Mathematics - Mastery, enjoyment and confidence
The Mathematics Department at Dartford Grammar School believes that encouraging an approach based on mastery of the subject, linked to enjoyment gained through developing confidence and resilience, forms the basis of achieving outstanding progress for every student.
Key Stage 3
The KS3 curriculum follows the MYP ethos and assessment, allowing students to explore Mathematics in depth and through a range of contexts. Students are encouraged to tackle problem-solving questions and develop their ability to think deeply about the subject. Assessments happen regularly and are a mixture of unit tests and longer, exploration-based activities that will spread over a number of lessons and at least one homework.
We believe that it is important from the start to encourage all students to learn to talk about Mathematics and lessons are planned to allow room for discussion. Homework tasks are designed to offer an opportunity to explore issues and may involve independent research on a topic, the creation of display materials or completing online activities in addition to some routine question practice.
Key Stage 4
The curriculum in KS4 is based on the Edexcel Higher Tier GCSE course. All students are expected to follow the higher tier and aim for grades 6 or better. Students work in mixed ability classes throughout the key stage with an emphasis on ensuring that all students have the opportunity to gain grades 9-7. Classes follow a 2-year scheme of work which includes regular in-class assessments followed up by review and discussion of results gained. Monitoring is used to allow all students to gain an understanding of their specific needs and to guide them in their review and revision during the year. During year 11, students who are in danger of not attaining GCSE grade 5 are considered for the Foundation tier examination, with final decisions on tier of entry made once the mock examination periods are completed.
Our philosophy of teaching for mastery continues in KS4 with the emphasis on encouraging students to gain a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for development based on deep learning and problem solving.
Key Stage 5
Students follow the IB Diploma. A new IB Mathematics specification will be in place from September 2019 which will allow students to follow a course of study that is more in line with their future needs. Two courses are available at the Higher level, one based firmly in Pure Mathematics and one that includes more applications of the subject. Students will be advised on their course of study depending on their potential choice of university course. There is no element of setting in any of the levels.
Courses at Standard level involve much more application of the principles studied and develop an understanding of fundamental processes that will enable students to fully understand the influence of Mathematics in the wider world.
All courses include project work, based on students’ own research; this is guided and supervised by the teacher. The project provides an opportunity for students to carry out a mathematical study of their choice using their own experience, knowledge and skills acquired during the course.
A range of activities is available for students to participate in. A very successful KS3 Maths Club runs weekly, supported by staff, and students in KS3 are given the opportunity to participate in the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge each year.
Trips, competitions and visits are available to students in all key stages and we encourage all to look for something to take part in outside of the formal classroom environment.