Quite simply the world would not be recognisable to us if Mathematics hadn’t been invented. It helps us to trade goods and keep financial accounts at one end and explore the universe and the laws that hold it all together at the other. All mathematics has its use even though we may not all know what that is and sometimes the need is not known at the time of invention! A lot of Mathematics is invented because of need, from the invention of a number system that started with counting numbers but expanded to include fractions then irrational numbers including special numbers like π, to code theory that was so important in World War II and now in the world of computers. The importance of mathematics can’t be overstated and we believe that the life chances of pupils will be greatly enhanced by not only having the best qualification they can get but also by being able to use the Mathematics they have learned in the real world.
Mathematics at John Spence is broken into Key Stage 3 and Key stage 4 and is further divided as follows;
Key Stage 3
Assessment in Key stage 3 is by a variety of means including diagnostic tests which allow the levelling of work but also enable curricular target to be set. Formative assessments will also include occasional use of past SATS papers at appropriate levels but end of Key Stage assessment is by teacher assessment now.
Key Stage 4
Pupils are entered for GCSE as soon as we think they are ready to achieve the best grade they can. Currently foundation groups are entered for OCR J567 papers 1 and 2 and higher groups do papers 3 and 4. Pupils can re-sit to improve their grade if necessary. Grades A* to C are available at the Higher level and grades C-G at the Foundation level.
We constantly look to see if another syllabus or exam board will be a better option for our pupils and we may even enter pupils for exams with different exam boards in the course of their Key Stage 4 course.
All Maths syllabuses cover the same content and only the preparation for exams phase is changed to accommodate the different courses we use.
In both Key Stages pupils get six 1 hour lessons of Maths per fortnight.