|The Mathematics department|
The Mathematics department consist of a team of 8 full-time members of staff and 2 part-time members. This includes a head of faculty and 1 deputy.
The department has a reputation for high standards; we aim to ensure that each pupil achieves their full potential in developing their mathematical thinking skills, in order to achieve rapid and sustained progress and the highest attainment possible by the end of Year 11. Learning is not limited by year group as our 5-Year Scheme of Work fully supports all learners including appropriate scaffolding and differentiation and the opportunity to be exposed to all aspects of the National Curriculum from Year 7. The use of investigative tasks that deepen understanding and broaden perspectives is encouraged throughout the SOW and we are always looking for innovative ways to enrich the learning experiences. This is philosophy is especially beneficial to our gifted and talented students who are encouraged to progress even further by moving onto complex topics early and challenge themselves by taking on studies in other areas of Mathematics such as GCSE Statistics in Year 10 and sitting the Edexcel Algebra and Number and Measure Awards exams.
Teaching takes place in a suite of 7 large classrooms housed on 2 floors within the same block. They are all equipped withSmart interactive whiteboards and internet access is available throughout. This allows for the use a variety of interactive tools including MyMaths and MathsWatch VLE. All staff have a laptop computer for use with the interactive whiteboard as well as for their own use to produce resources and monitor progress. There is also a bookable IT room available for lessons.
Teaching is done in sets according to ability; with Years 7 and 8 taught in 2 bands of 4 groups and Years 9 and 10 taught in 7 sets across the whole year group. We usually have 8 sets in year 11 to accommodate smaller group sizes so that we can focus on ensuring outstanding progress is made by the end of Year 11.
All pupils at Woodrush follow the Edexcel Linear A scheme and begin working towards a GCSE in year 7. Our 5-Year SOW of work begins in September of Year 7 and follows a mastery approach where pupils are encouraged to build deep understanding across the curriculum and apply skills from different strands with skill and accuracy. Assessment is by end of module topic tests and Exit Tickets (short assessments targeting key skills) as well as twice yearly summative assessments to coincide with the whole school reporting system. A final full more detailed exam is taken at the end of each year to cover all topics pupils have learnt since starting their GCSE. From September 2015 all pupils with the exception of Year 11 will follow the new 9-1 GCSE curriculum and the current SOW is being updated to reflect the changes as well as advice from partner schools and Edexcel.
At Key Stage 5 Edexcel Modular Mathematics is taken with modules in Core Maths (C1 – C4), Decision Maths (D1) and Statistics (S1). Pupils are also offered the chance to take AS or a full A level in Further Maths with modules in Mechanics (M1, M2 and M3) and Further Maths (FP1, FP2 and FP3).
The Mathematics Department prides itself on its high expectations and in both 2012 and 2013, 81% of pupils achieved A* - C at GCSE following an upward trend in results, there was a slight dip in 2014 to 78%. To assist all pupils a maths shop is run at lunchtimes where they can purchase any necessary equipment to aid their studies, including calculators and revision guides.
The department has a reputation for working as a team, sharing good practice and good ideas, with the Head of Department operating an open door policy being readily available for all staff at all times. We are a supportive team regularly taking PGCE students from Birmingham University. However, we are also open to fresh ideas and embrace new challenges – joining this department would give staff the opportunity to further their career and try out new initiatives.