Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8, we focus on broadening and deepening the knowledge and skills that have been introduced in Primary School. After an initial transitional phase in year 7, students start formal learning on their first Area of Focus. Each Area of Focus consists of 5-6 weeks of in-depth learning on a topic, followed by a whole-class assessment. Year 8 also study in Areas of Focus. Results for all year 7 and year 8 assessments are available to parents on Go4Schools. In year 9, we prepare the students for transition to Key Stage 4. As well as beginning to introduce more complex topics, students work on developing their mathematical reasoning skills and problem-solving, which are essential for the new GCSE specification. Assessments in Year 9 are closer in style to GCSE questions and the focus is on ensuring a secure foundation of knowledge and skills for the start of the GCSE course in the summer term.
Key Stage 4
Mathematics is a core subject and in Key Stage 4 students continue to build upon the mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills and knowledge that they have acquired in Key Stage 3. It is a subject that promotes the development of logical reasoning and encourages analytical thought.
Our aim is to ensure that each student on leaving school is fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and has sufficient mathematical skills for the career of his/her choice and will understand and be able to use the mathematics likely to be encountered in daily adult life.
The new GCSE Maths curriculum is linear and we follow the AQA specification. Students are taught a range of topics in the strands of:
Number, Algebra, Ratio, proportion and rates of change, Geometry and Measures, Probability and Statistics.
At Key Stage 4, students are taught to develop fluency by consolidating their mathematical capability from Key Stage 3 and extending their understanding further. They build upon their mathematical reasoning skills to solve complex problems and make connections between different topics of mathematics.
Mathematics is assessed in two tiers, Higher and Foundation, and it allows every candidate the opportunity to gain at least a Grade 4. The course has only one assessment opportunity at the end of Year 11. Therefore students need to build on skills learnt in Key Stage 3 and begin a sound revision programme throughout Year 11 in preparation for the exams at the end of Key Stage 4.
The setting in Year 10 is based on ability and does not necessarily restrict students to a particular tier of entry at GCSE. There is a continuous review of students’ progress within all sets and students can be moved between groups at almost any time, numbers permitting.
There is NO COURSEWORK, therefore assessment is entirely through the three written examinations.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Career Options:
Mathematics supports other subjects in many areas of the curriculum, particularly the Sciences, Technology, Geography, Psychology and PE. It is important in many forms of employment including Medicine (human and veterinary), Accountancy, Insurance, Engineering and Management and GCSE Maths is always important for your College/University application. High prior attaining students are entered for the National Intermediate Mathematics Challenge in which Tomlinscote students, traditionally, do very well. Some students attend external events to give them a broader view of Maths beyond Key Stage 4. This includes events such as the ‘Maths Feast’ and ‘Taking Maths Further’.