The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form

Mathematics

The courses taught within each Key Stage are outlined below. If you have any further queries, please email maths@southwolds.notts.sch.uk

Please note that this email address is not monitored daily but we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days.

KS3 Maths

Course Overview

Pupils in Year 7 will follow a mastery programme of study for mathematics. In the first half of the year they study addition and subtraction, multiplying and dividing and angles as the three main topic areas.

We look at how these areas link together in a broad range of topics building numeracy fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills to reinforce core skills in a range of mathematical contexts. In the second half of the year students study either fractions or algebra (depending on ability) alongside ratio and proportion. This approach to teaching is then extended throughout key stage 3 giving the pupils a deep understanding of why and how mathematics works as well as developing the students’ enthusiasm and love of learning. 

Students are set homework on MyMaths and are able to also use this website for revision. Throughout the year pupils will complete a mixture of short topic assessments and longer assessments covering a variety of topics. Details of homework and assessments will be published on www.showmyhomework.co.uk to support your child with their studies. Following each assessment pupils and parents will receive detailed feedback regarding areas which require improvement.

How To Help

Ensure that the students have their equipment at all times including:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Pair of compasses
  • Protractor
  • Scientific calculator

Review with your child what they have been learning in their maths lessons. Practise key formula and basic skills such as multiplying, dividing, adding and subtracting.

Useful Links

Students can use the following websites to consolidate their learning at home:

KS4 Maths

Why Study Maths?

Maths provides the building blocks for many other subjects including Science, Geography, PE, Business, IT and Psychology. We use the language of numbers, symbols and formulas, to solve problems and find patterns in the world around us. From buildings and architecture to encryption and budgeting Maths is used in nearly every part of our lives and is one of the most important subjects that students study. Maths helps us to develop an organised mind which can reduce problems into clear, simple and simple and logical steps. Students develop and master the main skills during key stage 3 in the basics of Number, Algebra, Geometry, Proportion and Statistics. These skills are then consolidated and extended throughout key stage 4 to develop even greater links and challenge students to progress onto the most challenging areas within these topics. These areas become the building blocks for the next stage of their mathematical journey into A level Mathematics.

What will I study?

The mathematics taught from Year 9 onwards is organised in such a way as to allow students to maximise their potential in their GCSE exams.

Each student is placed into a group according to their ability.  They then follow a suitable course using relevant text books and other materials.

Regular assessments take place to aid the careful monitoring of their progress throughout the course and twice a year students will sit a GCSE style internal exam.  As a result some movement may occur between groups.

The course is a linear course with three papers taken in Year 11 and has greater emphasis on Functional Maths than previously.  There is no coursework.

We do expect all students to have a scientific calculator for the GCSE course. 

How will I be assessed?

Students will be entered for GCSE at a level (tier) that reflects their ability and achievement in Mathematics.  The tiers and the grades available within each tier are as follows:

Higher Tier - 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4

Foundation Tier - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

  • Paper 1: Non Calculator Paper - 1 hour 30 minutes written exam worth 33⅓% of the final marks
  • Paper 2: Calculator Paper - 1 hour 30 minutes written exam worth 33⅓%  of the final marks
  • Paper 3: Calculator Paper - 1 hour 30 minutes written exam worth 33⅓%  of the final marks

How can parents help

Students are expected to review work regularly to support their work in lessons. Encourage your child to make use of any of the following websites where videos, practice questions and answers can be found to support your child with their studies. They should use their tracking grids to identify the topics that they need to focus on which can be found in their exercise books.

Homework expectations

Homework will be set regularly throughout year 9 and 10. This may include online homework, formula tests and past papers. In year 11 students are expected to do a past paper every week from September until the start of the GCSE exams. This enables students to practice the style of questions regularly and prepare them for the GCSE exam. Students are also encouraged to look up topics that they have forgotten when completing the papers to aid with their revision.

Where could Maths take me?

Many students at South Wolds choose to continue Maths to A Level.  This enables them to access a wide variety of careers and university opportunities. Maths is a significant part of many other A level courses and is required at a good level to be successful in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Business, Economics, Computer Science and Psychology. Employers expect a good level of numeracy and are often looking for a grade 4+ as a minimum requirement for most jobs. Students that go on to successfully study A level maths on average earn 11% over there lifetime.

KS5 Maths

A Level Maths

Maths is the building block for so many other areas of academic study. The course leads on from the areas that you have studied at GCSE and particularly focuses on Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics, Geometry and Calculus. You will increase your knowledge and understanding of mathematical techniques and their applications. Develop key employability skills such as problem-solving, logical reasoning, communication and resilience. Maths is excellent preparation for a wide range of university courses and leads to versatile qualifications that are well-respected by employers and higher education.

What is covered in AS/A level Mathematics?

All of the content in the AS/A level Mathematics qualification is compulsory and is the same for all examination boards.

Careers using Maths

There is a huge shortage of people with STEM skills needed to enter the workforce.

Applications of mathematics in technology:

  • Medical
  • Games Design
  • Internet Security
  • Financial Cryptography
  • Programming
  • Communications

On-going applications in engineering, such as:                             

  • Aircraft Modelling
  • Fluid Flows
  • Acoustic
  • Engineering
  • Electronics 
  • Civil Engineering

New scientific processes such as:

  • Modelling populations and Diseases
  • Quantum Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Forensics

Applications relating to human behaviours and interactions:

  • Data Science
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Modelling
  • Political Science
  • International Development

How to help

Students will require an A level scientific (FX 991ex) or Graphical calculator (FX – CG50). These calculators have additional functions that are required that the older GCSE calculators do not have.

Students are expected to complete one hour of independent study for every hour lesson plus homework.  They will also be required to complete past paper exam packs to help them to prepare of their exams.

KS5 Core Maths

AS Core Maths

Core maths is all about the maths you will need in real life. What students study is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis, whether in work, study or life. You could be getting a loan for a car, buying your first house, pitching for a contract for the business you are setting up or presenting results to your boss in your workplace.  Core maths will ensure you are ahead of the game and can make the most of your future. Core maths is also strongly recommended as a course running alongside biology, business studies, chemistry, computer studies, economics, psychology and other subjects.    

Mathematical skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education - studying Core Maths will help you to keep up these essential skills. Employers are reporting they are impressed with the core maths qualification so it will help your CV stand out plus it counts towards UCAS points if you are applying to university.

To quote a student who has recently taken the qualification

"I think for students who still want to continue with some form of maths but who might be put off by A level maths, it’s definitely an option for them. It’s good to have the option of a different maths from standard A level maths. I’d definitely recommend for someone who wanted to continue with the study of maths to take it.” 

The course is made up of:

  • Analysis of data
  • Maths for personal finance
  • Estimation
  • Critical analysis of given data and models (including spreadsheets and tabular data)
  • The normal distribution
  • Probabilities and estimation
  • Correlation and regression

How will I be assessed?

At the end of the year there will be two papers each 1.5 hours long and worth 60 marks. You will require a scientific or graphical calculator

KS5 Further Maths

A level Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is an additional AS/A level qualification taken in addition to an A level in Mathematics.

It is designed to stretch and challenge able mathematicians and prepare them for university courses in mathematics and related quantitative and scientific subjects.

What is covered in Further Mathematics?

  • Pure mathematics content, making up at least 30% of the AS level and at least 50% of the A level.
  • The remainder of the content is made up of options which will include some of:
    1. Additional pure mathematics
    2. Additional statistics and/or mechanics
    3. Discrete / Decision mathematics

How to help

Students will require an A level scientific (FX 991ex) or Graphical calculator (FX – CG50). These calculators have additional functions that are required that the older GCSE calculators do not have. We strongly recommend the Graphical calculator for students studying further maths A level.

Students are expected to complete one hour of independent study for every hour lesson plus homework.  They will also be required to complete past paper exam packs to help them to prepare of their exams.