Maths at The Isle of Wight Education Federation – giving students their superpower to make sense of their world.
“When am I ever going to need this?” Every maths teacher would tell you they would be rich if they had a pound for every time this question was asked.
Maths is not about being able to do complex arithmetic under timed conditions; rather it is a combination of analytical and critical thinking skills that develop perseverance that together give us our “maths superpower”. The quantitative literacy that maths provides is our entry to the world that enables us to understand and critique the society around us. Areas such as Health (food packaging, pandemics), Shopping (comparing prices, discounts), Social Justice and Citizenship to name a few. Being able to question, analyse and make sense of the sheer amount of maths that bombards us every day, is how we envisage our students using the knowledge and skills they have gained whilst studying maths to GCSE at IWEF. At our sixth form, the study of maths at A-Level will further develop a love of maths in both its pure and applied form.
While students take three exams at the end of KS4, their maths education will accompany them throughout their life making them well-rounded and skilled citizens.
Maths at GCSE is a two tiered subject, being split into higher and foundation. The Higher Tier ranges from a grade 3 to a grade 9 while the Foundation Tier spans Grades 1 to 5. Classes are set according to what tier the student will be entered for. Being responsive to our students’ needs means our staff are constantly assessing and monitoring where the student is at in terms of their understanding allowing us to adapt and modify our teaching approaches.
Our schemes of work are designed so that the key skills and knowledge in maths are revisited each year thus allowing students to build on the foundations they have gained through all the key stages improving and honing them until the final exams in KS4 and possibly KS5. Not only are the topics recurring within our schemes of work, but retrieval of the basics of the four areas is also achieved through our mixed questions at the beginning of each lesson. Problem solving skills are also incorporated into our lessons and beyond, with students taking part in Puzzle of the Week, various maths and cipher challenges, War Hammer club to name a few.
Homework is set weekly using the well renowned virtual learning website Hegarty Maths – students have their own login details and their work is set and monitored by the teacher. They are expected to watch the associated video writing down worked examples in the process and then using their Hegarty books for working out allowing them to complete the quiz to the best of their ability. There is also plenty of scope within Hegarty for retrieval of past topics they have done – so it becomes a personalised learning and revision journey for each student.