At Forge Valley School we believe that numeracy and the wider application of mathematics are both fundamental to everyday life, particularly in today’s fast developing world.
We aim to provide all students with a rewarding and enjoyable experience of mathematics throughout KS3/4/5 which opens their eyes to the part mathematics plays in every aspect of the world around us.
Ours is a mastery curriculum which focuses on high expectations for all and an increasing emphasis on analysis, logic and problem solving in a variety of situations; skills which will enable our students to make positive wider contributions to society in the future. Along the way we prioritise the development of basic numeracy skills for life, which will allow our students to function effectively as individuals too."
Numeracy involves the parts of Mathematics that are relevant to real life such as being able to confidently use numbers, understand statistics and work with measurements as well as many other areas. At Forge, we place an importance on this in lessons where questions won't always just involve performing a skill by itself, but it will involve using in a context that shows the purpose of learning Mathematics.
Numeracy is not just found in Maths lessons. In DT, you will use measurements, scales and angles. In Science, you will use units, standard form and compound measures. In History and Geography, you will use charts and graphs to make sense of the world. In ICT, you will use algorithms to help with coding and other programming. Numeracy is important in many other subjects on top of these examples which also proves the importance of being able to use Maths in real life.
At Forge Valley, we have subscribed to Times Table Rockstars. This is a website that pupils can use to practise their times tables which is essential in lessons to reduce the strain on working memory. Students should have written their login details in their planners and the website can be found here: https://ttrockstars.com/
Key Stage 3 Curriculum Content
We start each lesson with a recap of previous topics. Research suggests that this constant reminder of old content will facilitate the learning of new content. Not only this, the questions from textbooks that we use in lesson often delve into the links between other areas of Mathematics. For example, a student might be working predominantly on finding the area of circles, but they will have to reflect back on their knowledge of the area of other shapes, converting units, using fractions and decimals, working with money and so on.
At the end of certain key topics, students will complete a "checkout" which is essentially a mini-test to check their understanding. This is a great part of the curriculum for students to receive feedback, learn from their mistakes and more importantly make progress.
The homework that we set is also linked to this idea of retrieving old information. Questions are selected to remind students about the topics they learnt in the previous half term. Alongside this, we use the internet platform HegartyMaths which is an excellent resource for revision and checking understanding. Students can choose to learn and practise a wide range of other topics that they may be interested in, including some A-level material. The homework booklets can be found on the links below.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum Content
Having built significant foundations in KS3, throughout KS4 we develop on these to ensure that pupils are confident and competent problem solvers. This content is designed with the OCR Syllabus in mind as pupils complete their Mathematics (9-1) - J560 qualification in the summer of Y11.
Every lesson begins with a starter designed to boost retention of knowledge. These follow a systematic review of previous topics - some from the previous year, some from earlier this year & some which have been covered more recently. Pupils gain confidence from completing regular "shadow" questions (the same questions with different numbers) where progress is clear as pupils develop the ability to answer more questions correctly over time.
As new concepts are introduced within lessons, class teachers develop understanding through the use of tasks which initially focus on the acquisition of skills. They then expand on these to ensure the skills have been mastered and can be applied effectively to both reasoning and problem solving before moving on.
Homework is set by the individual class teacher to reinforce retention of key concepts - sometimes this will focus on a recent topic and other times it will provide reminders of key topics covered in the past. To supplement this we also use https://hegartymaths.com/ which supports pupils with independent revision to address individual gaps in their knowledge - pupils can work on this at any time to further their own understanding.
The review quizzes below give an outline of the key skills developed through each unit of work in the outline scheme of work above: