“It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency” Aristotle.
How we teach maths is shaped by our main goal: to get each student to want to study maths on their own. To reach this we try to get the students to realise that they can do maths and that it is easy. And how is this achieved, you might ask? By repetition.
The aims of repetition are: to increase speed of recall; and improve confidence in solving problems. For those with flair in the subject the repetition achieves the former; with those who struggle it achieves the latter: for those in between it usually achieves both.
Students study the GCSE Foundation course from the start of Year 7; when they are ready they move on to the Higher Course - generally in Year 9. So, from day one at Wayland Academy, the whole focus is on the GCSE scheme of work. The Examination board is now Edexcel.
There have been considerable changes to the mathematics GCSE, the main one being that the grading system is now 9-1 with a 4 being the old ‘C’ equivalent. The new curriculum has a larger focus on Problem Solving and the progression to more challenging Mathematical principles is earlier. For example, all students will be expected to know topics such as Pythagoras, Trigonometry and Algebra, with Higher students having a greater understanding of the Algebraic Principles, Surds, Cosine and Sin rules.
A clearly defined Key Stage 3 doesn't exist as such within the curriculum we deliver at Wayland Academy. We are focusing on a 5-year journey to the GCSE examinations. However, students will be challenged at their relevant level daily and building confidence, in a similar way, within Mathematics as they would do in a stereotypical Key Stage 3 curriculum. Year 7 will have a strong focus on Non-Calculator Arithmetic and work through Number, Ratio and Algebra topics in great depth as well as ensure a solid knowledge of all the times tables facts – all 432 of them!
The Key Stage 4 syllabus is bespoke to every student within each class. Our mantra is ‘success for all’. Within the department Direct Instruction will lead the way in the classroom, with students practicing differentiated topics to suit their own ability as often as possible – always challenging and building confidence with the end goal of the GCSE papers in sight. Students will study every aspect of mathematics including, Algebra, Shape, Number, Ratio, Proportion, Fractions, Measures and more. The faculty will never hold any student back and will ensure progress is apparent to all. Our aim is to create numerate students with an urge to complete mathematics tasks individually.
We have a stock of Revision guides that are available from school at the reduced cost of £2.50 – these will be relevant for all students.
Homework is an integral part of the programme of study and its purpose is to deepen understanding, encourage independent learning and enable the teachers to accurately assess each pupil’s understanding of mathematics.
Failure to complete homework would result in a sanction in line with the academy policy. Homework for all years is on MyMaths and can be accessed by following this link http://www.mymaths.co.uk.
Students must first login using Username: wayland and password: graph. Then they can login to ‘my portal’ using their unique code (they can get this from their teacher).
Year 7 will have a reduced homework load on MyMaths as they will also receive Times Tables assignments through https://ttrockstars.com/login (students can get their personalised login from their individual teachers. It is also a fantastic idea to download the app which is free (https://ttrockstars.com/home) and available from the Apple and Google stores.
Ultimately, we set homework to extend, develop and ensure learning is concreted into our knowledge – failing to do this will hinder a students’ progress.
We expect all students to have a pen, pencils, eraser, ruler and sharpener. It is essential for learning to take place with minimal disruption. It would be a huge benefit to students if they had their own calculator – we recommend the Casio Scientific Calculator which is available at most supermarkets and online stores.