Maths

Every student will be a courageous, resilient mathematician who shows: curiosity in problem solving, elegance in their working and fluency with number.

Maths Vision

To promote maths as an exciting, relevant and beautiful subject for all students, staff and the wider school community.

 

Curriculum philosophy

We believe our curriculum is centred around three pillars which provide the students success as mathematicians

  • Problem solving

  • Fluency in number

  • Communication

 

Problem solving

Throughout year 7 - 11 students experience problem solving by tackling stimulating, rich problems which enable them to think deeply, pattern spot and make generalisations. A lot of our inspiration for our curriculum in problem solving is taken from nrich and Don Steward. We believe that developing grit and courage in problem solving is a key component for being successful as a mathematician. The skills we develop with the students are below.

We also approach problem solving through project based learning (PBL) where students are given an opportunity to answer essential questions and explore their mathematics in a different context:

  • How can geometric art be used to provoke debate about immigration?

  • How can I make 2 dimensions appear like 3 dimensions?

  • Can our maths help Stratford decide if concrete factories are too dirty?

  • How do we create mobiles that are balanced?

Fluency in number

 

In year 7 we spend the first term building the foundations of number and ensuring that students have the fluency at their fingertips that will enable them to approach problems with confidence. We do weekly skills checks which help students quickly recap content on a regular basis whilst also providing us an opportunity to work with students who haven’t understood a key skill. We also like to give the students tasks in different and ‘unfamiliar’ forms to develop fluency for approaching problems that are not the typical question they would see. Again for this we look a lot to Don Steward’s resources.

 

Communication

We believe that talking about your maths is as important as writing about your maths. We get students to articulate their thinking to each other using paired or group tasks. They are often working at whiteboards or within pairs to problem solve. We also highlight the importance of elegance in working, particularly when working with proof. To support the students we often give them scaffolds for speaking or for writing before allowing them to explore the problems on their own. Here is an example of a staff blog demonstrating Oracy in maths.

Technology in Maths

We use iPads in mathematics lessons to both organise work and to help students understand mathematical concepts.

 

Google Classroom, Google Drive, YouTube and OneNote are all used to share work between students and teachers. We can quickly send out work to different groups of students, allowing for more freedom and differentiation. 

Students can collaborate as a class, for example to create one large table of results in an investigation. 

We use dynamic geometry software, which is particularly helpful when understanding geometry and graphs. Geogebra and Desmos are two popular apps. Desmos is useful for students to check their own work independently, for example when plotting lines or solving simultaneous equations.

Curriculum overview

Each year group received 5 x 50 minute slots of maths per week.

We have recently moved to mixed ability groupings for year 7 - 9. Year 10 - 11 are in streamed groups which is predominantly determined by the tier of exam they sit. 

School 21, Pitchford Street, London, E15 4RZ      T:  020 8262 2121     E:  info@school21.org.uk

Big Edu - White - orange-01.png