From catching a bus to putting a man on the moon and from telling the time to designing the next big computer game, the skills and knowledge learnt through Mathematics open a world of opportunities.
At Pilton Community College our students are taught in a set that will challenge them, while our dedicated staff give them all the support needed to make progress, this is because our department prides itself on helping every pupil realise their potential.
Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards
Throughout KS3 at Pilton Community College pupils are set in ability groups for their Mathematics lessons. We build on the foundations that have been laid in KS2, by teaching the National Curriculum in a way that is challenging, supportive and relevant. With our teaching we aim to help pupils to become independent learners. To this end, every pupil is allocated their own textbook, some of which can go home. Those that don’t take their textbooks home are provided with homework and revision materials that are specifically tailored to each students ability.
We set in year 7 based initially on KS2 SATs results. In October of the first year we have an exam, the results of which help us to make any adjustments to the groups we feel are necessary. It should be noted however, that after this assessment has taken place, set movements can, and will take place regularly in this year and throughout the rest of KS3.
Every group is regularly assessed after each module of work so that staff, pupils and parents are always aware of the progress that is being made. We make sure that pupils are aware of their strengths, weaknesses and perhaps most importantly of all, what they need to do to further improve. As a parent, you will be able to keep track of your child’s results and levels by looking at a designated page in the pupil planner.
Across KS3 we implement a range of strategies that support your child with their individual needs. The lower groups are team taught. This means that there are two members of the Mathematics Department teaching the group, as well as help being provided by learning support for those pupils with specific needs. All pupils are provided with the materials they need to work independently at home. We are committed to making sure that every pupil is in the right group for their ability so sometimes support may come from a move of groups. Rest assured these decisions are not taken lightly and are done with the students’ best interest in mind.
The Examination Years
Units of work, Grouping of students, assessment and expected standards
At the end of Year 11 the pupils leave Pilton Community College with the qualifications needed to set them on the right path for the future. We know how important Mathematics is so we aim to prepare our students in the best way possible. Every pupil is allocated a textbook that follows the curriculum and is perfectly pitched at correct level for each student.
We follow the linear EDEXCEL GCSE course. There is no longer a coursework requirement for Mathematics GCSE, although the skills and abilities needed for coursework are still required to be successful at GCSE. The pupils sit two GCSE papers at the end of year 11, both of which will be at either Foundation or Higher level.
Students also have the opportunity to sit the EDEXCEL Functional Skills qualification. An exam that tests the pupils’ ability to apply Mathematical skills in a more complex and real-life context.
Throughout KS4 we track the pupils’ progress constantly to ensure that every pupil reaches their potential. During year 10 and Year 11 pupils are assessed at regular intervals. The results of which are recorded on a designated page in the pupil planner. The pupils are told the maximum level they could have achieved on that paper, their actual grade and then how that compares to their target grade. The results of these assessments influence our teaching and the discussions had with each pupil on what they need to do to improve.
As in KS3, our continued support for each pupils individual needs remains paramount. Lower groups are again, team taught with extra help provided by learning support for those pupils with specific needs. All pupils are provided with the materials they need to work independently at home, they are also given the opportunity to purchase revision guides and CD’s that are specifically tailored to their tier of entry. We are committed to making sure that every pupil is in the right group for them so sometimes support may come from a move of groups. Rest assured these decisions are not taken lightly and are done in the students’ best interest.
Home Learning Opportunities
In our endeavours to help every pupil fulfil their potential we set regular home learning tasks. Every pupil is expected to complete a written and an online homework task every fortnight.
We believe strongly that practice makes perfect, a philosophy that is applied strongly to learning Mathematics. To this end the written homework is set so that pupils can practise the skills learnt in class as well as concentrate on their presentation and written communication of Mathematics. The written homework is set from the textbook or the homework booklets provided to all pupils. All homework is marked in a variety of ways to enhance the pupils understanding. Whether it is teacher or peer marked, constructive feedback that helps progress is written or given verbally.
Home learning doesn’t always have to take the form of a written task as long at is effective at reinforcing learning or giving opportunities to discover new ideas for themselves. On the alternative week we set an online homework. We use a website called tasks are specifically set and the pupils can log in and access their own learning area. After every task is completed immediate feedback is given. Pupils can log in and do extra Mathematics at anytime, the website provides help, support and revision opportunities as well as the chance for each pupil to further themselves. We will check to ensure that the set tasks are being completed as well as monitor all of the extra work being done.
Homework plays a huge part in success. We take it very seriously and reward those that complete it. We do however track those who aren’t, and we will contact parents to let them know if this is happening.
Gifted & Talented Opportunities
The varying nature of all subjects and activities means that some students are more able at some things than others. Mathematics is no exception. As well as providing the best possible opportunities to ensure exam success, we also aim to challenge students and open their eyes to the varying and creative world of Mathematics.
For those pupils we provide a varied and interesting array of opportunities such as
• Additional Mathematics FSMQ – Level 3 Qualification (carries UCAS points)
• UKMT Junior and Senior Mathematics Challenge
• Devon Further Mathematics Conference
• KS3/4 Team Mathematics Challenges
• KS3 Gifted & Talented Mathematics Workshops