Aim: To involve all staff in ambitious teaching that provides students with a rigorous, challenging and engaging Key Stage 4 curriculum and prepares as many as possible for the opportunity of taking a Mathematics A Level .
Background: The school was founded in 2008 and the Sixth Form was newly opened when the project began.
Year 1: A structured approach was taken to co-planning the KS4 Maths and Additional Maths curricula, involving the whole team. Training focused on approaches to teaching A/A* topics and early A Level Maths. Links were made with other successful schools to share best practice, and KS4 pupils were encouraged to enter external competitions, such as UKMT, as individuals and as groups.
Year 2: The department worked with schools across the Ark network that already had Sixth Forms, and good practice was shared during Hub Days. A KS5 curriculum was planned with a focus on developing conceptual understanding, engaging students with relevant ‘real-world’ links and fostering their mathematical curiosity.
Year 3: The percentage of students achieving A*-A in GCSE Maths and A*-C in GCSE Additional Maths was monitored, as were their perspectives and take-up of A Level Maths and Further Maths. A Mathematical Society was set up and speakers gave talks about mathematical career options and the benefits of a Maths degree.
Evidence: GCSE results, take-up at KS5.
Impact: The majority of targets were met or exceeded at GCSE: 88% A*-C (target 80%), 39% A*-A (target 35%) and 96% A*-C in Further Maths (target 90%). 61 out of 99 Year 12 students continued to A Level, with many more wanting to take Maths but missing the entry requirements.
The curriculum that was developed provided students with a variety of types of activity, opportunities to develop their conceptual understanding, support and challenge, and links to mathematics in the ‘real world’.
Reflections: As I come to the end of this project, I feel it is important to note three factors without which these goals would have been very difficult to achieve: Recruitment of high quality, passionate, motivated and hard-working staff. Collaborative working to ensure consistency and sharing best practice across the department. Planning backwards to ensure that from Year 7 students (not just ‘set 1 students’) are being prepared for A Level Mathematics.
Contact: Emi Ozeke