Mathematics (2015 to 2017)
The Senior and Sixth Form Mathematics Department is committed to developing as fully as possible each student’s mathematical skills and aptitude whilst engendering enjoyment in the work undertaken. The ten classroom teachers adopt a flexible style of teaching and give students a variety of contexts and opportunities in which to develop their various mathematical skills. As a department we always offer students the help and support that they require whilst also encouraging them to be independent thinkers and learners.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of exciting maths challenges during whole-academy alternative curriculum days. This gives them excellent experience of how maths relates to real world problems and functional tasks, such as marketing products or designing packaging for products. In addition to this the department organises outside companies such as the Happy Puzzle company to come into academy to work with students to put Mathematics into a real life context.
Students of all mathematical abilities are catered for with a range of mathematical software and licences to stimulating websites. The Maths Challenge is an opportunity for the gifted and talented mathematicians to work as a team and represent the academy in a regional competition. In addition to this the academy is subscribed to software such as MyMaths which is a website where homework can be set and learning can be developed. Students and staff also have access to MathsWatch which comprises online videos with teacher led examples for students to use as revision tools and to assists with their homework. Furthermore the academy has access to Geogebra; a piece of software that allows students to investigate graphs, functions and coordinate geometry.
Students are set at least one piece of maths homework a week which should alternate between a written piece of homework and a mymaths task. Students will be given a deadline for homework and every student is expected to keep to this deadline. In addition to this students may be given a list of keywords each week and should aim to learn their spellings and definitions.
The department occupies dedicated teaching rooms on C floor in the main teaching block and also has an ICT suite. All classrooms have a laptop, a data projector, access to the academy network and the internet. The department makes use of an extensive range of physical resources to allow lessons to be delivered in a manner which appeals to the students. The Maths Department at DSLV is committed to making maths lessons as interesting and functional as possible.
Key Stage 3 – Years 7 & 8
Students are grouped as soon as possible upon entry to the academy, using information from primary schools and a baseline test we create and complete in the first two weeks for Year 7 at DSLV. Each student's progress is monitored and tracked throughout the academy using assessed independent learning tasks and end of term tests. Students are set in sets on both bands of the year group and movement between sets regularly occur. This is based upon formative teacher’s assessments and summative assessment in the form of half termly tests. Students will also sit end of year tests in Year 7 and Year 8, to support us in tracking their progress and for them to gain essential examination experience.
In KS3 the mathematics department uses Maths Progress textbooks, published by Pearson, using one of three levels of texts to suit the range of abilities. A range of Rich Tasks and Functional Maths Tasks are embedded into the Scheme of Work to help students develop independent learning skills. This is further enforced by the use of Independent Learning Tasks for homework. The schemes of work for KS3 link directly to the new curriculum for mathematics to ensure students are progressing well from KS2.
Students in KS3 can do extra work at home using the website www.mymaths.co.uk and www.mathswatchvle.com. All students will be given an academy login and their own individual login and password during the first few weeks of term. This allows students and parents to work on tasks together, and by using their individual login, their teachers will be able to see the progress they are making.
A 30 minute homework is set weekly, alternating between an online interactive assessed MyMaths task and a written task. Students are expected to continually improve on their learning by responding to written feedback given fortnightly.
All Year 7 students will participate in a Maths Extra Curricular Day, this involves students working in teams, combining their maths skills and business and enterprise ideas to create a marketable product.
Key Stage 4 – Years 9 to 11
At DSLV KS4 begins at the start of year 9 where students undertake a 3 year linear GCSE course. This enables students to complete the course. Students are set according to their year 8 groups with flexibility throughout GCSE years depending on half termly test scores. Classes are taught on a one week timetable with 50 minute lessons. Year 9 currently receive four lessons a week with Year 10 and 11 gaining six a week. Students are able to work individually, in groups and will have the opportunity to work in computer rooms to develop skills further. The current Year 11 are the last year group to sit the A*-G Edexcel Mathematics GCSE. From Year 10 and below, students will be sitting the new GCSE with Grades from 1-9 with 9 being the highest and Grade 5 being roughly equivalent to the old Grade C. Years 9 and 10 currently use the new GCSE maths books published by Collins endorsed by Edexcel.
At the start of each year students are re-grouped into one of two bands. This judgement is based firstly on their abilities in Maths and English and then teacher assessment of a student’s capability reflected by their test scores during the previous academic year. Movement between sets based on formative assessments and teacher discretion are regular every half term. Student progress is tested using tests compiled from past paper questions, which give students early experience of exam style questions. Many teachers integrate these exam questions into their lessons to reinforce exam technique and allow students to see how their work will be marked after exams. Functional Maths tasks are still used throughout KS4, with the aim of allowing students to see the real life applications of mathematics and to develop a deeper understanding of where maths is used in real life situations.
Edexcel exams now consist of questions that require the use of good communication, literacy and functional skills; all of which have now been integrated into the year 9, 10 and 11 schemes of work. Year 11 students follow the Edexcel syllabus with no coursework and use the textbooks published by Collins endorsed by Edexcel.
As with KS3, students in KS4 can also use the website www.mymaths.co.uk and www.mathswatchvle.co.uk to do extra work outside lessons. Along with this, teachers hold homework help sessions or extra maths sessions during the school day at break and lunch times. All students in years 9, 10 and 11 will have a minimum of one piece of homework a week from their maths teacher. This homework should be a written piece one week followed by a MyMaths the next for Years 9 and 10 and written homework to aid exam technique and practise each week during Year 11. Teachers are required to use their discretion to challenge students through homework and push them to do more independent tasks at home.
Key Stage 5 – Year 13
At DSLV we offer our current year 13 students the chance to study Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level. In recent years the most successful students at KS5 have been the students who have gained a grade A at GCSE. DSLV therefore require students that want to study AS and A level Mathematics to have achieved at least a Grade A or equivalent in KS4.
The two year course is broken down into six modules, each of which carries an equal weighting towards the final A Level qualification. Three modules are completed in each year, and are aimed to develop the work covered at GCSE in order to create a broad understanding of pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics. All students will study the pure mathematics course which is broken into two modules (Core) and then either statistics or mechanics based on their other subject choices.
A2 Level Modules include:
Core 3: This module develops a deeper understanding of calculus, including the use of the chain and product rules. It also considers numerical methods and the log and exponential functions.
Core 4: The final pure module looks at algebraic and partial fractions, parametric and differential equations, trigonometry and vectors.
Statistics 2: The second statistics module includes the Binomial, Poisson and Normal distributions as well as sampling and Hypothesis testing.
Mechanics 2: This module deepens the understanding of Mechanics and introduces kinematics, centres of mass, collisions and statics of rigid bodies.
A Level mathematics is assessed through six examinations over the two years; one relating to each of the modules studied. In KS5 homework is issued weekly by their class teacher and is returned to students with targeted work for them to complete.
We also offer sixth form students the opportunity to re-sit GCSE Mathematics if they were unsuccessful in gaining a grade C in Year 11.
Students then have an individual log on which they can get from their teacher if lost or forgotten.
Centre ID: dslv
Students each have an individual username and password which they can get from their teacher if lost or forgotten.
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