Why choose this subject?
Just as English provides the building blocks and rules we need to communicate, Maths uses its own language, made up of numbers, symbols and formulas, to explore the rules we need to measure and solve essential problems like money, distance, speed, time, space, change, force and quantities.
Studying Maths helps us find patterns and structure in our lives. Practically, maths helps us put a price on things, create graphics, build websites, plan redecorations, budget for a new mobile phone and predict how these might change over time and under different conditions.
Maths is one of the best subjects to develop your analytical, research and problem-solving skills. Not only will studying maths help give you the knowledge to tackle scientific, mechanical, coding and abstract problems, it will also help you develop logic to tackle everyday issues like planning projects, managing budgets and even planning your journey to work.
What will your child learn?
In Maths you will learn an incredibly wide range of topics which is far too long to list, but broadly, Maths is split into 6 subject areas.
The following is a list of these 6 areas with a very brief example of what they may include: –
· Number – Basic numeracy including manipulating fractions, decimals and percentages. Essential for calculating with money in everyday life.
· Algebra – The bedrock of the language of mathematics. Explores the power of mathematics to solve problems and predict future events. Useful for any career, but especially; engineering, sports science, military, nursing, science, mechanics, etc.
· Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change – A wide ranging area which has its foot in all 5 of the other areas. covering, for example, converting currencies, scale diagrams and using graphs to predict future outcomes.
· Geometry & Measures – This area explores the shapes that we see in everyday life, looking at their properties, including angles, perimeter, area, volume and symmetry. Exceptionally useful for careers such as: – art, civil engineering, architecture, bricklaying as well as for painters and decorators.
· Probability – A relatively new branch of mathematics that looks at the likelihood that events will happen. Useful for meteorologists, insurance brokers to name a few.
· Statistics – This covers the process of collecting, presenting and analysing data in a vigorous manner. It’s hard to find a job these days that will not use statistics in some way!
Medium Term Plans
Each half-term will focus on one (Probability and Statistics are usually combined) of the areas above. The topics covered will then be assessed at the end of the half-term so that we can analyse strengths and weaknesses. Each pupil will receive a personalised sheet with their Cloughwood Academy grade for the work covered as well as identifying topics to focus on for improvement.
At KS4, all pupils will be entered for their GCSE in Mathematics. However, their lessons and Scheme of Work will follow a similar theme to that at KS3.
LOTCS/Drop Down events
In the new Scheme of Work for Mathematics at Cloughwood Academy, we have tried to incorporate as much Learning Outside the Classroom as we can whilst still fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum.
Some examples include: –
· Escaping snookers at a Snooker Hall looking at angles when bouncing off the cushion.
· Easter Egg Hunt following directional instructions to find the tasty chocolate!
· Collecting data about cars in Hartford.
· Exploring volume in the school grounds
· As well as …. the fiercely contested termly Chess Tournaments!
Maths is one of, if not THE most important subject that you will study in school. It is the first qualification that any future employer will look out for as it is a good measure of your ability to think logically and critically as well as a measure of your perseverance and dedication. Therefore, the better the grade that you achieve, the better your chances are of gaining the career that will fulfil you and your interests.
To help you to achieve your full potential in Maths, we will promise to deliver lessons in a caring, supportive environment where everyone is on board striving to do their best – no exceptions.
We recognise that some people find Maths incredibly difficult and demoralising when things go wrong, and that’s fine! We will all struggle at one topic or another, so being able to help and support one another to persevere through the hard bits is a massive step in accelerating your true understanding and shows your best possible self.
As a further carrot, if you pass your GCSE with at least a Grade 4, you will not have to see another Mathematics lesson unless you choose to study further.
But do not worry, there will be the opportunity to keep trying until you do.
What your child will gain from this subject
Through Mathematics, we are able to use logic to describe why things happen the way that they do. Together with Science, we can use this language of logic and proof to better humanity as a whole. Just think of the items we use on a daily basis; mobile phones, TV, cars, PCs, to name but a few.
There are few wonders of modern technology better than watching 500 tonnes of Boeing 747 defy gravity and take off from the ground!
The time that our technology can save us and make our lives easier is incredible; our washing machines, microwaves, digital thermostats, spreadsheets and word processors, all make mundane tasks so much quicker and easier! From the microscopic to the macroscopic, none of this would be possible without the power that Mathematics affords us.
We can see Mathematics all around us. There is a reason why a roof is angled the way it is, why cars are streamlined the way that they are, why bridges are in the shape of an arch. Most architecture is symmetrical in design, traditional arts and crafts like Rangoli patterns (covered in KS2) are symmetrical in nature.
We see patterns all around us, from the repeating patterns in our carpets to the amazing way that nature (pinecones, flower petals and snail shells to name a few) follows the Fibonacci sequence. The beauty of Mathematics is all around us … if we are inquisitive enough to explore it.
Maths in an integral part of preparing students to live in the outside world. We teach the skills necessary to work with money, from calculating change from a £5 note to calculating Income Tax and compound Interest when looking at savings, loans and mortgages.
We will also explore our personal budget, taking into account: paying rent, council tax, gas and electricity, water, broadband, TV, etc. Through this, we can see the importance of getting the best grades possible to increase your chances of a better paid and rewarding career that will allow us to afford a better quality of life.
The essential skills required when calculating the very fundamentals of money, such as working out what notes and coins need to be given to pay for an item are a part of the requirements for Entry Level Functional Skills. We will be working with the pupils who find this a challenge and will help them to achieve certification to prove that they have reached these standards.
We will also be practicing telling the time on both analogue and digital clocks and using this to read and interpret a bus or train timetable to plan a journey through the ABAS curriculum.
Throughout KS3 and KS4, you will undertake a series of Functional Skills examinations to add to your portfolio, starting from Entry Level 1 through to Entry Level 3 and then finally a full Level 1 which is equivalent to a Grade 3 at GCSE.
In the Summer of Year 10, each pupil will be entered for their GCSE at either Foundation or Higher tier. Foundation tier is for those expected to achieve between Grades 1-5, whilst Higher tier gives access to Grades 5-9.
Whichever tier you are entered for, GCSE Mathematics requires you to sit a non-calculator paper and at least one calculator paper, depending on the exam board.
ALL papers MUST be undertaken to achieve the best grade possible.
How this subject contributes to the whole child.
If I haven’t convinced you by now of the power, beauty and elegance of the language of Mathematics, then you may be convinced by where a good qualification in Maths can take you. Every college or further education establishment will require Mathematics, and most jobs require a good grade at GCSE in Mathematics as a prerequisite. This is because GCSE Mathematics shows an employer your ability to think logically and outside the box. It shows them your ability to think critically and solve problems.
It is obvious that Maths would be required for further education in Engineering, Technology or Science subjects, but to become a lawyer, for example, you also require Mathematics.
Because it demonstrated your level of critical analysis which is vital when making and proving an argument to be true in a logical, concise manner.
That is Mathematics.
Already, three pupils in Year 8 have passed their Functional Skills Level 1 after some intense work for a few weeks before. Well done – we look forward to some fabulous GCSE results in a couple of years on the back of those excellent results!
Also, every member of Beech has passed their Functional Skills Entry Level 1 with flying colours and are soon to sit their Entry Level 2.