Mathematics is a creative subject with many highly interconnected disciplines that has developed over centuries. It is essential to everyday life, the means of looking at patterns that make up our world and the intricate and beautiful ways in which they are constructed and realised. It is critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for our students to have good numerical literacy for most forms of employment.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent, through varied and frequent practice so that the students develop conceptual understanding.
- Reason mathematically by following lines of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication.
In the mathematics faculty we embrace the aims and content of the National Curriculum and champion a growth mindset with a ‘can do’ attitude. We try to build students who have character, resilience and self-awareness. We have been developing and exploring the features of a collaborative connected classroom (Trubridge and Graham, 2013). The theme being that neither procedural nor conceptual knowledge is more important, they should be taught together with the importance on making connections. We believe that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process, and teachers provide opportunities for a variety of representations; words, symbols, diagrams and concrete situations to support learners in making connections. We strive for a ‘social culture’ within our classrooms with a high degree of discussion between teacher and whole class, teacher and groups of pupils, teachers and individual pupils and pupils themselves. We want learners to emphasize methods rather than just answers. We like students to recognise similarities and differences between strategies and concepts. More recently we have extended our thinking in line with the NCETM’s version of teaching for mastery where a greater emphasis is placed on variation theory, developing fluency and deepening learners’ understanding rather than acceleration through topics.
The subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. We encourage students to develop as mathematicians. We offer curriculum opportunities that enable students to have a wider understanding of the use of mathematics and career opportunities that give them an appreciation of mathematics around the world. These include:
- Taking part in national competitions such as the UKMT individual and team challenges or The National Cipher challenge.
- Code breaking day.
- Problem solving day with cross curricular themes.
- Opportunities for University visits and lectures with support by the Advanced Mathematics Support Program.
- Ben sparks and other inspirational speakers for immersive learning week.
- To set high expectations for all pupils to have a ‘can do’ attitude who can make connections in their learning.
- For students to discuss and reason methods, with a desire to learn and to improve on mistakes.
- To develop fluency through varied practice so that students can solve problems by applying their mathematical understanding to a variety of problems.
- To explore enrichment opportunities outside the curriculum to enhance pupils’ enjoyment of mathematics.
Head of mathematics faculty