers a mixture of practical Maths alongside the rigour needed to be an academic course. It allows students to improve their problem solving skills and apply their knowledge to real-life situations. There is an increasing need for students to explain their thinking with their assessments which is valuable experience for their futures. Maths is a difficult subject yet is also extremely rewarding. It allows students to gain a sense of achievement.

Students are now following the new maths curriculum which focuses on fluency, problem solving and reasoning. It is assessed through exams only and students complete three exams at the end of the two years. One of these exams will be a non-calculator exam.

Fluency – Students need to be fluent in the skills before attempting to problem solve. The key skills are taught to students both in and out of context in order that they can become fluent. In other words they have a variety of methods to attempt a problem with.

Problem solving – when students have become fluent in the key skills, problem solving is introduced. Teachers will teach the methods needed to problem solve and provide students with a ‘toolkit’ for problem solving.

Reasoning – Students need to be able to give reasons for their answers and be able to explain the reasons behind the work that they do. These problems will appear in context allowing students to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

Business Studies

This is a two year course and comprises two examined units and a controlled assessment.

Business Studies is ideal for those who have a natural interest in how businesses work and for some who may wish to set up their own business. Students will acquire knowledge of the business world and some of the practical skills much valued by employers.

Students will develop in areas such as analytical ability, communication skills, understanding figures, problem solving, ability to think logically, presentation skills, report writing skills.

The topics covered include: Starting and growing a business, marketing, finance, people in business and operations management.

Students will learn about how businesses price and promote their products and services and will find out what it is like working in a team and having to run a mini enterprise themselves.

Key Stage 5

At A level, courses are currently offered in Maths and Further Maths. See our sixth form pages for more information.

Extracurricular

Across the key stages students may participate in individual/team Maths Challenge competitions, attend ‘catchup/extra help’ sessions and may decide to take part in university-arranged experience days.

Academically Most Able Provision in the Maths Faculty

Aims:

  • Opportunities to develop specific skills or talents
  • Entitlement to appropriate education
  • Work at higher cognitive levels
  • Concern for the whole child

Identification:

Teachers will assess on an on-going basis if a student is displaying the following characteristics of an able student in Mathematics

  • learns and understands mathematical ideas quickly;
  • works systematically and accurately;
  • is more analytical;
  • thinks logically and sees mathematical relationships;
  • makes connections between the concepts they have learned;
  • identifies patterns easily and make generalisations;
  • applies their knowledge to new or unfamiliar contexts;
  • communicates their reasoning and justify their methods;
  • asks questions that show clear understanding of, and curiosity about, mathematics;
  • takes a creative approach to solving mathematical problems;
  • sustains their concentration throughout longer tasks and persist in seeking solutions;
  • is more adept at posing their own questions and pursuing lines of enquiry.

Scheme of Learning provision:

  • Enrichment will usually occur through the use of additional resources and learning opportunities, it may consist of classroom exercises or be a more opened ended project type piece of work.
  • Schemes of learning have been split into sections at different level and students are encouraged to work at a level which challenges them.
  • Extension tasks are used for Academically Most Able pupils where they are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills, work practices and response skills.

Classroom provision:

  • Students are grouped in mixed ability classes but more able students are encouraged to a work at a higher level.

Homework provision:

  • Differentiated tasks are provided to students and more able students are encouraged to a work at a higher level.

Enrichment activities offered by faculty:

  • Opportunity to work on Additional Maths qualification.
  • Participation in individual mathematical challenges (Junior, Intermediate or Senior).
  • Opportunity to compete in Team Challenges.
  • Sixth form enrichment maths club.
  • Years 7 and 8 students support feeder Primary School Academically Most Able maths events.

Procedures for monitoring progress: 

  • Regular assessment throughout the academic year with analysis of results.