John Willmott School

Mathematics

The Maths Department aims to encourage all our students to develop their mathematical independence and the curriculum is designed to provide them with the functional and problem-solving skills that will help them in their future lives and give them access to the widest range of possible careers.

In their Maths lessons, students will learn about new and challenging mathematical concepts and develop their skills in the key areas of Number, Algebra, Proportion, Geometry, Measures, Statistics and Probability. Teachers will plan activities so that students have plenty of time to develop their fluency in these skills and also give them tasks that involve them in logical reasoning and solving problems in different contexts, such as those designed by nationally recognised organisations like Nrich.

Students are assessed both informally and formally on a regular basis and an emphasis is put on identifying individual areas of weakness and giving opportunities to improve on these before moving on to the next stage. Students have access to online resources including MyMaths and MathsWatch which they can use independently to support their learning and progress.

All students have at least 7 lessons per fortnight in Maths, increasing to 8 lessons by the end of Year 11. In Year 7 students are initially assessed and using information from their Primary Schools, placed onto one of three pathways to best suit their transition from Key Stage 2. They will consolidate and extend their existing skills and also be introduced to the concept of algebra.

Year 8 students will increasingly learn how to apply the knowledge they have gained to more unfamiliar problems and extend their understanding of proportionality and algebraic manipulation. Year 9 is a transition year during which students spend the first part consolidating and extending their mathematical learning from Key Stage 3. In the second part of Year 9 they will begin the GCSE Mathematics course.

At GCSE level attention turns to ensuring that students are equipped with the mathematical knowledge and exam technique essential for academic success. In Year 10 we aim to help students develop a sound understanding of all aspects of the subject and to appreciate its application in a variety of contexts. Exam preparations are of course the main focus for Year 11 during which students gain greater depth to their knowledge of mathematical understanding and develop techniques to help them achieve their potential in their GCSE exams.

There is extensive support offered to students by staff in the Maths department. A catch-up programme runs for Key Stage 3 students who come to us working below Level 4 and students have weekly one-to-one sessions using resources designed to help them increase their rate of progress. Our Maths Academic Support Assistant works with small groups in many lessons to target individual areas for improvement and is always available for further help if requested by individual students. Many teachers offer revision sessions for GCSE students after school each Thursday and are happy to give help whenever students need it.

Our most able students in all year groups take part in the annual UK Maths Challenge competition which gives them opportunity to test their skills against students in other schools across the country. In the Sixth Form the A-level course, taught by well-qualified specialists, prepares students for further study in mathematical, scientific and technical subjects. Former students have been successful in taking up places on courses in Maths, Physics and Engineering at some of our top universities.