What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is the science of numbers, quantities, shapes and measures and crucially the relationship between them. Maths has been with us in various forms through various civilisations and is in a constant state of evolution, just like we are.

The National Curriculum (KS3/KS4) for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line 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 routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication.

Why do we teach Mathematics at Sunnydown?

Maths is a core subject at Sunnydown with many cross curricular links to other subjects. We aim to give real world context to what we are learning and link to careers where possible, particularly in preparation for functional skills mathematics which aims to examine students on their mathematical ability but comes in the context of scenarios that deal with essential life skills, therefore developing relevant, appropriate and engaging skills, as stated in our school's curriculum intent. Our maths curriculum aims to develop students’ mathematical confidence in the fundamentals, allowing them to become resilient learners who can solve a range of problems. Maths at Sunnydown gives students equal opportunities to become fluent in the fundamental concepts, reason mathematically and build resilience through problem solving by using the skills they have acquired. We develop our students to become critical thinkers, ultimately being a piece of a puzzle that will help form well rounded individuals who will contribute as citizens of British society.

How do we teach Mathematics at Sunnydown?

Students have 3x1 hour lessons per week, this is throughout Y7-Y11. Each Mathematics lesson is designed to be exceptionally broad in terms of meeting the needs of our students. Every lesson is carefully planned according to the Sunnydown 4, creating equality of opportunity for every student in order to access the learning they require. Each Mathematics lesson will feature clear modelling, class interaction, assessment, and independent practice.

How does Mathematics change at KS4?

Students are placed into two pathways - 1 and 2. The intent is very much alike in both and that is to build on the fundamentals taught in KS3 and start the preparation for examinations. The route taken to achieve this is different once students are separated into their respective pathways.

Students in pathway 1 will all be entered for the foundation exam come summer time in year 11, meaning they can get a maximum of a grade 5.

In Key Stage 4, students will learn to apply the subject knowledge they acquired throughout Key Stage 3 in a context that is more complex and sophisticated.

The emphasis is still on developing fluency and nurturing the ability to reason in the relevant topics. GCSE style questions tend to combine many different topics and skills into 1 question therefore in year 10 and 11 students will experience questions that go beyond routine repetition so they will be required to think about what skills or concepts need to be applied in different contexts. Students will also be formally introduced to GCSE exam style questions and will have the opportunity to develop their exam techniques including common errors and misconceptions, layout and workings, checking answers, mastering using a calculator, command words and will be assisted in making their thinking clearer to themselves and others. Practical lessons are also included to stimulate more proactive thinking.

Students are also prepared for the AQA Functional Skills exams in maths, Level 1 and Level 2; Functional Skills Maths are a series of assessments that offer additional qualifications to GCSE Maths. Functional Skills Maths questions use real-life examples and situations.

Homework also changes in KS4: Maths will become a weekly set task that lasts approximately 45mins - 1hr. A physically written task will be set through google classroom and will be done in the students Homework book, and there will also be an interactive task to be done online through Hegarty maths.

All homework done in books will reflect what has been learnt in lessons that week and is intended as a reinforcement activity. The additional part to the homework done online on hegartymaths is separate to what has been learnt in recent lessons and is specifically set to give students an opportunity to revisit and practise topics and skills learnt in the past. Each homework is marked and graded according to school policy.

Exam boards

GCSE Mathematics - Edexcel

GCSE mathematics is assessed by examination. There are three exam papers in total. The first is a non-calculator paper, with the remaining two being both calculator papers, all exams last 1hr and 30 minutes with the addition of extra time.

Qualification is determined through a grading system of 1-9. ‘1’ being the lowest and ‘9’ being the highest. Grade 4 is the minimum passing grade, roughly equivalent to a C in the previous GCSE grading system. This means a student will not be required to repeat Mathematics upon entry to college/sixth form.

Functional skills (Mathematics) - AQA

In terms of qualification and examination for functional skills, it is assessed 100% through examination. There is a non-calculator and a calculator paper and there are multiple opportunities throughout the year to take these exams, not all of which have to be taken. There is no grading system for functional skills in mathematics, it is simply a pass or fail, the mark boundaries for a pass can move yearly.

As for qualification, there are two levels that can be attained in functional skills mathematics. Level 1 and level 2. A student does not need to complete level 1 in order to move onto level 2. It is possible to go straight to level 2 to obtain a higher qualification. In terms of equivalence a level 1 is roughly equivalent to grades 1-3 in GCSE. Level 2 is equivalent to grade 4 in GCSE.

Who teaches Mathematics at Sunnydown School?

Mr Benjamin Wright - Y7 (KS3)

MrsKimberley Cybuch - Y8/Y9 (KS3)

Mr Tawer Zadok- Y10/Y11 (KS4)


Curriculum Plans