Curriculum » Mathematics
"All students at Hayes School believe that they can do maths"
The Mathematics department places great value in considering current research into how pupils’ best learn and thrive in the subject. We are basing a lot of our work this year on a training session which we had with Mr Barton – the closest that we have to a celebrity maths teacher. Pupils can expect to be using the following techniques in lessons:
• Goal Free Problems – Questions where the ultimate goal of the question has been removed with the pupils being encouraged to write any relevant mathematical facts that they can about the situation given. This encourages pupils to try something when faced with longer questions on exams which can look quite daunting.
• Same surface, Different Deep – A set of four questions based around a single piece of information. This could, for example, be a picture of a shape where the pupils could be asked to find area, perimeter, angles etc. This is training the pupils to recognise the need for a wide variety of skills and how to choose the correct one given the specific question.
• Low Stakes Quizzes – Pupils are sitting regular quizzes based on topics which they have done over the last few months. The spacing out of these topics in the quiz is helping the pupils with their retention of knowledge. It is also supporting the pupils to prepare for being tested in more formal assessments by giving them practice in less stressful situations.
• Confidence Scores – Pupils are regularly asked to provide confidence scores on questions which they have answered on how confident that they feel an answer is correct. This is partly to identify situations where the pupils feel confident with their answer but it is actually wrong. This is tapping into the ‘hyper-correction effect’ where we are more likely to remember something when we have been surprised by our initial answer being wrong.
All of these things are helping us to achieve our vision of getting our pupils to think like mathematicians.
Hayes School has introduced a 2 year KS3 for Core subjects to enable more time to be spent on the GCSE course. This has enabled us to review and rewrite our course for year 7 and 8. Students study at a level relevant to them within the structures of the school’s timetable.
Students meet topics from the core areas of Shape, Handling data, Number and Algebra with references across the whole school curriculum. There is also a focus on applying their knowledge to practical situations through Functional Maths tasks.
Students are still assessed for Key Stage 3 through formal (in house) assessments and their progress is monitored to ensure that they fulfil their potential.
GCSE Maths starts in year 9 and is broadly comprised of three strands - Geometry and Measures, Number and Algebra, Statistics and Probability. Students learn how to use and apply mathematics. There is no coursework for Maths at GCSE level. As with all of the GCSEs, the grades go from 9 to 1 (9 being the highest grade). The exams have an emphasis on problem solving and functional elements of Maths. This means there can be more than one way of getting a solution. The students sit three exams at the end of year 11. Each exam is an hour and a half with the first paper being a non-calculator one.
At A Level the pupils study Pure Mathematics (for example, algebraic methods, trigonometry, vectors and calculus) and units of work on Statistics and Mechanics. The pupils are examined at the end of year 13, sitting two papers on the pure content and one combined statistics and mechanics paper. The number of students wishing to study mathematics has been steadily increasing and we also offer a full Further Mathematics A level course to really extend our most promising mathematicians.