Maths at Walton Hall Academy

Key Stage 3

In KS3 the students on our navigators pathways access maths lessons in mixed year differentiated classes, with a teacher who is a maths specialist. Those students within our explorer and seekers pathways access maths lessons with their class teacher. This enables us to teach maths in the way that best meets the needs of the students.

Staff work hard to develop students as active learners by releasing their motivation, unlocking their curiosity and increasing their participation in maths activities. From there the student becomes engaged and their personalised learning journey begins. 

We build upon basic numeracy skills through number, shape and space and measure, ensuring that we use as many real life, sensory and action filled activities as possible. This ensures that our students remain interested and that the work is focused and purposeful.

We follow similar units in Key Stage 4, to allow for a smooth transition into Years 10 and 11 where students work towards an Entry Level 1, 2, 3, Level 1/2 or GCSE accredited award. These units develop practical skills in numeracy that help learners gain the most out of work, education and everyday life. They are designed for learners of all abilities and can provide the progression and foundation for Functional Skills or GCSE’s.

We aim to underpin the basic numeracy skills of:

  • Understanding number
  • Calculations with number (including fractions for the more able)
  • Shape and space
  • Handling money
  • Measure (including reading the time and date)
  • Data representation and interpretation

We closely track and monitor the progress of our pupils through SOLAR assessment to ensure that they are working at an appropriate level. We offer specific and targeted interventions for identified students where necessary.  All learners receive access to Conquer Maths. This is an online maths programme, which teaches maths principles using clear animations, synchronised with the spoken explanation from reception to A-Level mathematics. All lessons are well differentiated so that differences between learners are accommodated ensuring that all students in each group have the best possible chance of making good progress.  

Key Stage 4

We have two teaching groups in Key Stage 4. Each group is ability set across the Key Stage. This enables our lessons to be differentiated and set appropriately to the needs and levels of our students.

Maths in Key Stage 4 is an important transition between the broad and dynamic curriculum in Key Stage 3 and the Functional Life Skills that are developed in Key Stage 5. Students follow the Edexcel Functional Skills accreditation which runs from Entry Level 1 to 3 and progresses onto Level 1 and Level 2 or AQA GCSE maths curriculum. These courses provide practical methods to inspire students to engage with topics on number, measure, shape, space and data handling. Formative assessments take place at the end of each topic with controlled assessments taking place in March for Entry levels and at different assessment points throughout the year for levels 1 and 2. GCSE examinations are sat in May/June. Every effort is made to ensure that students feel enabled, confident and prepared for their final tests. Readers can be provided and extra time can be applied for if necessary.

Students are given a thorough initial assessment from which personal strengths and areas for improvement will be identified. This information is used to generate personalised targets. Planning is driven by the learners and tailored to their needs and preferences. These targets are accessible for learners during every lesson and are reviewed termly as part of their (ILP) Individual Learning Plan.

We have a real focus on filling the gaps in learners’ knowledge in maths. This ensures that learners will become confident in their own abilities and enables them to develop the ability to apply these skills later in life.

The students who follow our seekers pathway complete Personal Progress units where maths is incorporated into core skills lessons. Students work to develop number, shape, space and measure skills through more practical and real life situations.

Key Stage 5

In our Post 16 provision we see maths as crucial to enabling all of our learners to be as independent as possible throughout their lives. Our main aim in this subject is to consolidate the learning and skills that have been developed through previous school years and to extend them further, looking specifically at applying them to practical and real life situations.

Our students study Functional Skills in mathematics and some also study GCSE Mathematics. The Functional Skills course is specifically designed to give learners the skills to operate confidently, effectively and independently in education, work and everyday life. Where possible we try to apply skills practically, for example weighing and measuring in cookery, reading bus and train timetables, calculating cooking times and working out sale prices on specified items as well as teaching specific skills and strategies for everyday maths. The GCSE course is delivered over the two or three years that students attend Post 16.

We aim for all students in Post 16 to leave school with a Maths qualification that is at least 1 level higher than when they entered the key stage in year 12. On entering Post 16, students complete diagnostic assessments that are specific to adult numeracy criteria. Results from these, in addition to KS4 results, are used to set students into ability groups and to produce plans that specifically look at consolidating learning where gaps have been identified. By setting students into ability groups we are able to plan and deliver sessions that cover assessment criteria that are specific to the level in which they are learning.

Sessions include the teaching of skills, opportunities for practical application and interactive activities as and when appropriate. The progress of each student is closely monitored to ensure students are stretched and challenged.

Students working below Entry Level 1 will complete Personal Progress Units in Maths and will be assessed using the Achievement Continuum. This will enable the small-steps of progress and their participation within sessions to be assessed. A range of units will be covered including Number, Measure, Position, Shape and Understanding Money. As with the Functional Skills, sessions are as practical as possible so that learners can apply the skills they are gaining to real life settings in and around school.