The Department of Mathematics has a structured, rational, sequential, spiral curriculum.
The department's philosophy is that mathematics is more than just arithmetic. It involves a set of interrelated skills of language, meaning, syntax, puzzle solving, logic and technical drawing that is unique amongst a school’s overall curriculum.
At all times, we make sure students understand where they are in the scheme of learning, what they have covered, and what is to come. This information is available on the school website and on Satchel:one / SMHW, and is shared at the start and end of every topic in lessons.
In Year 7, we teach the entire curriculum, touching each of the five domains of mathematics twice over: Number, Algebra, Data, Shape and Ratio. This is intended to build on and enforce key skills and fluency of operation learned at KS2.
In Year 8, we repeat the entire curriculum again, with the focus on reasoning, justification and comparison skills, drawing on the fluency skills from Year 7.
In Years 9, 10 and 11 we repeat the process at a slower pace. The scheme of learning is split into 20 discrete topics, each of increasing challenge and each drawing upon skills and/or content covered in previous topics. Year 11 is devoted to the exploration of the most challenging aspects of the curriculum and examination preparation.
For Years 7-11, the curriculum is designed so that each unit of work increases in challenge both terms of skills and content learned in previous units.
By the end of KS3, we seek to have prepared students with a mathematical toolkit that enables them to succeed at KS4 and beyond.
By the end of KS4, we seek to have developed students who have developed additional reasoning and justification skills.
At KS5, the curriculum specialises into Pure Mathematics (mostly number theory and algebra) and Applied Mathematics (statistics and mechanics). Questions are complex, and call upon skills and content from several parts of the curriculum at once. Students have to determine which skills they need, in which order to be applied, and be able to further interpret and explain their mathematics. The curriculum is structured to allow a careful build-up of these higher-order skills. In addition to the fluency and reasoning, we also teach the historical, political and philosophical context of the mathematics and mathematicians under consideration.
By the end of KS5, we seek to have developed students who have the skills of drawing upon a range of strategies to make choices when answering complex questions.