KS3 – mastery
Throughout KS3 (years 7 to 9), students follow our new maths mastery curriculum. After careful consideration and collaborative work with different educational bodies, the Maths department made the decision to update our curriculum for the younger years to enable a deeper and more thorough understanding of the content covered at KS3. The mastery curriculum is designed to allow students more class time to cement the content covered in class over longer periods of time. For this reason, topics are only covered once over the 3 year course now, compared to every year from Y7 to Y9 previously. Benefits to students and teachers include a stronger baseline ability once starting the GCSE course in Y10 due to the lengthy work covered for the extensive periods of time, allowing students to make greater progress with the GCSE course.
When joining us in Y7, students are taught in mixed ability groups before sitting a small assessment in October to gage where they would best be placed in 1 of 3 sets from after half term. Students are then taught throughout KS3 in sets, where movement is encouraged when necessary to enable students to make the best progress possible. Currently, students in Y7 have 10 lessons of maths a fortnight, including up to two ICT lessons. Y8 and Y9 sees students have between eight and nine lessons timetabled a fortnight.
Students are assessed formally twice a year, once in January as mid-year assessments and again at the end of the year. In Y7 students also sit a small assessment in October to aid in setting after the first half term. All students throughout KS3 carry out ‘End of topic tests’ one to two weeks after completion of each topic in class. These are sat in exam conditions as open book tests and self/peer assessed. These give students and teachers a clear view on progress made over the course of each year and will be the main source of information used when reporting progress to parents.
KS4 – GCSE
GCSE Maths is covered over two years, from Y10 to Y11. We have worked with examining body Edexcel at GCSE for a number of years and believe it will work best for students with the new GCSE specification. Grading from the new specification has now changed from grades A*-G to 9-1. 9 is now the equivalent of the top half of the A*, 5 a low C, 4 a high C and 1 at the baseline of the G. At the end of the two-year course students will sit 3 exams, each 90 minutes in length. All are out of a possible 80 marks; the first is non-calculator, with the other two calculator. New content has been moved from the original higher specification into foundation, content has been moved down for A-Level to higher at GCSE and a range of new topics have been introduced over both higher and foundation.
Higher GCSE Route map
Foundation GCSE Route map
Students are placed in new sets at the start of Y10 based on end of Y9 results and teacher assessment. There is availability for movement where needed, but classes generally stay the same, with where possible the same teacher, throughout Y10 and Y11. Students have 8 lessons a fortnight throughout the GCSE course.
Students are assessed twice formally in Y10, once in January and the second at the end of the year. IN some circumstances further assessments are required and undertaken accordingly.
During Y11, students will sit their official mocks in November for all subjects including maths. Though for us they also sit an addition 2 mocks throughout the year. The first at the end of October to give students an early insight into the type of exams they will be sitting at the end of the GCSE course. March sees the final mock allowing students a final chance to practice exam technique in this exam environment, have access to the most current style of papers available and from this analyse with their class teacher the main areas they need to individually focus in the revision run up to the actual GCSE.
At the start of Term 3, after Christmas, all Y11 students will be given access to all GCSE past papers on a regular basis through homework and in class. Papers will be set once a fortnight until the June exams with 2 set at a time over holiday periods. Normal class homework will be expected every other week in between. All papers will be marked with the use of teacher model answers and analysed by both students and teachers in order to identify areas for development both individually and as a class during the revision period. Through this analysis the maths department have been within 1% when predicting overall grades for students throughout the latter half of Y11 for the past 2 years.