Staff have high expectations and set challenging targets.
We aim to instill confidence and competence and strive to make learning enjoyable. Children receive three hours of maths per week plus one homework. At the start of year 7 we teach children in their tutor groups so they can acclimatise. Children can learn at different rates and so we will set the children according to their ability during the key stage. We assess throughout the year both informally and formally in tests. Sets are then adjusted to make sure that students are matched up with similar learners.
Our open door policy means that there are always teachers available to recap, help and advise. Our after school support club offers catch up opportunities plus extension activities on Thursday’s 3pm – 4pm. Our teaching styles are varied – we encourage practical work, problem solving and group work alongside speaking and listening activities. To broaden the scope of these styles we have worked with several Universities (project details below) to deepen the understanding of students through contextuallised learning.
Mathematics in Key Stage 3 is changing, as more schools focus on the development of mastery, and prepare for a new emphasis at GCSE in solving non-routine problems. Some schools are moving to mixed ability teaching, while others are providing a combination of setted and mixed ability teaching. Teachers recognise that Key Stage 3 is crucial for laying the foundations for GCSE success.
Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) offers a number of benefits in this context, and the Realistic Maths Education trial will support Key Stage 3 teachers to use RME materials across Years 7 and 8 to enable students to engage with mathematics, whatever their current attainment level. It is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and led by a Manchester Metropolitan University team with several years’ experience of designing and developing RME materials in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.
ICCAMS investigates ways of raising students’ attainment and engagement by using formative assessment to inform teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary school. The ICCAMS project was originally funded by the Economic and Social Research Council from 2008 until 2012. Working collaboratively with a group of teachers, the ICCAMS team developed and evaluated a series of research-informed lessons and professional development activities that enable teachers to integrate formative assessment within the secondary mathematics curriculum, it will also focus teachers attention on addressing the mathematical learning needs of low-attaining students and those experiencing particular difficulties in algebra and multiplicative reasoning.