Key Stage 3 Maths

The vision of the Mathematics department is that "Students enjoy exploring Mathematics, achieve success and become sufficiently numerate to fulfil their mathematical potential". To achieve this vision we begin from day one of KS3. The beauty of mathematics is fully appreciated when it is used to reason, describe, challenge, develop critical thinking, analyse and improve the world we live in.

KS3 at The Blyth Academy is made up of years 7 & 8, and at this stage, students will develop their mathematical ability in 4 key areas with increasing difficulty as they progress through the Key Stage:

1. Number

Students will learn and apply the four operations (add, subtract, multiply and divide) in various contexts, including fractions; they will learn that proportion involves fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio, calculating these in various situations. They learn to appreciate the use of rounding as a tool for estimation and build on skills learned in KS 2 to become adept at mental calculation.

2. Algebra

In Algebra, students will represent "unknowns" with letters, simplify and manipulate them; write and solve equations; understand and determine patterns. All algebra is taught as an extension of Number so that students fully understand its relevance and can make full use of generalisations. Algebra develops higher order thinking skills, helping students to work with the abstract not only within Mathematics but also in other subjects.

3. Shape and Space

In Shape, students will learn about the various polygons, their key properties and constructions; exploring and constructing shapes in both two and three dimensions. Within Space, students will learn the different and appropriate ways to measure variables such as perimeter, area, surface area, volume, speed, time and distance in everyday life. Clear concepts are taught during these crucial early years so that problems can be solved later in KS 4 with greater ease.

4. Handling data

Equally important is the ability to collect, analyse and interpret data. Through various projects and surveys, small and large scale, students will carry out investigations applying the various statistical systems: data collection and use of questionnaires; calculations such as mean, median, mode and range and diagrammatic representations of their results including : pie chart, bar chart, scatter graph and stem & leaf diagrams. Students also study probability and learn how to calculate expectation, relative frequency and use tree diagrams.

The emphasis in Year 7 is on students having a deep understanding of specifics rather than a broad content knowledge this is to enable them to be better prepared for the rigours of KS4.

Though different, students will learn and understand the close link that exists between all these facets of the subject. With enrichment activities embedded in the Academy's curriculum, students will apply all of the above areas of study in problem solving activities of varying contexts that are both familiar and unfamiliar such as designing a bedroom, planning dinner for Christmas, shopping, mobile phone plans etc thereby capturing and nurturing their understanding of mathematics around them. The department works very closely with the various departments of the school, with each having an awareness of where numeracy impacts in their subject areas. This enforces the importance of the Mathematics as students will discover that the subject is needed in almost all walks of life.

In addition to mathematics lessons, students in years 7 & 8 will have the opportunity to improve their mental and written arithmetic skills during tutor time.

Supporting Children

Homework will be set weekly to either consolidate learning or to prepare for the next learning milestone. The Mathematics Department recognises that some students will have gaps in knowledge, or struggle to understand concepts, it also recognises that early intervention influences long term results. Please encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their mathematics.

GCSE Maths

Careers Options

Computer Programming, Accountancy, Architecture, Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Banking and Finance, Engineering, Insurance.

Course Objectives

GCSE Mathematics encourages students to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards, mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society. This qualification prepares students to make informed decisions about the use of technology, the management of money, further learning opportunities and career choices.

The GCSE Mathematics qualification requires students to:

  • Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts, including: Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measures, Statistics and Probability and Ratio and Proportion.
  • Use their knowledge and understanding to make connections between mathematical concepts.
  • Apply the functional elements of mathematics in everyday and real-life situations.

GCSE Mathematics also gives students the opportunity to develop the ability to:

  • Acquire and use problem-solving strategies.
  • Select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in mathematical, every day and real-world situations.
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

In addition to mathematics lessons, students in years 9 to 11 will have the opportunity discuss real world mathematics scenarios and come to understand that a large proportion of everyday life is underpinned by mathematics.

Unit Information

GCSE Mathematics is a core subject for all students at Key Stage 4.

There are various examination boards offering a choice of examination routes and students will be informed of their pathway during Y11. The level at which a student is working during Key Stage 4 will determine this pathway.

All examination boards consist of 4.5 hours of final examinations at the end of Year 11.

Supporting Children

The Mathematics Department is determined to try and help every student achieve their potential. Homework will be set weekly to either consolidate learning or to prepare for the next learning milestone. There will also be a variety of intervention opportunities offered throughout KS4, especially in Year 11. Please encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their mathematics.

Key Stage 5

Course Objectives

GCE AS Level Mathematics: This qualification is studied over one year, it consists of both pure and applied units, mechanics and statistics, of mathematics which are assessed as linear examinations at the end of the year. Students must have sat the higher GCSE paper and achieve Grade B to be considered for this course.

GCE A Level Mathematics: This qualification is studied over 2 years, it consists of both pure and applied units, mechanics and statistics, of mathematics which are assessed as linear examinations at the end of the two years. The course builds on the knowledge acquired during the AS Level course but is also independent of this qualification.

Supporting Students: GCE Mathematics can often seem daunting to year 12 and 13 students and it is imperative that they understand key concepts before they move on to the next topic. Staff are skilled at identifying areas that frequently cause concern and will set work accordingly. Students must make sure they complete this work on a timely basis to avoid falling behind the delivery of content.