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The Marsh Academy

Mathematics

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What is the Intent of the Mathematics Curriculum?

For every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics regardless of background.

Three underlying principles guide us:

•                    High expectations - every child can succeed, regardless of background

•                    The teacher makes the difference

•                    Being informed by evidence and research

We believe that excellent curriculum design and delivery lead to improved teaching and learner outcomes, which positively impacts student’s life chances.

Evidence shows that pupils make more progress when they have been equipped to master a subject by understanding its fundamental concepts in sufficient depth so that they can apply subject knowledge in unfamiliar contexts.

Our commitment is to deliver high-quality subject teaching through curriculum collaboration and integrated professional development to develop student’s subject mastery.

Our approach is driven by teacher consultation and the latest cognitive and educational research. Curriculum implementation is underpinned by our three delivery principles – which together enable students to develop deep understanding of the subject.

The three principles are:

  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Language and Communication
  • Mathematical Thinking

Principle 1: Conceptual Understanding

Mathematics tasks are about constructing meaning and making sense of relationships. Learners deepen their understanding by representing concepts using objects, pictures, symbols, and words. Different representations stress and ignore various aspects of a concept. Moving between representations and making explicit links between them allows learners to construct a comprehensive conceptual framework that can be used as the foundation for future learning.

We use the national curriculum content as the starting point for our curriculum, but this is expanded upon by making explicit the foundational knowledge that learners need to understand to access this. Tasks are sequenced to help learners build a narrative through different topics. These topics are then sequenced in a logical progression that allows learners to establish connections and draw comparisons. Multiple representations are carefully selected so that they are extendable within and between different areas of mathematics. Using these rich models encourages learners to develop different perspectives on a concept.

Principle 2: Language and Communication

Mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling pupils to explain and reason. This must be carefully introduced and reinforced through frequent discussion to ensure it is meaningfully understood. The more learners use mathematical words, the more they feel themselves to be mathematicians. Therefore, talk is an essential element of every lesson and time is dedicated to developing confidence with specific vocabulary and verbal reasoning.

The content of our curriculum carefully progresses to induct learners into the mathematical community. A large part of this community is the confident use of the language, signs and symbols of mathematics. Thus, verbal and non-verbal communication is part of every sequence of learning in the curriculum. This often starts with more informal language initially, building up to formal and precise mathematical language.

Principle 3: Mathematical Thinking

By the time they reach school, all students have demonstrated a significant range of innate ways of thinking that can be harnessed in the classroom to develop mathematical thinking. We must support pupils to develop mathematical ‘habits of mind’ – to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns.

Creating a conjecturing environment and using questions and prompts are essential elements of encouraging learners to think like mathematicians. Our curriculum is designed to give learners the opportunities to think mathematically. Throughout the curriculum, tasks will require learners to specialise and generalise, work systematically, generate their examples, classify and make conjectures.

Years 7, 8 & 9

Years 10& 11

Post-16