The Mathematics department at the College is thriving and exceptionally successful. All students are fully engaged and stretched by high quality teaching. The department is committed to challenging its students and providing a varied and engaging mathematical experience for them, irrespective of ability level. Whether students have a Special Educational Need, are in any way disadvantaged or are one of our most able students, we ensure that there are high aspirations for everyone. Enrichment material that goes well beyond exam board specifications includes tasks tailored to our locality. For example, Year 7s use their knowledge of Number and Geometry to design a farm.
Within the classroom, we encourage a collaborative approach to problem solving. Through the real life application of mathematics, students will develop the confidence to make mistakes and take risks, preparing them for how they will use these processes in the future. Our intention is that all students will be numerate, and equipped with the knowledge needed to succeed in life, by the time they leave ECC.
We assess students at the end of each unit of work and at the end of each term. The end of unit assessments are shorter progress checks to see if students have learned the key knowledge for that topic. The end of term assessments are longer, requiring an application of the knowledge learned. After each assessment, students receive detailed feedback that highlights any gaps in their knowledge. Teachers will spend the lessons after this closing those gaps.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Students are taught a three-year KS3 program that follows the National Curriculum to ensure they become fluent in the key fundamental knowledge of mathematics, can reason mathematically and can solve problems. KS3 students are taught in three parallel populations throughout Year 7, 8 and 9. They receive 4 hours of direct teaching per week in Year 7 and then 3 hours in each of Year 8 and 9. In each population in Years 7 and 8, there is a top set that is stretched with extension tasks, a smaller bottom set that receives extra support and mixed sets in the middle groups. Setting is initially done according to KS2 data and baseline assessments and is regularly reviewed to ensure that students are in the most appropriate group. Teaching and learning is focused on ensuring key knowledge is understood but there are also competitions and events throughout the year. Teachers also deliver enrichment tasks, some of which are tailored to our locality. For example, Year 7 use their number and geometry skills to design a farm. Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of resources including use of ICT software. One piece of homework of 45 minutes per week is set.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Students follow a GCSE Mathematics programme of study and sit GCSE papers using the EDEXCEL (1MA1) board. The new 9-1 GCSE programme of study consists of three papers all 1.5 hours in length and grades are awarded 9-1. Where suitable, a small group of less able students study for the Entry level certificates with Edexcel before moving on to the GCSE qualification. Students are taught in two parallel populations throughout years 10 and 11. Students are set by ability and all students receive 4 hours of maths teaching per week. Students are regularly assessed throughout KS4 and movement between sets can occur as a result. One piece of homework, of around 60 minutes on average, is set per week. In addition, it is expected that pupils will work independently revisiting topics using Mathswatch and Corbett Maths to support development.
Post 16 Curriculum
Students are currently taught in two parallel teaching sets and one Further Maths set. They receive 4/5 hours of Maths teaching per week and Further Maths receive 9 hours per week. Students follow a GCE Mathematics programme of study and sit GCE papers using the EDEXCEL (9MA0) board. The new programme of study consists of three papers all 2 hours in length. Further Maths students sit EDEXCEL (9MA0) in Year 12 and (9MF0) in Year 13. Additionally, we offer Core Maths (AQA) for those wanting to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level.
The department takes every opportunity to extend learning outside the classroom and is extremely active with STEM related trips and events. Recent educational visits include “Racing to School”, “Girls into STEM” and the “Maths Inspiration” lecture series. We are also heavily involved in all U.K. Mathematics Challenges and host some of their regional Team events.
We actively liaise with our feeder primary schools to ensure the transition to secondary school is done smoothly and we build on the Key Stage 2 mastery approach to the curriculum. This particularly focuses on connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They will undertake investigative work regularly for which they will need to represent, analyse, interpret, evaluate, communicate and reflect, in line with the new Key Stage 3 Mathematics curriculum.
Director of Mathematics