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Curriculum Intent

At St Thomas’s centre we strive to facilitate an environment where pupils can enjoy, learn and build resilience and understanding of Mathematics.  We provide a creative and ambitious mathematics curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares our pupils well for everyday life and future employment. We strive to enable, equip and encourage pupils to become accurate, efficient and flexible problem solvers; enabling them to become lifelong learners who will continue to grow mathematically and to function as productive citizens.

Key Stage 3 overview

The aim of our key stage 3 curriculum is for pupils to enjoy developing fluency, secure core knowledge and build on it to develop mathematical reasoning and think logically to problem solve. We have chosen to base our KS3 curriculum on ‘White Rose Maths’, as this is the most popular curriculum in the UK, being used by 40% of Secondary Schools. We believe this gives our students the best chance at settling in both when joining us and when successfully returning to mainstream schooling.

From Year 7 through to Year 9 pupils study an in-depth and coordinated selection of topics as follows:

Number: Place value, BIDMAS, standard form and index notation.

Algebra: Simplifying, substituting, factorising, expanding and sequences.

Geometry: Pythagoras, interior and exterior angles of polygons, parallel lines and properties of both 2D & 3D shapes.

Probability: Probability trees, Venn diagrams, mutually exclusive events and sample space diagrams.

Ratio and proportion: Simplifying ratios, scale factors and dividing into ratios.

Fractions, decimals and percentages: Calculations with fractions, simplifying fractions, recurring decimals and percentage increase/decrease.

Statistics: Pie charts, averages, pictograms and interpreting, analysing and representing data.

Key Stage 4 overview

Pupils follow the Edexcel Mathematics GCSE course. Throughout key stage 4 we promote an application-based pedagogy culminating in pupils being fully prepared and confident to undertake their GCSE’s.

Pupils are entered for their final examination papers at different levels, according to prior individual progress and attainment:

Pupils follow a bespoke curriculum tailored to their needs that addresses any gaps in knowledge that students may have. This broader curriculum allows for greater differentiation to ensure our students are set for success.

Higher level will award grades 3-9 (with 9 being the highest)

Foundation level will award grades 1-5

Paper 1 (Non-calculator exam)

This exam is mainly applicable to those areas of maths which don’t require a calculator as much depending on the tier classification (higher or foundation). Pupils undertaking Foundation will be using their maths mastery skills in topics such as algebra, shape, number and data representation. Higher classification pupils will be required to know additional topics such as surds, vectors and circle theorems.

Paper 2 and 3 (calculator exams)

These exams will require the student to be skilful in areas of maths which could require the use of a calculator. Such topics could be percentage growth and decay, volume of compound shapes, area of a circles and trigonometry. Higher pupils will be expected to know additional topics such as the sine & cosine rule and the tangent function.

Higher papers

Pupils which are undertaking the higher GCSE course need to have the same skills as the foundation course pupils but also have mastery of more. Pupils will be expected to have a more in depth understanding of topics such as shape, algebra, graphs and trigonometry.