Our Intent, Implementation and Impact

Intent: Our purpose and ambition

It is our intent in the maths team to create fluent, confident mathematicians with the ability to link their prior learning to their current learning as well as apply their learning to their everyday lives and experiences. For each scheme of learning the topics will be sequenced so that the most crucial, widely applicable topics are taught earliest, allowing the students the time throughout the year to develop fluency and confidence through retrieval practice and interleaving in lessons. These crucial topics will make up the ‘non-negotiables’ for each of our SOL. These will allow us to build a mathematical profile for each of our students outside of the standard GCSE grading system, allowing us to know each students’ strengths and weaknesses within our subject and also the general effectiveness of our teaching of each topic at each stage. All topics will be taught using direct instruction as research universally shows this to be the most effective method of teaching.

We also wish students to appreciate maths, not as a series of separate exercises, but instead an interlocking web of knowledge and skills. To do this we will use intelligent practice (variation theory), allowing students to develop their understanding of the links between topics and how they can apply knowledge from one area to another. Fluency builds confidence and confidence is an especially crucial aspect to foster an enjoyment in maths. The feeling of accomplishment when you solve a puzzle, or find a solution to a problem is something we need to take advantage of to instil within our students a love of learning and mathematics.

We also have a responsibility to change a lot of our students’ views on mathematics and their attitudes towards the subject. Our programme of enrichment lessons is intended to truly reflect a curriculum that not only prepares our students to achieve great outcomes in exams, but allows them to appreciate the beauty in the wider application of mathematics. We do this by planning lessons, throughout the curriculum that builds on knowledge contained in the GCSE/A level syllabus, but also takes learning outside the boundaries of these qualifications. We also use a series of lessons designed to highlight a certain aspect of the culture of the wider surrounding area. This will enable students to see the knowledge they will have gained applied to areas outside the GCSE/A level syllabus that will have a bearing on their wider environment and local communities. We also recognise the importance of trying to increase each student’s vocabulary to enable them to access more of the curriculum at the highest levels so put a focus on tier 2 vocabulary within lessons to increase each students’ cultural capital.

Key Stage 3 Intent and Focus

During Key Stage 3 students will undertake 3 of our Schemes of Learning between stages 5 and 8. These can overlap at times and classes can often extend their learning from one schema into the next at certain points throughout the year if they are progressing above expectations.

At key Stage 3 students focus on learning new knowledge to build up an array of interlocking skills in maths. All new knowledge and skills are taught using direct instruction (one of Rosenshine’s 10 Principles of Instruction 2012) as research overwhelmingly shows this to be the most effective way to teach maths. Fluency is then developed using Intelligent Practice, this is where the questions in an exercise are sequenced in a way so that the students can spot links between the elements of a question and use it to predict the next answer. This not only allows students the practice needed to become fluent with a topic, but also allows them to look more deeply at a topic and its links to other areas in maths. This is summarised best by Marton and Pang Frontline Learning Research (2013): ‘Meanings are acquired from experiencing differences against a background of sameness rather that from experiencing sameness against a backdrop of difference.’

One hour each week is devoted to retrieval practice: the skill of remembering things that the students have been taught and mastered previously. This lesson also links to their homework, which is set weekly and is again retrieval based.

Key Stage 4 Intent and Focus

At Key Stage 4 students finish 2 extra schemes of learning and then focus turns to revision for their final exams. New techniques are still taught using direct instruction and Intelligent Practice is still implemented, however greater focus is put on problem solving and contextual problems to allow students to see their new skills being applied to real world problems and eventually their exams.

In year 11 students are given access to revision materials such as the PiXL maths app to help them in their final preparations for the GCSE exams and past paper practice and exam technique lessons play a big part alongside retrieval practice to give them the best possible chance of achieving above their targeted grades.