Mathematics

Welcome to Maths at St Benedict’s. We are an enthusiastic department who love all things Maths!

Students start their learning journey in Year 7 and progress through the KS3 curriculum until the end of Year 9. Students then start their two year AQA GCSE Mathematics course in which they will follow either a Higher curriculum (Grades 4-9) or a Foundation curriculum (Grades 1-5). Alongside GCSE Maths we also offer alternative provisions such as AQA Entry Level Maths and/or AQA Unit Awards in Maths. In addition to the above, a number of Year 11 students study AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics on top of their timetable. Students then have the option to join us at Sixth form and study Level 3 Core Maths, A-Level Mathematics and A-Level Further Mathematics.

Below you will find out more information about our teaching staff, our favourite recommended CASIO calculators, our curriculum and how we support students to utilise their Maths skills across all subjects.

Our Teaching Staff

Left->Right
Steve Sale – Teacher of Mathematics
Stuart Humphries – Teacher of Mathematics
Katharine Warneford – Head of Year 9 / Teacher of Mathematics
Darren Walker – Teacher of Mathematics
James France – Teacher of Mathematics
Alison Mulrain – KS5 Leader of Mathematics
Brooke Hunter – KS3/KS4 Leader of Mathematics
Jennifer Tremble – KS3/KS4 Leader of Mathematics
Kerry Wainwright – Teacher of Mathematics
Abs: Steve Bridgman – Deputy Head / Teacher of Mathematics

Our recommended equipment:

St Benedict’s Maths Department encourages all students to have the following equipment: Pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, protractor, a pair of compasses and a CASIO scientific calculator – have a look to see which CASIO calculators we recommend below!

Our Curriculum

St Benedict’s Mathematics Department applies a mastery approach to the teaching of maths in KS3. The aim of a mastery approach is to ensure that all pupils acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.

KS3 lessons in the Maths department are engaging and interactive; students are encouraged to use concrete representations through the use of manipulatives (physical objects they can touch and feel) to bridge the gap between the fundamentals they have learnt in primary school to the abstract mathematical problems they encounter at secondary school.

Lessons are sequenced to facilitate progress with opportunities built in for revisiting and consolidation. Through the use of carefully selected activities and tasks in the classroom we aim to develop all students mathematical thinking. This allows students to make connections across topics and the wider curriculum fluently.

Students have 4 lessons of maths each week, 55 minutes long and are expected to complete one piece of Maths homework per week (20-30 minutes in length) on our homework platform Dr Frost Maths. Homework tasks are designed to revisit previous learning and provide an opportunity for students to consolidate their understanding. Any misconceptions that arise from homework tasks are addressed by teachers in the following lesson.

In Year 7 students are taught in a mixed ability setting. They are frequently assessed by their teacher using variety of tools: oracy (talk and discussion), pre topic diagnostic questions, retrieval practice starters, number fluency starters, low stakes quizzes, end of topic tests and termly summative assessments. In Years 8 and 9 students are then streamed into a higher and foundation split and taught in mixed ability classes within these splits.

In addition to the above, students who join us from primary school that need extra support may join the KS2 bridging group in which they follow an alternative curriculum bespoke to the needs of the students. As they progress with us through the years they may continue to follow this bespoke curriculum or transition into mainstream classes for Maths. It is within this curriculum that students will work towards achieving AQA Unit Awards in Mathematics.

The topics taught at KS3 set the groundwork for GCSE but also prepare students for everyday life and the world of work.

Would you like a detailed look at the topics covered in KS3? Please read more about our KS3 Curriculum here. (Intent Doc)

If you have any questions regarding KS3 or you would like to come and visit us and join a KS3 class for a lesson – you are more than welcome! Please reach out to the KS3/KS4 Leaders of Mathematics; Brooke Hunter and Jennifer Tremble at the following:

Brooke.hunter@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk

Jennifer.tremble@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk

KS4 (Years 10-11)

In Years 10 and 11, students build on their learning from KS3 and study topics in more depth. Mathematics has five main topic areas: Number, Algebra, Ratio, Geometry and Probability & Statistics (combined). The weightings of these strands differ across the Higher and Foundation course as seen below: 

Topic AreaFoundation Tier (%)Higher Tier (%)
Number2515
Algebra2030
Ratio2520
Geometry1520
Probability and Statistics (combined)1515

Students are expected to spot connections, link and interweave topics from across the GCSE curriculum and apply them to questions, tasks and activities using a problem-solving approach. Students have four lessons of GCSE Maths per week, each 55 minutes in length. Students complete weekly homework on our homework platform: Dr Frost Maths.

Students sit three GCSE Mathematics papers at the end of Year 11, Paper 1 (Non-Calculator) and Paper 2 and 3 (Calculator) each 1 hour and 30 minutes long with 80 marks on offer per paper. Our GCSE exam board is AQA.

Would you like a detailed look at the GCSE topics covered in KS4? Please read more about our KS4 GCSE Curriculum here. (Foundation Intent Document and Higher Intent Document)

Throughout Year 10 and Year 11 some students will be given the opportunity to complete the AQA Entry Level Certificate in Maths. The ELC consists of eight components as detailed below:

Properties of Number
The Four Operations
Ratio
Money
The Calendar and Time
Measures
Geometry
Statistics

These components will be assessed by their classroom teacher and moderated by the examining body: AQA. Students will be awarded an Entry Level Certificate 1, 2 or 3 depending on results.

If you have any questions regarding KS4 or you would like to come and visit us and join a KS4 class for a lesson – you are more than welcome! Please reach out to the KS3/KS4 Leaders of Mathematics; Brooke Hunter and Jennifer Tremble at the following:

Brooke.hunter@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk

Jennifer.tremble@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk

KS5 (Years 12-13)

In Years 12 and 13 we offer our students the opportunity to study A-Level Mathematics, A-Level Further Mathematics, Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) and to resit their Maths GCSE.

A-Level Mathematics

For students who wish to develop their love and understanding of Mathematics this course is a great opportunity.  We use the Edexcel exam board and students will study a mixture of Pure Mathematics, Probability & Statistics and Mechanics as detailed below:

  • Pure Mathematics including Proof; Algebra and functions; Coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane; Sequences and series; Trigonometry; Exponentials and logarithms; Differentiation; Integration; Numerical methods.
  • Probability and Statistics – Statistical sampling; Data presentation and Interpretation; Probability; Statistical distributions; Statistical hypothesis testing.
  • Mechanics – Quantities and units in mechanics; Kinematics; Forces and Newton’s laws; Moments.

The course is externally assessed and is 100% exam. 

At A2 level there are three exams:

 ContentDurationMarks availableWeighting
Paper 1Pure Maths2 hours100 marks
Paper 2Pure Maths2 hours100 marks
Paper 3Applied Maths (Mechanics and Statistics)2 hours100 marks

It is possible for students to sit an AS exam in this subject if they wish to do so at the end of year 12.

A-Level Further Mathematics

If you wish to study Mathematics to a greater breadth and depth then look no further than A-Level Further Mathematics.  This is studied alongside A-Level Mathematics and we again use the Edexcel exam board and students will study a mixture of Pure Mathematics and Decision Mathematics as detailed below:

  • Core Pure Mathematics – Proof; Complex numbers; Matrices; Further algebra and functions; Further calculus; Further vectors; Polar coordinates; Hyperbolic functions; Differential equations.
  • Decision Mathematics – Algorithms and graph theory; Algorithms on graphs; Algorithms on graphs II; Critical path analysis; Linear programming.

There is also the option to study additional content from areas of Pure Mathematics, Probability & Statistics or Mechanics.

At A2 level there are four exams:

 ContentDurationMarks availableWeighting
Paper 1Pure Maths1 hour 30 minutes75 marks25%
Paper 2Pure Maths1 hour 30 minutes75 marks25%
Paper 3Decision 11 hour 30 minutes75 marks25%
Paper 4Decision 21 hour 30 minutes75 marks25%

It is possible for students to sit an AS exam in this subject if they wish to do so at the end of year 12.

Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths)

Maths is for everyone. It is diverse, engaging and essential in equipping students with the right skills to reach their future destination, whatever that may be.  As well as providing a qualification in its own right, this course will consolidate students’ mathematical understanding, build their confidence and competence in applying mathematical techniques to solve a range of problems and introduce them to new techniques and concepts that will prepare them for further study and future employment within a broad range of academic, professional and technical fields.  We use the AQA exam board and students will study:

  • Analysis of Data – including different types of data, collecting and sampling, representing data numerically, representing data diagrammatically and communicating your findings through logical and reasoned arguments
  • Maths for personal finance – numerical calculations, percentages, interest rates, repayments and the cost of credit, taxation and solutions to financial problems
  • Estimation – the modelling cycle and Fermi estimation
  • Statistical techniques – Critical analysis of given data and models (including spreadsheets and tabular data), The normal distribution, Probabilities and estimation and Correlation and regression

At the end of the course there are two exams:

 ContentDurationMarks availableWeighting
Paper 1Analysis of data, Maths for personal finance and estimation90 minutes60 marks  50%  
Paper 2Statistical techniques90 minutes60 marks  50%  

This course is weighted as an AS level and carries UCAS points in line with this.

GCSE Resit

Timetabled lessons will be provided for those students who need to resit their GCSE Maths based on their Year 11 results. These classes are also available for students who achieved a grade 4 or above but wish to improve on their grade, given that their sixth form timetable allows.

If you have any questions regarding KS5 please reach out to the KS5 Leader of Mathematics; Alison Mulrain:

alison.mulrain@st-benedicts.cumbria.sch.uk

Maths Across The Curriculum

Here at St Benedict’s we are committed to raising standards of numeracy of all our students, so they develop the ability to use their number skills fluently across all their subjects. It may be that they are working in standard form in Science, mixing paints in a given ratio in Art or calculating population density of a city in Geography – Maths is everywhere! Our aim is that our students are fully numerate and have the necessary number skills to cope confidently with the demands of further education, employment and adult life.

We believe there is no such thing as ‘I can’t do Maths’ and we ask our students, staff and parents to take a positive attitude when it comes to Maths. Maths can be learnt by all (albeit sometimes challenging!) but a can-do attitude is the best place to start!

At St Benedict’s we have a whole school approach to teaching Maths. This means that maths is consistently taught using the same approach’s by the teaching staff in the Maths Department and this is then also mirrored by all teachers in all subjects. If you would like to see our methods and strategies that we use please click here to view our Calculations Strategies Booklet.

We work closely with other departments to ensure students can fluently apply their maths skills across the curriculum. Currently in Geography KS3 students complete one piece of Maths homework per term based on the skills they are using in their Geography lessons. Year 12 students who join us at sixth form, and no longer study Maths, are encouraged to enrol on our voluntary courses on DrFrostMaths.com; The Maths in Product Design, The Maths in Biology etc in which students are able to practice Maths skills they will be required to apply in their A-Level lessons.

Over the last few years, we have worked hard to implement Financial Education into our curriculum and we were delighted to hold our first annual Finance Week in 2018, and again in 2019 in which all KS3 and Y10 students took part in Financial Education sessions within their maths lessons and also had the opportunity to attend sessions with external organisations such as The Cumberland Building Society, North Lakes Foodbank and many more. They focused on the important of budgeting and making sensible informed financial decisions.

From this all students from Year 7 -> Year 10 now take part in a 6 week Financial Education programme during tutor time. Students learn and engage with many topics from budgeting and bank accounts in Year 7 to the risks of identity fraud and money laundering schemes in Year 10. In 2023 students will be taking part in PSHE drop down days in which they will also take part in Financial Education sessions based on Gaming and Gambling.

The Maths Department need no excuse to celebrate Maths! Annually we take part in the Maths Challenge competitions, Pi Day, National Numeracy Week England, NSPCC Number Day and World Maths Week. Recently some of our Year 12 Mathematicians attended Maths Inspiration in Leeds in which they listened to inspirational guest speakers deliver lecture style sessions on Maths in the real world. We left feeling so inspired that St Benedict’s Maths Department are very excited to welcome one of the guest speakers: Rob Eastaway into school for September 2022 to work with Year 7-Year 9! We can’t wait.

Looking towards the future; in 2023 we are also incorporating guided reading into our Year 7-Year 10 Maths lessons in which students will learn about Maths in the wider world: famous mathematicians, sport, art, careers etc. Maths is everywhere and we hope to inspire out students to go and find it!

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