All Students at Whitworth Community High School follow an ambitious and rigorous curriculum which is underpinned and driven by the National Curriculum throughout key stages 3 and 4. The transition from key stage 2 is purposefully planned and seamless enabling students to make continued progress in mathematics during their secondary education.
Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8, 9)
In order for our students to reach their desired goals beyond Whitworth Community High School, their mathematical journey commences in year 7 with an empowering and inclusive key stage 3 curriculum where effort over ability is promoted and rewarded.
At key stage 3 the mathematics curriculum promotes and emphasises declarative knowledge consisting of facts, formulae, concepts and rules to ensure procedural knowledge can subsequently be applied. With this combination our students begin to develop the conceptual knowledge and ability to reason and problem solve, thus completing the content outlined in the scheme of learning which is carefully designed to continuously interleave content with composite topics and questions to ensure all learning is purposefully connected. The curriculum focuses on teaching in a sequence that provides the prerequisites for students to access and engage with future content of the GCSE course at key stage 4.
Cognitive research (Kirschner, Sweller and Clark, 2006) suggests that students need a large amount of subject knowledge in their long-term memory to become competent at any subject. In Mathematics, students will be far better equipped to apply mathematical thinking to a problem if their working memory is not overloaded with basic calculations. The development of long-term memory is therefore supported by regular low stakes questioning, daily timed 10 quick questions, and planned consolidation which reviews prior learning, formative assessments with the use of topic tests feed into teacher planning to close gaps in knowledge, and the use of the online platform Hegarty Maths, to review content as part of home learning to adopt resilience and independent learning strategies. Consistent retrieval practice of key content is integral to the structure and order of the curriculum itself, thus promoting the retention of knowledge and depth of learning.
Summative assessments are planned at the end of each year assessing students’ progress in both calculator and non calculator papers.
Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and Year 11)
Year 10 and 11 follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus which is demanding and rigorous with students experiencing a range of challenging content and deep learning which enthuses and empowers students to challenge themselves in the subject. Although the course is examined within two tiers, higher and foundation at the end of year 11, all students are taught to the highest grade within their ability. Throughout the course students are provided with the opportunity to aim for the higher tier right up until the final entries in year 11. No student is limited within the foundation tier of entry.
Foundation Tier cover grades 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Higher Tier - 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, (3)
In key stage 4, students are prepared for 3 examinations. 1 Non- Calculator and 2 Calculator papers.
In year 10 and 11 students are provided with the opportunity to practise full examination papers during interim, mock and end of year examinations. This allows students to be exposed to the question types, layout and structure as well as the 90 minute duration for each paper.
The table below shows the topic areas covered in the GCSE and the average weightings allocated at foundation and higher tier:
Beyond the study of algebra, geometry and number, mathematics provides imperative tools for work in numerous fields within industry and these are shared with students through short videos prior to teaching some topics. These can be found here; https://www.mypathcareersuk.com/maths-why-bother
These also contribute to cultural capital and provide students the desire to aspire and achieve social mobility whatever their starting point. Students’ cultural capital is developed through various topics within the curriculum such as budgeting, understanding payslips and deductions of tax, national insurance and pension contribution, currency conversion, recipes and proportions, personal finance, simple and compound interest and VAT. When teaching standard form students’ attention is drawn to the wonders of the solar system and the wider universe by using examples based around the speed of light and distances between celestial bodies. Speed, distance and time and mass, density and volume problems make strong links with Science and help students understand mathematics as the language of Science. The history of mathematics is explored which demonstrates the universal nature of the subject. Students are introduced to famous mathematicians, such as Pythagoras and Fibonacci, along with the theories or rules they are famous for.
Undergraduate courses with opportunities to study around the world are shared with all students to raise aspirations.
Mathematics (with a year in Europe) - University of York
Mathematics (with a year in USA) - University of Leicester
Mathematics with a year abroad - Cardiff University , Swansea University, Queen Mary University, London
Mathematics with International Year - University of Brimingham
All students are encouraged to achieve their maximum potential and learn the importance of mathematics in all aspects of life. Students of all abilities are encouraged to believe they are able to achieve by making continuous progress and building on this each year which builds confidence and self-esteem. Whole class discussions and opportunities to work with their peers encourages students to work as part of a team and helps them understand how different people solve problems in unique ways. This also promotes the British values of mutual respect and support for one another. Whilst investigating and applying mathematics to a range of situations, tolerance and resilience are promoted as students are encouraged to persevere, take risks and try different methods. During their learning of Pythagoras and Fibonacci our students learn that mathematics originates from different cultures.
Furthermore, using carefully constructed resources to show accessible methods to students ensures that they are supported whilst also sufficiently challenged through question variation.
At Key Stage 4 we provide additional resources which students can use to practise and rehearse their mathematics in the absence of their class teachers through video tutorials and questions with clues.
Within the mathematics faculty there is an intentional focus on liaising with staff across faculties on numeracy throughout all year groups which acts as a scaffold for students to access mathematical questions in other subjects such as science and geography.
Post 16 Courses
Many of our students go to the local sixth form colleges to study mathematics at A Level and other mathematics related courses such as; further mathematics, economics, accounting and statistics.
Students at Whitworth not only thrive in mathematics but also flourish at languages, humanities and STEM subjects and as professionals who have studied combined degree courses we offer advice and support on undergraduate degree courses which students may express interest in.
The table below shows an array of undergraduate courses combined with mathematics currently offered around the UK:
Mathematics Faculty Staff
Ms Y Jan - Director of Learning Mathematics
Mrs Murray - Assistant Director of Learning Mathematics
Mrs Turner - Mathematics Teacher and Head of Year 10 & Year 11
Mr Lister - Mathematics Teacher
Mr Haigh - Mathematics Teacher
Mrs Canavan - Mathematics Specialist Teaching Assistant