The Mathematics department at The Brakenhale School is committed to making learning Mathematics an enjoyable experience. We aim to provide students with a positive classroom atmosphere where learning and progression are at the focus of each lesson. To ensure that we help students reach their full potential, staff are committed to ensuring that they challenge students in lessons and as well as providing breadth across the curriculum we try to ensure that students have deep understanding of the Mathematics skills they have been learning.
The department is well resourced with seven classrooms (five in the maths department, one in the main block and one in the sixth form centre) all of which have a computer and an interactive whiteboard or interactive projector. The department are building an extensive bank of resources that all teachers can use with classes to ensure that we share good practice.
We have recently started to work with Universities to become a training school for future teachers. This is mutually beneficial as they are able to bring fresh ideas into the classroom in return for our guidance and feedback on their teaching.
- Mr T Dean – Head of Department
- Miss C Thomas – Second in Department
- Mrs J Whybra – Third in Department
- Ms S Douse
- Mr D Hicks
- Mr M Jones
- Miss C Langille
- Mr N O’Donoghue
- Mrs S Wilkins
Students are initially taught in tutor groups in Year 7 to support them in their transition from primary to secondary school, in these mixed ability lessons we teach the students core mathematical skills that they will be using for the rest of their time with Brakenhale. After approximately three weeks we put the students in to sets dependent on their attainment.
All year groups in Key Stage 3 are taught in two parallel halves of the year groups. We have recently introduced new schemes of work in light of the curriculum changes at Key Stage 4 to ensure that we are providing our students with every opportunity to succeed at Mathematics at The Brakenhale School. We regularly assess the students to ensure that we can keep track of their progress and the teachers are then able to use this information to add intervention to support progress. At the end of each year we will test the students and we will use this information for setting for the following year to ensure that we are providing our students with the right teaching at the right time.
In order to support the students in Key Stage 3 and make sure they are prepared for Key Stage 4 we will continue to follow the national guidelines. In the Mathematics department we are trialing a new way to assess student progress; we will be using a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest), this is in line with the grades that students will be receiving at GCSE. We will set the students targets based upon their Key Stage 2 results and the baseline assessments that we hold in school, the baseline assessments are sat near the beginning of the year and in future years will only apply for Year 7 students. The curriculum that we are using has been designed so that the band that a student achieves at the end of Key Stage 3 is indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.
GCSE Specification 1MA1 (Edexcel)
Students follow the Edexcel Linear GCSE Mathematics (1MA1) course. The course contains work on Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion & Rates of Change, Geometry & Measures, and Statistics & Probability. In the GCSE Mathematics course there are tiers and students will be sitting either the Foundation or Higher Tier.
Students sit three papers – one non calculator and two calculator papers. It is imperative that students have a calculator for their maths lessons and we recommend the Casio FX83GT or FX85GT model, calculators can be purchased through the school – please contact the stationery shop in the Print Room or main reception. In addition to assessing the various mathematical concepts, the quality of their written communication will be assessed. They will also be assessed in functional elements of mathematics.
There has been a change in the content that we are required to teach and this is shown below.
Content moving from Higher Tier to Foundation Tier;
- Index laws: zero and negative powers (numeric and algebraic)
- Standard form
- Compound interest and reverse percentages
- Direct and indirect proportion (numeric and algebraic)
- Expand the product of two linear expressions
- Factorise quadratic expressions in the form
- Solve linear/linear simultaneous equations
- Solve quadratic equations by factorisation
- Plot cubic and reciprocal graphs, recognise quadratic and cubic graphs
- Trigonometric ratios in 2D right-angled triangles
- Fractional scale enlargements in transformations
- Lengths of arcs and areas of sectors of circles
- Mensuration problems
- Vectors (except geometric problems/proofs)
- Tree Diagrams
Content moving to Higher Tier;
- Expand the products of more than two binomials
- Interpret the reverse process as the ‘inverse function’; interpret the succession of two functions as a ‘composite function’ (using formal function notation)
- Deduce turning points by completing the square
- Calculate or estimate gradients of graphs and areas under graphs, and interpret results in real-life cases (not including calculus)
- Simple geometric progressions including surds, and other sequences
- Deduce expressions to calculate the nth term of quadratic sequences
- Calculate and interpret conditional probabilities through Venn diagrams
New Content to both tiers;
- Use inequality notation to specify simple error intervals.
- Identify and interpret roots, intercepts, turning points of quadratic functions graphically; deduce roots algebraically.
- Fibonacci type sequences, quadratic sequences and geometric sequences.
- Relate ratios to linear functions.
- Interpret the gradient of a straight line graph as a rate of change.
- Know the exact values of and for and ; know the exact value of for and .
Omitted content from both tiers;
- Trial and improvement
- Isometric grids
- Imperial units of measure
- 3D coordinates
- Rotation and enlargement of functions
In September 2017 we shall be teaching the new specification at A Level, as it currently stands the specifications are still being approved. We shall make a decision on what exam board we shall be following once a few specifications have been accredited.
At Key Stage 5 we offer students the opportunity to study A-Level Mathematics. Each year we have a class up to a maximum of 20 students in each year group.
The course is well resourced, with students having access to AS and A2 core textbooks published by Pearson Longman. Students who choose to study Mathematics with us will follow the Edexcel specification, currently the AS course and A2 course lead to modular examinations with Edexcel. However this is scheduled to change for students wishing to study A-Level Mathematics from September 2017 onwards and the school will endeavour to update the parents with the A-Level curriculum changes. At AS Level students will study the Core 1, Core 2 and Statistics 1 modules and at A2 all students study Core 3, Core 4 and Decision 1 modules. Overviews of each of these specifications can be found on the Edexcel website.
In addition to running the A-Level Mathematics course we all offer a class for students who are yet to achieve their grade C in GCSE Mathematics. We currently have two classes, one in each year in the sixth form with no more than 15 students in each class. These are timetabled into the school day and provide the students with an opportunity to continue to develop their GCSE Mathematics skills in order for them to achieve their C Grade in Mathematics.