Mathematics Department Information

Parents' FAQs

What equipment will my child need?
Your child will need a pen, pencil, eraser, sharpener, ruler (30cm preferred but 15cm will suffice), protractor, pair of compasses and a scientific calculator. Scissors and glue are needed on occasion and would be appreciated however we do have some small supplies of these to lend out.

What brand of scientific calculator does the school recommend?
For Key Stage 3 & 4 it is preferable that students have a Casio fx-83 calculator as staff are familiar with the functions and will be able to offer support and training in the calculator's use. Other commonly available calculators, such as the Sharp EL-W531 WriteView, are similar, however we cannot guarantee we will be able to provide technical support for them. For Key Stage 5 the Casio fx-991EX is essential, as its functionality replaces the tables of statistical data no longer available in the new (from Sept 2017) A level syllabus. This calculator could also be used at Key Stage 3 & 4 (and would be very useful for any student studying GCSE Statistics), but it is significantly more expensive than the fx-83.

My child has forgotten their login/password for one of the websites used by the department, what should they do?
If students forget their login/password they should either find their teacher at a suitable time or see Mr Adams who is in room M5 every lunchtime. Ideally students will memorise, or record in their planner, all relevant login details.

I am unsure how the setting is done for Mathematics, why is my child in the set they are?
From September 2018 Year 7 students will be taught in mixed ability groups. Initial setting will take place at the end of Year 7, considering attainment throughout the year in formally assessed topic review tests, the end of year examination and professional judgement of the studentsí teacher. The same process will be applied at the ends of Years 8 and 9. Movement between sets from Year 10 to 11 is rare, and only under exceptional circumstances.

How are students assessed?
KS3 - Please see the linked document here
KS4 - Students are taught a particular topic over a period of 2-3 weeks and are given a review test at the end.
Each assessment is teacher marked and a percentage given, along with coloured highlighting to indicate progress with regard to a student's personal target.

How are the KS3 review tests marked?
The students are given a percentage score for each of the three sections and a test mean score which is an average of those three sections (thereby giving an equal weighting to each). If appropriate, teachers will provide written feedback on areas for development. A coloured highlighter is used to indicate the progress made: green indicates that they are making better or expected progress, orange that their progress is a little below what we expect for them and red signifies that they should do some further work on this topic. As topics are not always of the same level of challenge similar percentages on different assessments may result in a different level of progress achieved. Students should record their results and progress in their Progress Ladder.

How much homework should my child be getting?
Homework will be set in line with the school policy and the homework timetable. Homeworks in mathematics may consist of MyMaths tasks, exercises set from the Kerboodle textbooks, revision, completing unfinished classwork, or any other relevant tasks the teacher may choose to set as required.

My child has missed a lesson (for sports, music, illness etc.), what should they do?
Students who miss an individual lesson for whatever reason should make efforts to copy up the notes from another member of the class and complete any work which was set and is easily accessible via Kerboodle. If they do not feel that they fully understand the notes or are struggling with the exercises then they should find their teacher at the earliest opportunity to go through the work; it is important to catch up before the next lesson (where practicable) in order to avoid falling further behind as the topic progresses. For longer periods of absence students should refer to the Progress Ladder, which references the relevant topics in the Kerboodle textbooks, and continue to work through the proficiency statements from the last piece of work in their books. Again, being proactive in seeking teacher assistance is vital on their return to avoid falling behind.

My child is getting poor results/is struggling in lessons, what support is available?
The first port of call should always be your child's classroom teacher; it is they who will have the best grasp of your child's strengths and weaknesses and will therefore be best placed to suggest additional practice or advice. Please encourage your child to be responsible for their own learning and proactively seek out assistance in the classroom or at breaktimes. If you wish to provide additional support to your child at home you will find that the Progress Ladder provides a clear breakdown of each of the topics as well as links and references to MyMaths and the Kerboodle textbooks. Additionally there is a link to "Other Useful Websites" on the right which lists numerous other online resources, maintained by third parties, which we believe to be helpful. Finally, the Head of Department and/or the Subject Prefects run a support clinic at lunchtimes in M5 which is designed to help students who are stuck on a particular problem.

I would like to help my child and need to know what they are studying at the moment, where can I find this out?
If you ask to see your child's Progress Ladder (KS3/4 only) you will find all of the topics that they will study this year in the correct order. By clicking on the topic titles you will find statements which give more detail about the level of work to be completed.

My child struggles with problem solving questions/showing their steps, what can they do to improve?
The Mathematics department has compiled a list of tips that highlight some of the steps students should take when faced with a problem. This can be found here.