Team Leader: Mr A Chopdat
Mathematics is the study of number, space, structure and change. Learners studying mathematics develop highly important skills based around the ability to recognize and manipulate patterns.
Mathematical skills such as problem solving are used in almost everyone’s professional and/or professional lives. Furthermore, they are core to many professions, for instance, those in engineering, science, finance, insurance, accountancy, banking, design, architecture, computing and economics.
Employers, colleges and universities place a high value on mathematical and numerical skills and leaners’ attainment in mathematics is a strong predictor of career success.
Numeracy has been defined by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) as:
an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgements and to use and engage with mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen”.
Numeracy is a kind of mathematical literacy which requires pupils to recognising how their mathematical skills can be applied in real-life contexts. Numeracy is essential for solving problems, processing information, making decisions and interpreting data. Being numerate is about appreciating number relationships and interpreting answers, and not just about doing calculations. Research has shown that numeracy is vital to improving life outcomes for many people, possibly even more so than literacy. At UBHS we promote high standards of numeracy in leaners both through teaching and interventions in the maths department in which mathematics problems are placed in real-life contexts. Furthermore, we raise awareness of numeracy issues and run numeracy competitions every half term.
Learners in Year 7 are introduced to a range of new mathematical knowledge from all four areas of the maths curriculum: number, algebra, shape and measure, and statistics and probability. Leaners’ skills in number are a core focus of maths at UBHS and are developed from year 7 through work on fractions, decimals and percentages, factors and multiples, prime numbers, square numbers, ratio and indices.
Throughout KS3, learners develop confidence in using algebra to solve equations, to describe and find terms in sequences and in producing graphs. Learners learn to use their mathematical skills to accurately construct 2D shapes and to reflect, rotate, translate and enlarge shapes. Furthermore, they become confident at solving problems involving calculating angles, lengths and areas of 2D shapes in addition to calculating angles, lengths, surface areas and volumes of 3D shapes. Learners also develop their understanding of statistics and learn to calculate averages and range in addition to learning how to collect and represent data in different forms.
Lastly, learners develop their understanding of conditional and unconditional probability and learn how to calculate probability accurately. Throughout KS3, learners are encouraged to apply their skills to increasingly complex mathematical problems, increasing their problem-solving skills and equipping them with transferrable skills which are highly valued by employers, colleges and universities.
Learners follow the Edexcel GCSE Maths (Linear) Course. They cover topics from the GCSE maths course in Year 9 and continue to work from the GCSE syllabus throughout Year 10 and Year 11. Learners work towards either the Higher Tier (A* to C) or Foundation Tier (C to G) of GCSE according to their ability and target grades with the majority of learners at UBHS working towards Higher Tier by Year 11 and sitting the Higher Tier papers at the end of the course. There is regular assessment at KS4 and leaners sit mock exams at several points throughout the three year course to ensure that they are in the best set to help them attain the best possible grade. This ensures that learners are always being challenged effectively.
The mathematics department supports learners from all year groups outside of lessons through a numeracy clinic on Thursday lunchtime where all maths department staff are available to help learners with any maths or numeracy problems they may have. The maths department also run after school classes for all Year 11 learners on Thursday from 3pm to 4pm to help them in their preparation for the GCSE exams at the end of their course.