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Maths

‘Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.’ - Albert Einstein 

‘Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.’ - Shakuntala Devi 

 

Intent 

At the Orchard Centre we aim to equip all students with fundamental mathematical skills needed for lifelong learning and success. We wish for all students to be competent in everyday maths and become well-rounded adults who demonstrate confidence and resilience when reasoning and problem-solving. We foster a ‘can do’ attitude by promoting and encouraging positive attitudes to learning and by tailoring the curriculum to individuals’ abilities and personal learning requirements. Our aim is to promote a lifelong love of learning for students, rooted in personal achievement and success. We encourage perseverance and celebrate development of skills through process and not simply by focussing on the outcome of correct answers alone. All levels of ability are challenged to enable students achieve the highest possible outcomes at GCSE or Entry level. We aim to give learners every opportunity to maximise their potential, ensuring students achieve their absolute best. 

  

Implementation  

The department offers a supportive and nurturing environment, focussed on creating a culture of belonging and success. Pupils’ individual learning needs are consistently monitored, and adaptations made to the classroom environment including resourcing to ensure barriers to learning are supported and reduced. 

 

Lessons encompass practical tasks which lend themselves to real-life contexts and project-based learning. Physical resources provide a concrete reference for learners to assign new knowledge as well as support with recording mental processes involved in problem solving; mini whiteboards are often used in lessons to promote step-by-step working and make use of ‘thinking time’ before responding to questions. Small teaching groups allow the teacher and support staff the opportunity in most lessons to offer one-to-one guidance for learners. To encourage personalised study and aid independence, work is often set on MathsWatch which can be accessed at school or at home. Styles of learning vary, and students work alone or in pairs and small groups dependent on the task; this provides opportunity for learners to explain their reasoning as well as develop wider and fundamental personal and social skills.   

 

Learning follows a spiral curriculum and follows the White Rose scheme of learning. This is adapted to meet the needs of individuals and classes. Repeated content in small blocks, ensures learning is revisited regularly for optimal long-term use and recall. The blocks generally consist of two-week periods in which smaller steps of learning are broken down and built upon. Number skills are built into units and revisited through lesson starters and in skills checks or standalone tasks to ensure fluency is achieved and retained.   

Schemes of work highlight regular misconceptions and key terms which are discussed and addressed in lessons. Knowledge organisers are given to pupils at the start of each block of lessons. These include subject-specific keywords with definitions, along with the expected learning outcomes and visual reference points for each learning step. They are referred to throughout the unit of work to recap learning and to assist mental recall and acquisition of knowledge.  

 

Students’ starting points are assessed on entry by using a standardised assessment, providing a baseline for attainment thus guiding future learning. Personalised feedback is given to pupils during lessons and teaching is dynamic; gaps in learning are addressed for individuals, enabled by smaller student to teacher ratios – interventions are planned for accordingly where needed.  ‘Demonstrate’ tasks are carried out during each unit of learning, where pupils independently demonstrate their level of understanding of learning so far. From which a ‘Connect’ task is set to move the learning forward; usually by addressing misconceptions or extending the learning further with greater challenge or wider application. At the end of most topics and sometimes termly, particularly in Key Stage 4, pupils are given sets of exam questions related to the topic just completed. Exam skills are taught and practiced; in Year 11 differentiated learning tasks are provided to target specific topics needing further support, at a level appropriate for the student.  

 

 Impact 

Students understand the relevance of what they are learning in relation to real-life application, and they possess the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to succeed. Pupils have a progressive mindset where they can trace their own path towards their target with confidence and feel a sense of achievement. Students persevere when faced with problems and find Maths enjoyable; they understand it is okay to be ‘wrong’ because the journey to finding an answer is of grave value and importance. Pupils attain grades and qualifications which reflect optimum levels of progress from individual starting points, and this enable students to confidently access next steps in their learning beyond Lawnswood.  

 

Curriculum 

Staff: Mr A.Roye and Mrs K.Samson 

 

Awarding Body: Edexcel 

 

Assessment Objectives: 

AO1 - Use and apply standard techniques 

Students should be able to: 

  • accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions 

  • use and interpret notation correctly 

  • accurately carry out routine procedures or set tasks requiring multi-step solutions 

 

AO2 - Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically 

Students should be able to:  

  • make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions from mathematical information  

  • construct chains of reasoning to achieve a given result 

  • interpret and communicate information accurately 

  • present arguments and proofs 

  • assess the validity of an argument and critically evaluate a given way of presenting information 

 

AO3 - Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts 

Students should be able to: 

  • translate problems in mathematical or nonmathematical contexts into a process or a series of mathematical processes 

  • make and use connections between different parts of mathematics 

  • interpret results in the context of the given problem 

  • evaluate methods used and results obtained 

  • evaluate solutions to identify how they may have been affected by assumptions made.  

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