KS3 Mathematics - Mastery Curriculum

Principles:

The Key Stage 3 mastery curriculum has been designed to ensure that our first cohort of students to move to the new curriculum (2017) will be prepared in essential GCSE skills and that mathematical knowledge is appropriate to pupils’ age and starting points. Working backwards from the new KS4 curriculum the department has identified the major strands and ‘essence’ in the syllabus which will be mastered throughout lower school. Furthermore the curriculum is ambitious in stretching the most able in order that by Key Stage 4 these students are in a position to make 4 + levels of progress.

Years 7 and 8 follow a mastery style curriculum to embed key skills and avoid fostering misconceptions and common errors demonstrated by Wingfield students at GCSE. To do this we have completely restructured how maths is taught, so that each topic is based around a broad skill, which is then reinforced during the application of the skill in other areas of maths. For example, Y7 will learn about adding and subtracting for six weeks, but within that time they will use the skill in finding perimeters of shapes, in calculating the range of a set of data, with decimals and with directed numbers. This results in more time being spent teaching the skill, so fewer ‘topics’ are being taught; only the application of the key skill, which means that students can recall and apply these skills fluently and accurately. This will not limit the high achieving pupils at Key Stage 3; for example in Year 8 the multiplying fractions topic is extended to using the skill in probability of combined events, at GCSE grade B and above.

As the department is committed to all students making maximum progress the new curriculum is also designed to allow all learners to access key skills. Both Year 7 and Year 8 schemes are differentiated, into higher intermediate and foundation (plus nurture at Year 7) to enable pupils to make the most progress through the year.

Assessment

In addition to this, there is a three week assessment cycle for this scheme of work following the same differentiated pattern; the ‘midterm’ test is multiple choice and acts as a quick check for the teacher to monitor understanding and mastery of skills. Therefore evidence of progress is ascertained from class books and regular end of unit tests that relate to the skills taught. The end of unit test is constructed from former Key Stage 3 SAT papers and vary in level of difficulty. We chose this format to better prepare pupils for the new problem solving emphasis in both the Key Stage 3 curriculum and GCSE 2015 specification. All results will be monitored in a class and full year tracking sheet.

Intervention and use of data

After diagnosing problem areas in tests, Pupil Premium students who are flagged as having a weakness in a specific area will receive targeted intervention support during tutor time in the morning, from DHO. This will be monitored by retesting specific areas, the results of which will be reflected in the tracking sheet.