Aim: To coordinate the teaching of mathematical skills in other subjects across Gordon’s School. To forge stronger links with local primary schools. To enthuse and extend Gordon’s pupils beyond the Mathematics curriculum.
Background: Gordon’s had an Outstanding Ofsted inspection in the autumn term of 2014 and has an excellent record of academic success in Mathematics.
Year 1: A cross-curricular ‘Numeracy Map’ was produced and a ‘Basic Numeracy Guide’ for students was published in their pupil diary together with a ‘Numeracy Consistency Guide’ for staff. A successful Primary Team Maths Competition was hosted including all four local primary schools. To increase the number of students entering the UK Mathematical Challenges, pupils from Set 2 in Years 7, 8 and 10 were entered. A team of four Year 10 pupils entered the Team Mathematics Competition organized by the Further Mathematics Support Programme and four Sixth Form students entered the UK Senior Team Maths Challenge.
Year 2: The Mathematics department contributed to ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, a whole-school event for Year 9 pupils. Mathematics lessons were used to analyse the sales of ‘Geobars’ (a fair-trade chocolate bar) and the impact that this had on the economies of countries in the developing world. During Enrichment Week, the Mathematics department collaborated with the Business Studies department on a project for Year 9 pupils to set up a business selling ‘subs’ (sandwiches). The most able pupils in Year 10 were entered early for their GCSE examination so that they could then study the OCR Additional Mathematics course in Year 11. Pupils took part in national and inter-school Maths Challenge competitions and some Sixth Formers attended preparation sessions for the STEP exam at the University of Surrey.
Year 3: Training was given to staff to help improve basic ‘functional Mathematics skills’ across the school. The department assisted in teaching statistical methods to Year 13 Geography students. Mathematics problem solving sessions were arranged with Year 5 and 6 pupils from local primary schools, run by students from Gordon’s. Weekly Mathematics challenges were introduced, targeting mainly Key Stage 3 pupils.
Evidence: Attendance at activities, exam results, feedback from other subject leaders at Gordon’s and from primary schools.
Impact: The number of pupils involved in the UKMT Maths Challenges rose from 140 to over 260. Students from all year groups were entered into 10 different local and national Mathematics competitions each year.
The first cohort of pupils who took their OCR Additional Mathematics examination achieved good results. (33% A grade, 73% A-C, 93% pass rate). The feedback from the Gordon’s Head of Geography and his A2 students was very positive. Primary school pupils enjoyed the problem solving session and the feedback from their headteacher was very complimentary.
Reflections: The project evolved significantly from its initial embryonic start. In hindsight, the range of aims in the first year of the project was probably too broad and as a result the focus shifted throughout the three years on which one should take priority. However, the main aims of our project were achieved.
Contact: Gary Knight, firstname.lastname@example.org