The maths department at ContinU Plus Academy consists of two teachers with the support of three learning coaches. Since September 2015 all KS3 students are taught by Tracey Roberts, Mark Venross and Syed Ahmed. Tracey has successfully taught maths at KS3 and KS4 for four and a half years in mainstream and alternative provision settings. She has a proven track record and has been consistently judged to be an excellent classroom practitioner. Tracey has numerous strengths including the ability to motivate students, excellent organisational skills and excellent subject knowledge.
At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students access 3 lessons of Mathematics per week of 1hour and 10mins duration each. Progress is closely monitored as an ongoing process and is assessed on a half termly basis in line with the school assessment calendar. Currently CPA has 3 teaching groups in year 10, 3 teaching groups year 11 and 4 teaching groups at Key Stage 3 including year 9 with groups comprising between 6 and 8 students.
We find that many students have for a variety of reasons, developed ‘gaps’ in their mathematical knowledge which can easily block them from making further progress and can lead to a negative view of the subject. We therefore consider it vital to develop methods of early identification and support (through assessment, learning conversations and 1:1 support) in order to address this and hopefully change perceptions and develop confidence.
Overarching progress is measured by means of a level based baseline assessment (taken on entry) and subsequently retested. At Key Stage 3 all students also take the WRAT Test which focuses on basic computation skills, following this students are then identified to require additional help and support through the catch up numeracy programme, or access higher level material through the Khan Academy.
Key Stage 4 students are entered for linear GCSE Mathematics with Edexcel. This consists of three terminal exam papers – two calculator and one non calculator paper. Preparation for exams is ongoing throughout Key Stage 4. This is reflected in terms of curriculum planning and delivery as well as the robust nature of assessment. All year 11 students sit a trial examination in January.
We consider the Maths department to be a forward thinking, cohesive and dynamic team who are committed to raising standards and streamlining practice. We recognise the need to prepare young people for the world of work and so strive to make our teaching styles relevant and accessible.