Welcome to the Mathematics Department – Meet the team
“We are equipping students with the skills and curiosity to engage with the numbers and ideas that underpin our technological world.”
Mathematics Curriculum Intent
We deliver a Mathematics curriculum that enables all students to make excellent progress across five years of study, leading to excellent outcomes and supporting a variety of further education options. Our curriculum is a “joined-up” approach to Mathematics which emphasises the connections between topics, encouraging students to explore those links and enjoy the discovery of new ideas and their real life applications. These ideas are carefully sequenced so that prerequisite knowledge is taught early in their time at Wixams and so that links between subjects can be built upon. This will enable students of all abilities to access more sophisticated mathematical ideas. We also set homework to support this approach by alternating between lagged tasks and retrieval of key skills.
Consistent Calculation Policy
We believe that students need a consistent approach throughout their years studying Mathematics in order to make excellent progress. It is harder to make good connections if “the way we do Maths” changes from year to year. Our Calculation Policy sets out our way of teaching the fundamentals of mathematics: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, proportion, ratio, algebraic expressions and solving equations. Our Policy exists because we recognise that there are a variety of approaches out there, but our experience and pedagogical values lead us to choose certain methods and we encourage children to use these consistently across the Academy.
Clearly defined teaching style
It is important for us to embed up-to-the-minute and research-based veiws of learning into our lessons. For this reason we plan our curriculum and lessons collaboratively, regularly using certain elements. Our Retrieval Starters give a well-structured and calm start to every lesson, encouraging students to practice work that they have learnt previously. Our examples are designed to reduce cognitive load by focusing on the one skill to learned, which is modelled by the teacher (“Worked Example”) before students work through a similar but different example (“Your Turn”). This avoids passive note taking but allows students to engage successfully before working on further practice. These practice tasks are themselves designed to support pattern recognition and build links between topics, or to challenge misconceptions.
Independent study skills become increasingly important throughout secondary school. Whether a student wants to push themselves to explore upcoming topics, or wants to revise topics that have be learnt previously, or perhaps feels they need help with something they are working on at the moment – independent study is an invaluable tool. We therefore encourage students to use their personalised Mathswatch accounts to support their work in class. This website contains an extensive collection of instructional videos with supporting questions, all organised by topic. We regularly link learning to the relevant Mathswatch clip so that students can supplement their classwork, whether they are pushing forward or catching up.
Equipping for the future
In a rapidly changing world, how can we prepare children for a future that we have not yet encountered? A grounding in mathematical techniques and logical problem solving skills gives students skills that they can apply to whatever challenges and opportunities they may face. Mathematics qualifications open doors to further study and employment across all sectors and disciplines. Be it environmental sciences, advanced computing, musical composition or pure mathematics; the mathematical skills leaned today pave the way to countless futures.
Solving mathematical problems can be great fun, and we like to give plenty of opportunities to engage with these sorts of challenges. We organise inter-house competitions for Year 7s which challenge them in a range of different games and puzzles; older year groups will get the chance to enter the national UKMT Maths Challenge and maybe achieve Bronze, Silver or even Gold certificates. Our Maths Challenge club gives training and tips for these competitions, or just the joy of solving problems for their own sake.