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Mathematics

At Accrington, we believe in the adage “Children’s learning is not a rehearsal. They never get a second chance.”

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life.

In Mathematics our curriculum is designed to enable all students to be confident in applying the Mathematics they will need in future life: whether that is at University, in an apprenticeship or their future career.  To this end our resources promote and emphasise the need for mathematical fluency in the areas of Number, Algebra, Ratio and Proportion, Shape and Data.

The sequence of the curriculum has been deliberately designed to allow our high prior attaining and our low prior attaining pupils to successfully progress through the content. The sequence ensures that pupils build on prior knowledge and uses every opportunity to review previous teaching in new KPIs.  Our attached overview outlines an interleaved curriculum that promotes retention of knowledge and a depth of learning rather than an accelerated curriculum.

Cognitive research (Kirschner, Sweller and Clark, 2006) suggests that students need a large amount of subject knowledge in their long-term memory to become competent at any subject. In Maths, pupils will be far better equipped to apply mathematical thinking to a problem if their working memory is not overloaded with basic calculations. Therefore, our curriculum always emphasises secure content knowledge before moving onto problem solving tasks. This is a step away from discovery-based learning and acknowledges the gap between teachers as experts and pupils as novices, with the key point being that we can’t expect pupils to show mathematical expertise until they have acquired fluency with numbers. 

In Mathematics we have a United Learning Curriculum

Subject specialism is at the heart of all of our curriculums within the school. Within maths there are detailed lesson resources available to support teachers of all experience. They exemplify efficient and effective methods that can be used in the classroom. CPD videos are also available for each KPI in KS3 that outline key subject knowledge and pedagogical techniques where appropriate which are individually and uniquely created for the United Learning curriculum website. All of this support in addition to starter grids, KPI tests, Hegarty Maths usage and the interleaved Curriculum support retention of prior learning so that pupils become fluent over time.

As a department all of our resources and adapted material is available to all staff in our central area to ensure there is a constant collaboration throughout the department ensuring a wider consistency for all students irrespective of class or year group.

A half termly programme of study is available alongside the scheme of work to ensure consistency between classes in each half term. Regular work scrutiny and KPI assessments at the end of each topic support heads of department and strand leaders to ensure the Curriculum is being delivered consistently. Formative KPI tests allow teachers to assess understanding after the delivery of a topic. Golden Time department meetings are used to co-plan with colleagues and discuss teaching strategies for upcoming topics.

As is the case in all areas across school in our maths lessons we expect to see all pupils grappling with broadly the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for pupils who need it. Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We like all departments across the school use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction to develop our teaching practice. At the heart of Rosenshine’s principles is a simple instructional core:

  • Demonstration: Teacher presents new information in small steps  (I)
  • Guided practice with models, prompts and scaffolds (We)
  •  Independent practice with monitoring and feedback from the teacher (You)

Every maths lesson will start with a ‘Live in 5’ short review of prior learning. The basis of these questions will be fluency based and they will often appear as the same types of questions that will be subtlety amended through the week.   The introduction of new skills will be guided to ready the students for independent practice (the “you do” phase of the lesson) This part will follow modelled examples, structured into “I do”, “We do”. All teachers have the autonomy to combine or separate the UL and Accrington Academy resources to fit their pupils’ needs and in collaboration with other teachers who are teaching comparable groups. However, we do expect the structure of all lessons to be similar and rooted to the Rosenshine Principles. During maths lessons in the “we do” examples the teacher will be checking for understanding to ensure that the students are ready for the imminent independent practice; this could be in books or with whiteboards but is likely to be seen through purposeful circulation and targeted questioning.

We operate a 3 year KS3 and a 2 year KS4 and a 2 year KS5. Each Key stage works to the same philosophy and principles.

In maths hundreds of United Learning teachers and leaders have been involved in developing the United Learning Curriculum as a core academic curriculum. For Years 7 to 11 we will follow the UL curriculum that we have slightly adapted and personalised to ensure it fully meets the needs of all our pupils and staff. Whilst we are following the same programme of study and timings as per the UL suggested guidance this, year we have further extended that to give an idea of how long to spend on each KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and the key misconceptions to be aware of. Extension opportunities are written in to ensure that than moving on to new content, our higher attainers can produce work of greater depth and flair.

The Curriculum has been carefully designed to continuously interleave content, enabling pupils to revisit prior knowledge without having a spiral Curriculum. The Curriculum focuses on teaching in a sequence that provides building blocks for pupils to access future topics.

We use carefully constructed resources that exemplify accessible methods for students and teachers. We provide an opportunity for challenge by depth rather than accelerating through the Curriculum. In key stage 4, exam questions focusing on the specification objectives AO1/2/3 are used, when appropriate, to assess understanding of core fluency and application of it in context.

Development of long-term memory is supported by a Curriculum that focuses on interleaving content, regular low stakes quizzing, daily starter grids that review prior learning, and formative assessments that feed into teacher planning to close gaps in knowledge. Consistent review of key content is integral to the structure and order of the Curriculum itself.

The curriculum is founded on these key principles that run throughout the school:

  • Entitlement – We believe that all children have the right to learn a powerful knowledge based curriculum.
  • Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and we want this understanding to be retained and developed over time.
  • Stability – We won’t constantly amend the Curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the Curriculum.
  • Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.

The UL curriculum are now fully embedded in all year groups and have been for a number of years. This means that all students in all year groups are accessing the correct material with the relevant appropriate and secure foundation. The curriculum has been specifically tailored such that any prerequisite skills required to access a unit of work have been covered earlier that year or in a previous one. Pupils are able to accessing new topics that require the prior learning from previously covered units well. Even in cases where these have not been covered recently they have been practising these skills by continually reviewing prior learning through Live in 5 and fluency based quizzes.

As a result of embedding these over a period of time we have common asssessments that cumulatively assess the content covered in each year group. These summative assessments allow pupils to demonstrate their growing understanding of the maths they have been taught and it enables our teachers to assess the impact of their teaching and can specifically plan for the intervention required. The advantage of sitting common assessments across United Learning enables us to collect all of the pupils scores centrally and generate a projected grade for the students for their GCSE.

 

‘The Accrington Academy maths lesson structure’:

Rosenshine Principles

R1 – Begin with a short review of prior learning

R2 – Present new material in small amounts or steps

R3 – Ask many questions and check the responses of all students

R4 – Provide models

R5 – Guide student practice

R6 – Check for student understanding

R7 – Obtain a high success rate

R8 – Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks

R9 – Require and monitor independent practice

R10 – Engage students in weekly and monthly review

‘Live in 5’ activity: R1

  • Mixed fluency skills based on pre-requisite knowledge presented in a structured starter grid
  • Self-assessed answers should be pre-prepared to increase pace and ease the transition to the next part of the lesson.
  • Poorly answered questions should appear in the next starter.
  • 10-15% of your lesson time

Introduction of new skills: R2 – R5, R8

  • Carefully chosen examples that are modelled in detail without whole class questioning
  • Students complete a similar example to the modelled example
  • Then ask targeted questions to check understanding
  • 20-25% of your lesson time

Check for understanding – AFL – R6, R3

  • Check the understanding of examples – this could be in books, on MWB , with questioning and/or purposeful circulation
  • Re-model questions that were not understood
  • 10-15% of your lesson time

Independent practice – R7

  • Independent practice informed by AFL i.e. mini quiz, targeted questions
  • Independent practice that relates directly to the modelled examples
  • Enough time given for students to complete questions with minimal copying out
  • Problem solving questions will follow when the fluency is secure
  • 35-45% of your lesson time

Review of independent practice – R9

  • Answers given to independent practice (prepare answers and minimise pupil input to increase pace and maximise the clarity of answers)
  • Students self-assess their work (coloured pen)
  • 10-15% of your lesson time

Regular review – R10

  • Use starters and regular quizzing to review knowledge

 

At Accrington Academy Hegarty Maths homework is set every Thursday. All students should aim to complete their homework before Monday.  There is a Maths support session in Room 229 every Tuesday after school.

The homework MUST be submitted before 9pm on Tuesdays at the latest.

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Mathematics Staff

Click on Teacher name to read full bio.

Mr A. Lindon

Mr A. Lindon

Associate Assistant Principal - Executive Head of Mathematics

Mathematics is always a subject that has fascinated me and that continues to be the case today....

Mr A. Lindon

Mr A. Lindon

Associate Assistant Principal - Executive Head of Mathematics

Mathematics is always a subject that has fascinated me and that continues to be the case today. The fact that a definitive solution can always be found and that there are always a variety of ways to achieve this is what makes Mathematics so unique. My favourite area of Mathematics is solving complex algebraic equations due to the fact that this skill is first taught in Year 7 and then increases in difficulty all the way through to Year 13. I strive to ensure my lessons are appropriately challenging and varied enough to keep all of my students motivated.

Mr G. Davies

Mr G. Davies

Director of Mathematics

I have always been interested in mathematics and I find great satisfaction in solving any kind of...

Mr G. Davies

Mr G. Davies

Director of Mathematics

I have always been interested in mathematics and I find great satisfaction in solving any kind of problem that I come across.  I find the range of applications of the subject to be of immense use to students as they leave school.  In the classroom I enjoy finding problems from real life that students can try to solve, in particular those that make use of algebra as I understand that many young people do not see the reason for this incredibly versatile tool.  At the University of Warwick I spent time studying how a disease may spread within a population, an application of many topics first introduced in year 7 that are developed further by A level study and beyond. Mathematics is a powerful and unique subject.

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