Head of Department: Mrs Devine
Exam board: Edexcel
Syllabus code and title: 1MA0 EDEXCEL Linear 100% exams. No coursework
Maths is more than just using numbers and basic numeracy. Maths allows students to build up and practice existing skills that are transferable to many other subjects that are studied at GCSE (such as Science, Geography and Business Studies) and skills that are used in real life.
These skills are:
Collecting, Sorting, Grouping, Ordering, Systemising
Comparing, Spotting patterns, Checking
Predicting, Generalising, Proving, Recalling
Measuring, Orderly Communication
Further investigating, Reasoning, Exploring logically
Presenting logically, Logical thinking, Processing thoughts, Problem solving
Students may already think mathematically, or may use GCSE Maths to help become more mathematically minded. A mathematically minded person is very employable and these mathematical skills will be a great benefit to students for the future.
There are 4 areas of mathematics, each looking at various methods and rules, and how we can apply them to real life situations:
Number & Algebra
Number properties, fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio, proportion, place value, estimation, rounding, negative numbers, number patterns, sequences, graphs, algebra skills including: solving, substitution, simplifying, rearranging and using formulae.
Shape, Space & Measure
Area, perimeter, volume, Pythagoras’ theorem, angles, measure, constructions, circles, surface area, 2D and 3D shapes, loci, similarity, transformations and compound measures.
Probability and chance, representing data, comparing data and analysing data.
Using & Applying
This involves a combination of the above with real life problems and comparisons.
GCSE work is not really ‘new’ Maths but a build on the knowledge that was been learnt at KS3, so students need to work on their retention rather than anything brand new. In order to succeed in Maths, students will need to ensure that they practice topics learnt in lessons regularly. Maths is not a subject that can be read from a revision guide. It needs to be something to do. Rehearsing, revisiting, repeating and revising mathematical topics again and again until it becomes natural. Asking questions to break a problem down is one of the most important mathematical skills. Patience and perseverance are also important as certain topics can take time to sink in and connect with other topics that are already known.
Autumn Term (Term 1 and 2) Year 10 and 11
Indices, standard form, complex calculations and surds
Angles and circle theorems
Decimals and bounds
Perimeter, area and volume*
Ratio and proportion*
Coordinates, linear graphs and non-linear graphs
Probability and tree diagrams
Sequences and proof
Spring Term (Term 3 and 4) Year 10 and 11
Transformations and applying this to graphs
Triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons and construction
Pythagoras’ Theorem and trigonometry
Indices, standard form, complex calculations and surds*
Equations and inequalities
Data collection, range and averages
Interpreting and representing information, histograms
Circles and cylinders
Angles and circle theorems
Perimeter, area and volume
Ratio and proportion
Summer Term (Term 5 and 6) Year 10 and 11
Bespoke topics, tailored to the needs of the class and ability range
*Denotes topics that are repeated to keep in line with the proportion of exam skills that are tested at GCSE for that particular branch of Maths.
How we assess students:
We assess students 4-5 times a year at KS4 and use this information in various ways:
Students take two papers at a tier based on how they are performing and where they need to aim towards. These tests are 90mins each; testing non-calculator and calculator skills.
Foundation tier: U – C and Higher tier: D – A* (from June’17, Foundation tier will go up to B grade)
For each testing period, we use real GCSE papers so that students are sitting comparable assessments rather than testing them on recent topics only. We believe that this best tests their retention allowing them to see patterns in popular exam questions as well as the paper structure.
Sometimes, students are given a full mark and a partial mark, that only includes the topics covered recently, to let them see how they are getting on in the short term and what they would get if it was a real exam at that moment in time.
We use our data from marking these papers to monitor and track students in each class and the whole year group in order to support or challenge students and hence ensure progress.
When reporting, as the year progresses, we are able to take into account the child’s performance in class and for homework. This helps us add to the raw scores they produce in an exam situation and give teacher assessed scores.
More importantly, we allow students time to reflect on their score and focus on their weaknesses for next time. Students end up with personalised targets, which are recorded in their books as a list of topics.
Each student has a success ladder inside the front cover of their books to track their own progress, where their grades, scores and weak topics are recorded and can be referred to at home for revision.
The teacher also makes a note of the class’ weaknesses in order tap into these areas during lessons.
Mini competency tests are led by individual teachers to allow students to bring in a double –sided A4 notes page to use for reference. This competency test allows the teacher to encourage regular revision for long term memory and retention for this 2-year course.
The final, actual GCSE exam is made up of two papers: 90 mins non-calculator and 90 mins calculator.
From June 2017, there will be three 90 min papers where the first one will be non- calculator.
How homework is set:
There are three ways in which your child should be seen learning Maths at home. The first is set weekly for year 10 and 11. This is made up of two 30 minute pieces or one 60 minute piece linked to the topic being covered at that time in class. It is this written piece that is done in exercise books, usually marked by the teacher or peer/ self assessed to diagnose misconceptions.
The second type of Maths homework that students receive is based on mymaths.co.uk. This is expected twice every half term that either links to the topics being covered, or is a reaction to a recent assessment where the student’s personal weaknesses can be addressed through practice. The first type is usually an upload of work by the teacher that the student then submits by clicking on the submit button. The latter mymaths piece is to encourage students working independently on a maximum of 3 or 4 topics of their own choice that are listed in the front cover of their book, in their ladder of success. Students can evidence this work on a sheet they can collect from their teacher called ‘mymaths space’ and then this is glued into the back of their exercise books. Please note, all students have a personal password and log-in for this on top of the school password and log-in. This can also be found with the form tutor or Maths teacher. We encourage students to record their own details into their diaries too. Students tend to keep the same log-in details for their time with us.
The third and final type of Maths homework has been developed to incorporate the increasing exam demands of Maths at GCSE, promote Maths with the family and to showcase exam type questions regularly. Students are given a small booklet every half term and during the summer break to embed this ethos in Maths. For example, a grade D/C workbook on Number topics.
It cannot be stressed enough that Maths is a subject that needs to be practiced daily to maintain, retain and reinforce all the basic and new skills in the long run. It is like a marathon and not a sprint. The above guidance is just that and if students are doing more than this, then that is absolutely fine. We hope you can support and enjoy Maths with your child to help promote real life skills and boost self esteem in our subject.
How parents/carers can support their child:
Asking to see your child’s maths book at home and talking through the classwork they have recently done.
Helping students verbalise what they are doing with their home learning and how well they understand the work.
Creating opportunities for children to see that maths is in our everyday lives; from bills, money, measuring, travelling, cooking, etc.
Extending their understanding of Maths beyond just number work to problem solving, logical thinking and being analytical.
Make sure your child is working on Maths regularly, almost daily, to keep up their understanding. This will help Mathematic ability in all walks of life.
Equipment in Maths is a key:
Students need a pencil, a blue or black pen, a ruler, an eraser, a sharpener, compasses and a protractor
Using their own calculator from the start is crucial to knowing it well enough for their exams.
The calculator must be scientific, not a mobile phone or a basic calculator, so that students get used to their own make/ model by the time they use it in the exam.
mymaths.co.uk from our school website.
The school log in and password is well known by the students. Their own username and password is in the back of their books and with tutors as well as the Maths teachers.
We are real advocates of MyMaths.co.uk as a key tool in learning Maths.
It is great for revision or catching up with missed work, where students can pick the own topic to work on.
MyMaths has two functions: to learn through an interactive lesson or, to go through a quiz that is instantly marked and gives students an opportunity to revise.
It is also a tool that we link to our assessment system by encouraging students to work on their weaknesses.
The feedback we have about MyMaths is that students like the independent learning and it is all online.
This can be used at any time and students can access all the work in the library within MyMaths. There are also games and booster packs to help personalise their learning.
Other places to find good materials to support your child at home are BBC bitesize and Youtube, where the odd reading or video of a maths technique can help some children internalise topics which they find hard to grasp, memorise or apply.
Maths is a subject that is better learnt through practice as opposed to just reading. Parents are encouraged to invest in workbooks rather than revision guides where children are able to work on problems and mark this work as they go along. This is rewarding and easily tracked at home and can support school work. We recommend that this is done with a time delay to what is being covered at school. This can help improve retention and self esteem in a positive way.
The textbooks we use are mainly kept in the classroom but can be purchased from all major stationary shops.