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In order to support students who, struggle with numeracy focus in lessons is given to fluency of the basic numeracy skills needed for the GCSE. All students are expected to know their times tables off by heart, which helps with the majority of topics in maths. The students are given a minimum of 30 minutes of maths homework once a week which is a recap of all the key skills that they need; this reinforcement helps to increase fluency and memory.
Numeracy at KS4
Mathematics teachers emphasize literacy skills when tackling mathematical problems, which is extremely important in the new 9-1 GCSE maths exam. Students are encouraged to underline key words and their spellings and meanings are reinforced. The problems are broken down into more manageable chunks, with emphasis on how best to layout their answers, which helps the students to gain confidence answering the longer questions they are faced with.
The year 10 students who find the new GCSE difficult to access are being taught Entry Level 3 maths combined with key foundation GCSE skills. They will complete the entry level exam in year 10, with the aim to increase confidence, gain a certificate and improve on the fundamentals which can then be used to apply to more of the GCSE content in year 11.
Students from year 11 who need more support to meet their target are invited to after school sessions. These sessions combine key literacy skills and key numeracy skills, with the aim of increasing confidence and familiarity with the GCSE 9-1 style questions. In the Maths part of the session the students are given a range of questions, from 1 mark questions to 5 mark questions, which helps to increase fluency on basic skills and also gives them more exposure to problem solving questions and allows them to practise these vital skills.
We have adopted a strategy of using revision grids containing GCSE exam style questions throughout year 10 and year 11, which the students will complete during their lessons throughout the year to recap what they have learnt - as homework tasks and in revision sessions after school. This works to improve retention, increase familiarity to the GCSE style questions and boost confidence in themselves. All Maths teachers have access to a bank of these, should students wish to try more at home. Exam papers are also available for students to complete at home, which is particularly encouraged in year 11.
Numeracy at KS3
Each term, pupils from year 7 and 8 are selected to attend a series of Maths Booster sessions that run after school on a Thursday. They are met by Mrs Hussain and year 9 mentors, who support them with their basic skills. The aim is to build on their confidence and ensure they practise methods, memorise formulas and work on their individual areas of weakness. These weaknesses are identified by teachers and the pupils themselves.
We also run a “Beat the Clock Competition” on Fridays for pupils in years 7-9. The aim here is to get them to practise completing 80 questions within a 10 minute time frame. There will be a couple of weeks dedicated to multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, powers of 10 and so on.
During Skills For Life lessons selected year 9 pupils will work in small groups on GCSE questions found on the first 3 pages of a foundation exam. The idea here is to get them familiarised with the language of GCSE and question style as early as possible. Early exposure is necessary and the focus in these sessions will be on basic maths skills and literacy.
There are many revision resources available for the students. We have access to the following websites which the students have usernames and passwords for: