# Mathematics

## KS3

**Key Stage 3**

At Key Stage 3 learners are encouraged to extend their mathematical thinking through solving problems and reasoning mathematically. The department follow “**Mathematics in the National Curriculum for Wales**” which promotes a positive attitude towards mathematics. It also builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills and sets out the aspects to be developed through a wide range of opportunities in the Programme of Study, underpinned by the National Numeracy Framework.

**Pupils develop their mathematical skills through 6 strands:**

*Developing numerical reasoning*

*Using number skills*

*Using measuring skills*

*Using geometry skills*

*Using algebra skills*

*Using data skills*

KS3 pupils receive 8 hours of mathematics per fortnightly cycle. Two of these lessons are identified as Numeracy lessons whereby pupils are given opportunities to apply their mathematics skills, to solve real life problems, in order to develop their Numerical Reasoning skills. The Numeracy lessons do not follow a typical lesson structure, each lesson is different and utilises a variety of resources ranging from Bowland Tasks to Place Mats, NFER Reasoning Resources, Numeracy Placemats, problem solving tasks and NNT practice papers.

Year 7 and 8 pupils are taught in their teaching groups which are organised by prior attainment using bench line data by the Lower School Learning Coordinator. In Year 9 the year group is divided into an upper and lower band. The upper band consists of the top 3 teaching groups (WAL) and pupils from these groups are set on mathematical ability into 3 sets. The lower band groups (ESH) continue to be taught in their teaching groups.

**Ethos of Cefn Hengoed Mathematics Department**

A ‘can do’ approach to mathematics is essential and conveyed by the teacher in order for successful learning and high standards of attainment.

Cefn Hengoed mathematics department has a strong commitment to improving learners’ standards in mathematics **by teaching for understanding** rather than simply teaching rules and techniques. The department has undertaken considerable work to develop a culture of well-structured lessons which systematically build on learners’ prior knowledge and skills and enable learners to derive understanding from strong visual images and first principles.

At present significant work is being undertaken as a department to develop the quality of questioning and discussion using Bloom's Taxonomy.

**Features of a typical Mathematics lesson at Cefn Hengoed:**

- Good lesson preparation – with differentiated activities which appropriately support/challenge all learners.
- Well-paced, interactive teaching with frequent opportunities for learners to participate, ask questions and demonstrate understanding.
- Variety – balancing high-quality explanation and modelling with the whole class, group, paired and individual tasks.
- Effective questioning using Blooms Taxonomy to develop pupils independent thinking skills and frequent opportunities for learners to talk about their work.
- Systematic development of learners’ mathematical language and their ability to explain and record their ideas clearly
- Use of mistakes, misconceptions and difficulties with particular questions as teaching points with the whole class.
- Continued focus on mental and written number work (still important in KS4).
- Relating mathematics to real-life applications.
- Topic aims for each series of lessons and summarising the main points at the end.
- Homework and assessment feedback seen as an integral part of the learning process.