Welcome to the Mathematics Department
Mathematics is an essential tool for everyday life. It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world.
At Wightwick Hall School we aim to provide a high quality mathematical education and we are committed to raising the standards of mathematics for all pupils. We want our pupils to be confident and capable in the use of mathematics, to support their learning in all areas of the curriculum, and to acquire the skills necessary to help achieve success in further education, employment and adult life.
The aims of mathematics teaching at Wightwick Hall School are as follows:
- To develop a positive culture and growth mind-set towards the study of mathematics.
- To build pupil’s confidence in their ability, improve resilience and perseverance and to develop an approach where it is ok to be wrong.
- To instil a belief that mathematics is for everyone with inclusion and opportunity being fundamental to our ethos and approach.
- Provide pupils with strategies to investigate and solve problems including praising the process and not just the result.
- To ensure that our pupils enjoy mathematics and experience success by providing a differentiated curriculum with achievable learning outcomes.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to revisit key skills and concepts by use of recall and retrieval activities in order to promote improvements in long-term memory.
- Set high expectations and provide learning opportunities by matching the challenge of the task with the ability of the child.
- Provide the opportunity for pupils to develop their mathematical skills in order to assist them in reaching their future destination whatever that may be.
- To ensure all pupils leave Wightwick Hall School with a qualification in mathematics which reflects the best of their ability.
British values are fundamental to our teaching and all students are encouraged to achieve their maximum potential through mathematics lessons. We endeavour to embed self-belief in everyone, enabling pupils to gain confidence and independence whilst investigating, exploring and applying the mathematics learnt to a range of situations.
Students of all abilities are encouraged to maintain a growth mind-set and to believe they are able to achieve and not be afraid to take part in all aspects of the lessons. We want to ensure pupils’ perception of mathematics is positive and one in which they take pride and enjoyment.
Students are encouraged to appreciate the importance of mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Pupils learn that mathematics comes from different cultures, for example, they will learn about Pythagoras, Fibonacci and the symmetry of Indian Rangoli patterns. Departmental displays reinforce the diverse multicultural heritage of mathematics.
Cultural capital is defined as the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours and skills that a pupil can draw upon to be successful in society and in their career in the world of work. Mathematics studies at Wightwick Hall makes its own contribution to pupils’ cultural capital development. In addition to the wider historical and cultural aspects discussed above, pupils have opportunities to compete in school and national competitions such as TTRockstars thus promoting both their self-esteem and overall enjoyment of mathematics. Enrichment activities include providing pupils with the opportunity to attend the healthy, outdoor contextual maths trip which has been hosted annually by the educational charity Racing to Schools.
Throughout the curriculum, pupils are provided with the opportunity to link maths to real-life situations. Valuable subject specific knowledge is also taught including VAT and interest rates which are incorporated within the percentages topic for key-stage 4. In addition, pupils often use mobile phone and utility bills in problem-solving opportunities. Further initiatives are continually sourced to enhance the acquisition of cultural capital through the mathematics curriculum for our pupils and it remains a departmental action point.
Mathematics curriculum intent and implementation
Upon entry to the school, pupils follow different learning pathways based on a range of cognitive and other factors. The pathways can change each year and our moulded to our specific cohort of pupils.
Willow Class Setting
Teaching in Willow Class follows a primary model whereby pupils are educated by one teacher and support staff in an established and assigned room. The timetable is more flexible and responsive to the needs of the pupils. From 2021/2022, the class is split into two groups based on age. The primary White Rose Maths scheme of work is followed with some pupils undertaking the Functional Skills Entry Level 1 course of study. Pupils are allocated three one hour lessons per week. B-Squared Connecting Steps is used to track progress in Willow Class.
The curriculum map for Willow class can be found here. Please note different year group objectives are included within the curriculum map for the purpose of differentiation in the mixed ability group.
Hickman House Setting
Teaching in Hickman House follows a primary model whereby pupils are educated by staff in a dedicated house setting within the school grounds. This nurturing approach is deemed extremely beneficial to pupils who have multiple and complex needs. The primary White Rose Maths Scheme of work is used and work is differentiated and significantly adapted for the pupils. Pupils have two mathematics sessions per week for 2.5 hours each. B-Squared Connecting Steps is used to track progress for pupils in Hickman House.
Bannatyne Block Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9 )
Students are taught within mixed ability year groups. Pupils have three one hour lessons per week and also benefit, on a rota basis, from twenty minute catch-up sessions. The range of abilities are fully catered for by targeted support and differentiated resources. A variety of teaching methods including interactive and practical approaches are utilised.
Pupils study the strands of number; algebra; ratio, proportion and rate of change; geometry and measures; probability and statistics. Pupils regularly participate in basic numeracy intervention programmes such as Numeracy Ninjas and Times Table Rockstars. These programmes fill gaps in mental calculation and other arithmetic calculation strategies, thus providing the pupils with the skills and fluency required to fully access the numeracy concepts included in the various key stage 4 study routes.
The current curriculum map for key stage 3 Bannatyne Department can be found here.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
In key stage 4, the option of undertaking the EDEXCEL GCSE (9 to 1) Foundation course is available and based on the pupils’ ability can be through the following routes:
- Direct study of the EDEXCEL GCSE (9 to 1) Foundation course (2 and 3 year schemes of work).
- Initial study of components of the Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics with progression to the Access to GCSE (9 to 1) Foundation course. In addition, some pupils may have the opportunity to sit the EDEXCEL Level 1 Award in Number and Measure examination after studying key components included in the Access to GCSE (9 to 1) Foundation course.
For GCSE mathematics, the pupils will sit three papers comprising one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers each worth approximately 33.3%. Pupils are allocated four one hour lessons per week.
Pupils not studying any route to GCSE mathematics can follow the Entry Level Functional Skills programme of study.
Assessment Bannatyne Block
Pupils follow a bespoke target path which is identified through baseline testing. Consequently, expected outcomes can be identified from different starting points. In addition, specific skills targets are identified and monitored for each pupil.
A mixed approach of formative and summative assessment procedures are undertaken. Pupils are assessed throughout the year using topic tests, low stakes quizzes and longer tests which incorporate a range of prior learning. Pupils are provided with live marking during lessons and have the opportunity to respond to dedicated improvement and reflection tasks (D.I.R.T) following whole class marking techniques. Whole class marking can be targeted to individuals, groups of individuals or the whole class.
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 -14)
Pupils continue to study mathematics throughout the sixth form. Pupils are allocated three one hour lessons per week. Courses offered include the EDEXCEL Functional Mathematics suite of qualifications, the opportunity to build on Entry Level qualifications with possible progression to GCSE Mathematics or further study of GCSE Mathematics to improve current grades.
Some pupils also study the AQA Entry Level mathematics qualification whereby eight component assessments are completed (four are externally set assessments). Pupils complete the assessments when they are academically ready. All components are internally assessed and moderated by AQA.