The Mathematics Department at Ark Acton Academy follows the Maths Mastery Curriculum map which focuses on ‘depth before breadth’. This means that students are given more time to understand concepts before new concepts are introduced. Students are encouraged to become independent learners who can appreciate a range of approaches to various questions. We encourage this through investigations, self-study and extended work within class as stretch questions. The curriculum is designed to ensure that students can make connections between different areas of mathematics and apply their skills and knowledge to solve problems whether in context or not hence meeting the rigor of the new GCSE specification.
Mathematics is a rich and varied subject, and students experience a wealth of concepts and skills throughout the curriculum. We believe that all of mathematics can be appreciated more fully once a student has a deep appreciation of the number system. In Year 7, students spend the whole autumn term deepening their understanding of number; studying place value and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) in detail and from a variety of different aspects. At the start of Year 8, students are introduced to different types of numbers before applying this knowledge to other topics such as algebra or geometry.
At Ark Acton students begin their GCSE in Year 9 following the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (9-1) Specification. Students study units from either the Higher or Foundation specification completing at the beginning of Year 11 allowing for more time to revise and fill in gaps in their understanding in preparing for their final examinations.
Throughout the GCSE course, students are assessed using exam-style questions in order to best prepare them for the GCSE paper. Students are also regularly exposed to rich problems, encouraging them to become independent mathematicians, make connections and ask questions.
For enrichment we enter students into FSMP ‘Maths relay competition’ in Year 10, as well as entering students into ARK-wide and national competitions such as the UK Mathematics Trust Maths Challenge.