Mathematics 2016 - 17

Mathematics at Richard Coates C of E Middle School

Our aims are:

  •         To make Mathematics an enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile experience for all pupils
  •         To give every pupil a firm foundation of knowledge for further study
  •         To help develop a positive attitude to the subject
  •         To develop, maintain and stimulate a pupil’s enjoyment, curiosity and interest in mathematics
  •         To work hard to build confidence in our pupils and to encourage them to think and communicate mathematically – precisely, logically and creatively

Our goal is to nurture in our pupils a love of mathematics. We want our pupils to understand that they ‘can do maths!’ It is a subject that is vital for everyday life, and we want our pupils to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that will help them to appreciate how mathematics fits into our world. In this way we ensure that our pupils will develop a fascination for and a real sense of enjoyment in the subject.

It is our belief that pupils develop best as mathematicians in a structured environment which places learning in a practical and meaningful context. A high emphasis is placed not only on the understanding of skills and concept but also on the ability to use and apply maths to solve ‘real life’ problems.

The school’s scheme of work incorporates a variety of interactive and text based resources and the approach to teaching mathematics is based on five key principles:

  • Dedicated mathematics lessons (per week - five lessons in Key Stage 2 and four sessions in Key Stage 3)
  • Direct, focussed teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class and groups
  • An emphasis on mental maths and ‘core’ skills
  • Differentiation within the year groups and classes, to ensure that the needs of individuals are met. We provide both aid and extension materials to ensure all pupils receive sufficient support or extension, depending upon need
  • Application of numeracy skills within other subjects

Pupils are placed into five groups, according to their individual needs, and regular reviews take place to ensure that:

  • progress is being made
  • focussed interventions are put in place, if necessary

We aim to ensure that all pupils have equal access to success in Mathematics regardless of background or previous experiences. We strive to ensure that our pupils develop an in depth understanding and affinity for this subject and, in so doing, further their potential as inventive and logical thinkers.

Year 5

All pupils follow the 2014 National Curriculum. The objectives covered in Year 5 ensure pupils consolidate and apply their knowledge of number facts. Written methods of calculation are also refined, encouraging pupils to recognise and use more efficient strategies. In addition, pupils continue to practise mental methods of calculation.

Pupils develop their understanding of polygons and their vocabulary is expanded, allowing them to describe position, movement and direction. Pupils also learn to identify angles and develop skills enabling them to measure these angles accurately. In addition, pupils learn to read timetables, use 24-hour clock notation and utilize both to calculate time intervals. The ability to use mathematical skills to collect, sort and organise information is also developed.

Year 6

All pupils follow the 2014 National Curriculum. The objectives covered in Year 6 ensure that pupils develop and refine their strategies, allowing pupils to solve increasingly complex multi-step problems including those with negative whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages.

Pupils extend their understanding of shape, through classifying and describing 2-D shapes and calculating the size of missing angles. The ability to calculate the perimeter and area of a rectangle is also expanded, to include compound shapes. In addition, pupils are introduced to the coordinate system and learn how to determine and describe the position of a shape after a transformation, in the first quadrant.

The ability to retrieve information from frequency tables, bar charts, line graphs and pie charts is introduced. Pupils also begin to use the mode, range, median and mean to describe a set of data.

Year 7 and Year 8

All pupils follow the 2014 National Curriculum. Our schemes begin with a strong emphasis on number and measures. The use of number focuses on fractions, decimals, ratio, percentages, and estimations, while the work on measures allows pupils to extend their knowledge of area, volume and angles.

Gradually the time dedicated to these topics decreases, with a corresponding increase in the time spent on algebra, geometry and statistics.

The work on algebra encourages pupils to develop their understanding of the use of symbols to represent mathematical relationships. The units on geometry allows pupils to extend their knowledge of polygons and the appropriate use of formulae, when determining things such as the area of a circle. Finally, the statistics section is strongly linked to the use of ICT. For example, pupils use graph-plotting software to display data and look for patterns.

Pupils also begin to see how the use of ICT can supplement their mathematical studies. In addition to learning about the appropriate use of scientific calculators, pupils also use spreadsheets to generate sequences and perform calculations.

Over the two years, our schemes place a strong emphasis on encouraging mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Strong cross-curricular links are also promoted through the study of specialised Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) objectives.