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Harris Beckenham aims to develop students’ mathematical confidence allowing them to solve a range of complex problems and critically analyse the world around us. We seek to expose them to the beauty of mathematics through a universal language which underpins many other areas of the curriculum. Mathematics fosters reasoning and problem solving, leading to mastery and logical thinking which builds students into well rounded and aspirational citizens of the future.
In order to be learned, ideas need to be understood deeply; they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student, thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others.
Our curriculum will vary the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. We will also carefully vary practise questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged.
Our philosophy is grounded in the quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures to allow students the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics. Students should be able to connect new ideas to concepts that have already been understood. This ensures that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning.
Teaching maths involves employing a range of mastery approaches that help students to develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics at each stage of their learning, so that by the end of every school year students will have acquired mastery of the mathematical facts and concepts they’ve been exposed to, equipping them to move on confidently and securely to more advanced material.
The new curriculum is focused on students developing mastery of mathematics and involves:
- developing fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
- acquiring, selecting and applying mathematical techniques to solve problems
- reasoning mathematically, making deductions and inferences and drawing conclusions
- Comprehending, interpreting and communicating mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.
We have designed the curriculum such that the interconnected nature of mathematics is prevalent. Concepts are studied using prior knowledge and in various contexts, creating links across topics. To move students from concrete to abstract thinkers and develop conceptual understanding with specialised vocabulary, context cues and encouraging resilience through problem solving. We acknowledge that without competent and confident literacy skills, our students cannot flourish in the world; it is therefore our duty to prioritise the vital acquisition of high-quality communication skills. To fulfil our responsibility to tackle social disadvantage, we refuse to accept that social and economic status will determine our students’ future and the acquisition of outstanding literacy skills are of paramount importance to eradicate this societal gap.
To meet the curriculum demands of the new specification and to enable students to confidently tackle worded problems, we have incorporated a word project in the curriculum led by a team of word representatives who meet to plan the word project for the mathematics department for years 7 to 9.