The solutions to many of life’s problems have been a direct result of mathematical advances which have developed all around the world over centuries. It is a universal language that is creative and ingenious in the way it builds upon reasoning and logical thinking. It is the backbone to science, technology and engineering and vital for most careers and financial literacy. High quality mathematical education develops an understanding of the universe and allows us to be in awe of the beauty all around us. Mathematics gives us a great sense of enjoyment by exploring our curiosity.
The aims of teaching and learning mathematics are to encourage and enable students to:
- Understand and be able to use the language, symbols and notation of mathematics
- Recognise that mathematics permeates the world around us
- Appreciate the usefulness, power and beauty of mathematics
- Enjoy mathematics and develop resilience when solving problems
- Develop mathematical curiosity and use inductive and deductive reasoning when solving problems
- Become confident in using mathematics to analyse and solve problems both in school and in real-life situations
- Develop abstract, logical and critical thinking and the ability to reflect critically upon their work and the work of others
- Appreciate the international dimension of mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives.
- Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
- Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions
- Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.
Stewards Academy has always placed a strong emphasis on the teaching of mathematics and we seek, as a department, to continue this tradition. Many of our pupils continue to study mathematics in various forms in third level education and with that in mind we aim to give them the best grounding possible, not just teach for the examinations at the end of the year. We view mathematics as a vital subject for all pupils and a way for them to learn tools for everyday life and the skills necessary to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. Mathematics is important for pupils in many other areas of study particularly Science, Engineering and Technology. Having said this, it is also important in everyday living, in many forms of employment, and in public decision-making.
Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ abilities to calculate; to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically; to solve problems and to handle data.
In the mathematics department we aim to set challenging targets with high expectations for all pupils and offer a variety of approaches to teaching and learning to engage and motivate pupils and demand their active participation.
Teachers within this department make use of a wide range of resources including ICT rooms, mini-whiteboards and more “hands-on” equipment to aid learning, such as bead strings, dienes’ blocks, multi-link cubes, to mention but a few.
Pupils are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular mathematics activities such as the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge. Several of our pupils have been awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze for their participation. We hope that taking part in the Mathematical Challenges is a stimulating and rewarding experience for all students. It consists of high-quality problems to encourage our students to think mathematically.
During Numeracy Week, we organise numerous activities.
The teaching staff, within this department, also dedicates their time after school to run Maths Homework Club weekly. The purpose of this club is to provide a safe place where those who have difficulties can get some extra support in this core subject. Alternatively, it is a place where those who enjoy mathematics can extend their knowledge.
Key Stage 3
In year 7 and 8 pupils are set according to ability with 8 classes in each year group. Pupils follow the Maths Mastery course in both years and are assessed every half term. The use of pre-assessments on topics, along with post-assessments allows pupils to gain a good insight into their learning, each half term.
The aims of the KS3 programme of Mathematics Mastery are to:
- To develop the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding needed for continuing education, for life and for work.
- To develop the skills of dealing with mathematical concepts in context and applications, as well as in solving problems.
- To foster a positive attitude to mathematics in the learner.
These aims are the backbone of our mathematics teaching in Stewards Academy.
Homework is also set half-termly online, using the website ‘My Maths’. This website is also a great aid for independent learning and pupils are encouraged to use it for revision too.
It is essential that pupils come to school equipped with a range of suitable mathematical instruments. Equipment is available for purchase in the School Resources Centre.
Key Stage 4
The Programme of study at Key Stage 4 builds on the progress of students during KS3. Students are assessed on their mathematical skills, their ability to apply these to real-life situations and their problem solving skills.
Pupils follow the AQA Mathematics GCSE Linear Course. The GCSE has two levels of entry, Higher and Foundation, examined through three papers at the end of Year 11.
Homework is set every half term in the form of a booklet containing key skill practice as well as exam practice. Students are encouraged to use the ‘Mathswatch’ and Maths Genie websites to aid independent learning.