Curriculum purpose and impact
At Uxbridge High School, the maths department are committed to working hard to remove barriers to success. We ensure all our students leave school: independent, confident and numerate; having worked with a respectful and resilient attitude. Our students will have achieved their full potential and be equipped to make a positive contribution to society.
“The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument … using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication.”
Our department has worked hard the past three year to ensure our schemes of work reflect the changes in the National curriculum and ensure that the above aims are met.
Curriculum design and delivery
During year 7 & 8 students develop and build upon their learning from primary school and then the previous year. We follow a spiral approach to the topics learnt and ensure they students make progress in stages. There is a big focus on numeracy in year 7 & 8 and students follow the ‘numeracy Ninja’ starter packs.
Transition – Start of their GCSEs
During Year 9 students follow a curriculum which enables them to transition towards mastering the knowledge and skills required to gain their maths GCSE. Students move up the spiral gaining additional skills and a breadth of understanding of topics in number, algebra, shape and space and data.
Mastering Qualifications: Years 10 and 11
Students continue to finish the syllabus in year 10 and then prepare for their GCSEs in year 11 by recapping topics that are common for the specific papers. These topics are finalised at the end of the summer term based on the QLAs from student’s year 10 mock exams.
The maths department believe in offering a range of clubs in all shapes and sizes. The main focus is to ensure the students are having fun with maths and learning at the same time. Therefore we offer numerous clubs during the week to engage all learners, some of which include: Rubix cube, chess, maths mastery, Hegarty maths, Maths aid, UKMT challenge, maths aid and optional period 6s for lower years. We also ensure our students are involved in different challenges throughout the year, the most important being ‘The mayors London count on us’ challenge. Students encourage each other to attend as they enjoy the sessions, which inspire thinking and stimulate mathematical curiosity.
Strategies to ensure success
1. (a) Teachers use of exam questions in lessons as well as more difficult worded and contextualised problems. Challenges in lessons ensure deepening students understanding and not teaching them more difficult content.
(b)Teachers use starter activities to recap knowledge for example ‘Toma snaps’ and ‘Maths box fluency skills’
(c) Stretch and challenge packs – KS4 – GCSE problems from further maths support network.
2. (a) Teachers use problem solving lessons which are relevant for each Key stage.
At KS3 we use Nrich activities linked within the scheme of work to promote problem solving as well as the KS4 foundation lessons wherever applicable.
(b) Within normal lessons teachers aim to promote problem solving questions and skills to encourage students to be thinking methodically. There is a greater emphasise more so on the way students are setting out their answers as opposed to the actual maths to promote good written communication e.g. ensuring equal signs line up when solving an equation etc.
3. (a) The schemes of work have been adapted to allow teachers more time to teach each unit. The aim of this was to increase the time teachers could spend extending students and ensuring students have a thorough knowledge of the topic before moving on. Therefore, teachers use the extra time as a way of showing students exam questions, worded multi-step problems and remain consistent with the UNPACK approach to answering these questions to maintain uniformity within the department – students use this method in primary school so it is not much of a change for KS3 students.
Teaching of a unit
Lesson 1 – Students take a skills check test which assesses their prior knowledge of the topic. The test typically takes 15-20 minutes. Feedback is given instantly however will not spend time explaining each question as this is just an exercise to assess prior knowledge – not to teach with.
Lesson 2 – 5 – Teachers cover content within the unit
Within this - Set homework related to that topic on Hegarty maths
Last lesson – Students are assessed with a unit test.
Lesson 7 – Problem solving lesson is used to teach techniques related to the unit of study.
Lesson 8 – Feedforward lesson whereby you give students their assessments back and they complete a feedforward for that assessment. Feedforward tasks are meaningful and this lesson is used to further to address misconceptions within the homework and check students have completed it.
Structure of problem solving lessons
Please follow the UNPACK structure to answer problem solving questions and display the posters in your rooms and make reference to it throughout to give students a scaffold for answering questions.
Demonstrate examples using the UNPACK method and then provide questions for them to answer both in pairs and individually which you will then go through as a class.
Lessons should aim to get students working independently and relying a little as possible on teacher input whilst ensuring students are able to access the work set.
End of module exams take place at the end of the penultimate week each half term. Assessments include content covered from the beginning of the year in each assessment. Therefore, all end of half term assessments are cumulative.
KS3 - Shugri Omar 7yLA
‘In Maths this year we have learned about lots of different topics including algebra, number, shape and probability. I have enjoyed learning about equations because I did not know how to do it at the start of the year and now I feel really confident to solve difficult equations. Apart from equations I have also enjoyed learning about averages and going over them this year means I now remember it by heart.
I also like how in Maths I have been able to do extra activities. In the first term I got the opportunity to see Maths outside the classroom when I visited Brunel University to take part in a STEM challenge against other schools. It was really fun. I also did the UKMT Maths Challenge in June. We had to sit a paper it was really challenging but fun. I did not win a certificate this year but I want to try and win one next year.’
KS4 - Daniel Abdullaj 9xST
'In year 9, we have been revising the topics we have studied in year 8 but at a greater depth as well as learning new content. We have been learning complicated formulas and applying them to real life problems. This has demonstrated how vital maths skills are to your everyday life.
My favourite topic was trigonometry because by using the correct formula, I was able to calculate any side of angle of a triangle. I have seen this skill used in a real life scenario, my house is being renovated and the architect had to calculate the slope of the roof when designing the extension for my house.
Certain topics in maths have inspired me to a future career choice. Analysing and interpreting financial graphs has encouraged me to think about a career in accounting or banking. Furthermore, topics such as standard form have helped me in calculating sizes of particles in chemistry. The maths skills I have learnt in year 9 are transferable to other subjects and have helped me progress overall in this academic year.'
KS5 – Aaron Parmar
Throughout my years at Uxbridge High School, I have always been captivated by maths, and my teachers have continuously inspired and supported me with all my mathematical ambitions.
My teachers have challenged me to be the best I could be, and thus given me the confidence and understanding to study A-level maths which is a large leap from GCSE. Although it is challenging, I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I aspire to study a mathematical subject at a Russel group university and believe I will achieve this through the fantastic support from the teachers and staff.