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Mathematics Subject Overview

Philosophy for teaching Mathematics

At St Mary’s the mathematics department equip students with the mathematical and numerical skills they need to be successful academically, whilst preparing them for life beyond the classroom.  We believe that every student can be successful in mathematics and our goal is to ensure the best outcomes for all learners.

We have an ambitious mathematics curriculum which is rich in skills and knowledge.  Our curriculum is under pinned by three key principles.  In line with the aims of the KS3 National Curriculum, we believe all students should be able to reason mathematically, solve problems and be fluent with facts.

At St Mary’s we create mathematicians who think, act and speak with purpose and confidence.  Teachers promote oracy and develop confidence by encouraging pupils to talk openly about mathematics and to explain their thinking.  Staff and students use complex mathematical vocabulary to communicate their ideas and create arguments and conjectures.

We believe it is essential that students are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics.  We promote fluency through varied and frequent practice and by introducing increasingly complex problems over time. We use low floor, high ceiling tasks that enable students to be successful whilst stretching the more able.  Students should feel confident in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems by using their knowledge and skills to break problems down into smaller steps. This approach is used in order to build resilience, deepen understanding and develop conceptual understanding.

Our pedagogy is underpinned by a mastery approach meaning we teach for understanding.  We have a challenging spiral curriculum which bases future teaching on previous learning.  Teachers clearly model mathematical procedures with consistency as agreed within the scheme of learning and calculations policy.  This approach is consistent with the latest educational research.

Where applicable, teachers make links across units of work in order to emphasise the many connections between different mathematical facts, procedures and concepts to create a rich network of understanding. Lessons are well structured and teachers use carefully selected examples in order to model methods for pupils to practice. They ensure milestones, which lead to excellence, are broken down into smaller steps for each unit of work. Proportional time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning (progression of skills), guided by the scheme of learning. Pedagogy is based on the best available evidence (supported by Blackpool Research School) with a variety of teaching strategies used.  Teachers predict difficulties learners may have in advance and plan to address potential misconceptions before they arise.  If there are further difficulties within the lesson misconceptions are uncovered and addressed rather than sidestepped.  Carefully selected manipulatives and representations are used to support mathematical understanding of concepts, enabling pupils to deepen understanding and use the mathematics independently.

All teachers have strong mathematical knowledge and have a clear understanding of our schemes of learning; they are knowledgeable of the mathematical journey pupils have already been on and continue to build on it, leading to success at GCSE and beyond. Teachers work towards the defined excellence for each unit of mathematics.  The approach ‘find out what they don’t know and teach them it’ is embedded. Summative data is analysed at a fine grain size during DAFITAL which provides formative information, which is then used to inform further teaching. Alongside this, an efficient and continuous assessment for each unit or milestone are carried out with marking and feedback that informs future planning and addresses misconceptions.

Mathematics Video Help for parents/carers

KS3 Curriculum Map

Year 7 Overview

In Year 7 students will consolidate their numerical and mathematical capability from Key Stage 2. They will extend their understanding of the number system and make connections between number relationships and their algebraic and graphical representations.

Year 7 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Numeracy – To ensure students are fluent in numerical calculations and problem solving to allow learners to be ready for the demands of the mathematical curriculum

    Algebra - Model perimeter and area problems by translating them into algebraic expressions and simple equations. Use specific values to evaluate these expressions.

  • Lent Term

    Number and Calculation - To solve increasingly complex number and practical problems by applying understanding of all 4 operations including decimal and negative numbers.

    Fractions - To solve problems using the four operations with proper and improper fractions and calculate percentage increase and decrease.

  • Summer Term

    Probability - To demonstrate a secure understanding of theoretical probability and experimental probability.

    Geometry - To describe, classify, analyse and investigate two and three dimensional objects by their properties and apply knowledge of these to solve increasingly complex geometric problems

Year 8 Overview

Students will build on their Year 7 knowledge and begin to move freely between different numerical, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic representations. They will begin to reason deductively in geometry, number and algebra, including using geometrical constructions.

Year 8 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Number and Calculation - To apply knowledge of percentage multipliers, standard form and indices to solve increasingly complex number and practical problems.

    Algebra - To draw straight line graphs and use them to solve algebraic equations, where the solution may not be a whole number.

  • Lent Term

    Ratio and Proportion - To solve problems involving direct and inverse proportions and ratio.

    Geometry - To describe, analyse and construct 2d and 3d objects with or without curved surfaces.

  • Summer Term

    Geometry - To describe, analyse and construct 2d and 3d objects with or without curved surfaces.

    Sequences - To describe patterns algebraically and use known elements within the pattern to make predictions.

Year 9 Overview

Students begin Year 9 with “crossover topics” which appear on both higher and foundation tier papers with students on a higher pathway engaging in more complex problems. Students build on their learning for GCSE to establish firm foundations for either tier at GCSE.

Year 9 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Probability – To represent and interpret numerical data in two-way tables, frequency trees and Venn diagrams.

    Number 1 – To use the product of primes to find HCF and LCM of two or more numbers. To solve money problems using exchange rates and reason mathematically to determine best value.

    Algebra 1 – To solve any linear equations and manipulate equations to change the subject.

  • Lent Term

    Algebra 1 cont. – To plot and interpret the graph of linear functions.

    Number 2 – To use a calculator to solve complex problems involving bounds.

    Percentages – To be able to solve complex percentage problems both working out new amounts and original amounts.

  • Summer Term

    Fractions, Ratio and Proportion – To solve multi-step problems involving fractions. To apply knowledge of fractions, decimals and percentages to ratio problems.

    Statistics – Calculate, compare and interpret averages from a variety of sources. Represent and interpret data using statistical graphs.

    Standard Form - To manipulate expressions and solve increasingly complex problems involving standard form and indices.


KS4 Curriculum Map

KS4 Overview

Over the next two years of studying the GCSE syllabus, students will investigate, discover, develop and consolidate their understanding of Mathematics. Students will explore key areas of mathematics such as: Number; Algebra; Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change; Geometry and Measures; Statistics and Probability.

Year 10 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Algebra – Solve linear inequalities and represent the solution set on a number line. Solve quadratic equations. Plot and interpret quadratic and cubic graphs.

    Geometry (Triangles) – Find missing sides/angles using Pythagoras’ Theorem and Trigonometry.

    Geometry (Circles) – Find the area and perimeter of circles, sectors and compound shapes.

  • Lent Term

    Statistical Diagrams – To draw and interpret a range of statistical diagrams.

    Surds - To apply knowledge of surds to solve problems in other areas of mathematics.

    Sequences – To generate and use the nth term rule for a range of linear and non-linear sequences.

  • Summer Term

    Advanced Algebra – Simplify and manipulate algebraic fractions. Solve two simultaneous equations in two variables. Find approximate solutions to equations using iterative methods. Work confidently with fractional and negative indices.

    Shape Properties – Derive and apply the properties of shapes . Identify volume and surface area from plans and elevations.

    Units of Measure – Convert between standard units and compound units. Plot and interpret graphs of non-standard functions.

Year 11 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Proportion – Solve problems involving direct and inverse proportion, including graphical and algebraic representations.

    Circle Theorems – Solve geometric problems and proofs using circle theorems.

    Transformations – Use and describe multiple transformations. Understand congruence and similarity.

    Graphs – Identify parallel and perpendicular lines

  • Lent Term

    Inequalities – Represent inequalities on a coordinate grid. Solve quadratic inequalities.

    Histograms – Construct and interpret histograms for grouped data.

    Probability – Calculate the probability of independent and dependent events using tree diagrams.

    Polygons – Deduce and use the angle sum in any polygon.

  • Summer Term

    Geometry – Know and apply the rules of trigonometry to find unknown lengths and angles in 2D and 3D shapes.

    Constructions – Use compass and ruler to construct figures and solve loci problems.

    Vectors – Use vectors to construct geometric arguments and proofs.

    Functions – Recognise and sketch transformations of a given function.


A Level Curriculum Map

Year 12 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Indices – Use the laws of indices and perform essential algebraic manipulations.

    Surds – Use and manipulate surds.

    Quadratics – Solve a quadratic equation using various methods. Work with quadratic functions and their graphs.

    Inequalities – Solve linear and quadratic inequalities. Interpret and represent linear and quadratic inequalities graphically.

    Simultaneous Equations – Solve linear and quadratic simultaneous equations.

    Graphs – Understand and use the equation of a straight line and other functions, including polynomials. Work with parallel and perpendicular lines. Use graphs to solve equations. Sketch the result of a simple transformation given the graph of any function y = f(x).

    Circles – Understand and use the equation of a circle. Use the properties of chords and tangents for circle problems.

    Algebraic Methods – Use algebraic division. Apply the factor theorem. Use proof by deduction and exhaustion.

    Binomial Expansion – Use the binomial expansion. Find an unknown coefficient of a binomial expansion.

    Trigonometry – Use the sine, cosine and tangent functions; their graphs, symmetries and periodicity. Use the sine and cosine rules.

    Differentiation – Differentiate from first principles. Apply differentiation to find gradients, tangents and normals, maxima and minima and stationary points.

  • Lent Term

    Trigonometry – Solve trigonometric equations within a given interval.

    Integration – Integrate x^n (excluding n = −1), and related sums, differences and constant multiples. Evaluate and use definite integrals to find the area under a curve.

    Logs – Use the functions a^x, e^x and ln x and their graphs. Use the laws of logarithms. Use logarithmic graphs to estimate parameters.

    Vectors – Calculate the magnitude and direction of a vector and convert between component form and magnitude/direction form. Use vectors to solve problems in pure mathematics and in context.

    Sampling – Understand, use and compare sampling techniques.

    Location and Spread – Calculate measures of location, mean, median and mode. Calculate measures of variation, standard deviation, variance, range and interpercentile range.

    Representing data – Interpret diagrams for single-variable data.

    Modelling – Introduction to mathematical modelling and standard S.I. units of length, time and mass.

    Acceleration – Graphical representation of velocity, acceleration and displacement.

    Forces – Know and apply Newton’s first law.

  • Summer Term

    Correlation – Use and interpret scatter diagrams and regression lines.

    Probability – Use mutually exclusive and independent events.

    Statistical distribution – Use discrete distributions to model real-world situations. Identify the discrete uniform distribution. Calculate probabilities using the binomial distribution.

    Hypothesis – Understand and apply the language of statistical hypothesis testing. Conduct a statistical hypothesis test for the proportion in the binomial distribution and interpret the results.

    Forces – Know and apply Newton’s second and third laws.

    Acceleration – Use calculus to determine rates of change for kinematics. Use integration for kinematics problems.

Year 13 Topics
  • Autumn Term

    Functions – Sketch graphs of functions involving modulus functions. Solve equations and inequalities involving modulus functions. Work out the composition of two functions and the inverse of a function and sketch its graph. Transform functions.

    Sequences – Work with a range of linear and quadratic sequences. Understand and work with arithmetic and geometric sequences and series.

    Binomial Expansion – Understand and use the binomial expansion.

    Radians – Work with radian measure, including use for arc length and area of sector. Know and use exact values of sin, cos and tan and be able to use the standard small angle approximations for sine, cos and tan.

    Trigonometry – Understand and use the definitions of secant, cosecant and cotangent and of arcsin, arccos and arctan.

    Differentiation – Differentiation from first principles for sin x and cos x. Understand and use the second derivative. Differentiate using the product rule, quotient rule and chain rule. Construct simple differential equations.

  • Lent Term

    Trigonometry – Understand and use double angle formulae and geometrical proofs of these formulae.

    Integration – Integrate more complex expressions, including trig functions and exponential functions. Find the area under a curve and the area between two curves. Use integration by substitution and by parts. Integrate using partial fractions. Understand and use trapezium rule.

    Parametric Equations – Understand and use the parametric equations of curves and conversion between Cartesian and parametric forms.

    Vectors – Use vectors in three dimensions.

    Numerical Methods – Locate roots of f(x) = 0. Solve equations approximately using iterative methods. Solve equations using the Newton-Raphson method and other recurrence relations.

    Statistics – Use a regression line. Calculate the PMCC. Conduct a statistical hypothesis test and interpret the results in context.

    Forces – Find the forces acting on a particle and resolve a force into components. Understand frictional force and calculate called the coefficient of friction.

    Moments – Know and use the formula for moment of a force and draw mathematical models to represent horizontal rod problems.

  • Summer Term

    Normal Distribution – Understand and use the Normal distribution to find probabilities. Find the mean and variance of a binomial distribution.

    Conditional Probability – Understand and use tree diagrams, Venn diagrams and two-way tables. Use the conditional probability formula.

    Further Kinematics – Find the time of flight, range and maximum height of a projectile.

St Mary's Catholic Academy

Head Teacher: Mr. Simon Eccles
St. Walburga's Road, Blackpool, FY3 7EQ
01253 396286
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