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The De La Salle Academy

The De La Salle Academy

The De La Salle Academy

Inspiring People;
Breaking Boundaries

Maths and Science Faculty

Introduction

The Faculty encourages students to achieve the highest possible standards and develop their ability to work independently. Our aims are:

  • To encourage an appreciation of the subjects and enable students to become independent learners.
  • To increase motivation by providing authentic, meaningful and relevant learning experiences through STEM and Financial elements of learning.
  • To ensure deeper understanding of concepts for greater success.
  • To create a 'buzz' and love of all three subjects.
Faculty Staff
Mr N. Davies (HoF)
Mr M. Wallace
Mr M. Cotterill
Miss E. Cantrill
Miss G. Cornally
Mrs M. Threlkeld
Mrs L. Smith

Maths Overview

Mathematics equips students with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world. It can stimulate moments of wonder for students when they solve a problem for the first time, discover a more elegant solution or unearth hidden solutions.

Facilities and Resources

The department is fully staffed with experienced Maths specialists who create a positive and vibrant learning environment. Maths is taught in a suite of 3 classrooms which are equipped with PROMETHIAN interactive whiteboards. The department subscribes to a number of electronic resources to enhance the learning of the students. Resources available include interactive tutorials which specifically support the courses that our students follow, and websites that help students to enhance their skills.

A positive attitude towards the subject and the self-belief that ‘I can do Maths’ are key to being a successful learner in Mathematics. The mathematics team at Worden develop students’ confidence, resilience, self-esteem and enjoyment of mathematics.

The maths department ensures that:

  • The mathematics curriculum is challenging and builds on prior learning.
  • Students are encouraged to ‘have a go’ and not be afraid to make and share mistakes.
  • Active learning, mathematical discussion and problem solving is encouraged at all levels.
  • Work is differentiated within classes.
  • Students are given the opportunity to see how the learning is relevant to their everyday life.
  • There is appropriate time given to consolidate and apply skills in a range of contexts.
  • Students develop confidence and fluency in numeracy skills leading on to more formal methods of working.

A positive attitude towards the subject and the self belief that ‘I can do Maths’ are key to being a successful learner in Mathematics. The Mathematics team at Worden develop student’s confidence, resilience, self esteem and enjoyment of mathematics.

Year 7, 8 and 9

In 2018, the Mathematics Department at The de La Salle Academy will be introducing a new scheme of work for Years 7-9. The ‘White Rose’ programme of study encourages a mastery approach to students learning which have  been designed to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum. The schemes of learning;

  • have number at their heart. A large proportion of time in Year 7 is spent reinforcing number to build competency. Key number skills are then fed through the rest of the scheme so that students become more and more fluent.
  • give teachers ideas for how to extend higher attaining students through depth rather than acceleration onto new content.
  • ensure students have the opportunity to stay together as they work through the schemes as a whole group
  • provide plenty of time to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum.

 “Mathematics education should be so much more than just passing exams and Mathematics Mastery will help us achieve this. We want every child to not just pass GCSE mathematics, but pass with top grades and to leave school with a love of mathematics.”

Maths Mastery Network

The Mathematics Mastery community wants every school leaver to achieve a strong foundation in mathematics, with no student left behind. In addition, Mathematics Mastery means that a significant proportion of students will be in a position to choose, if they so wish, to study A level and degree level science, technology, engineering and mathematics related subjects.

Students have five maths lessons a week and the Mathematics Mastery curriculum has problem solving at the heart, encouraging the use of mathematical language to promote accurate explanations and justification. Achieving mathematics mastery is through depth of understanding as opposed to covering lots of topics more superficially.

Mathematics lessons are usually made up of a ‘Do Now’ task which uses the ‘5 a day’ approach with numeracy being the main focus in Years 7, 8 and 9. This is followed with new learning, where the teacher explains a concept followed by a ‘talk task’ to encourage pupils to develop mathematical curiosity and language. There are exercises to develop the learning of the new concept which involves a mixture of group work, individual learning or paired work. Finally, the class reflect on the learning that has taken place in the lesson. To aid pupils’ sense of discovery and to encourage problem solving, we use manipulatives in our lessons. These include bead strings, Dienes’ blocks, fraction counters, Cuisenaire rods, 100 grids, number lines, bead strings and multilink cubes. The use of manipulatives, coupled with a constant focus on problem solving, means that students are much more able to understand mathematical concepts.

In every lesson, teachers assess what students do or do not understand and deal with misconceptions immediately. Moreover, all our pupils are appropriately challenged; tasks are rich and investigative and challenge pupils to think mathematically.

The mastery curriculum is designed so that pupils explore mathematical ideas in depth. The emphasis on number, in Year 7, is to ensure that every child has a strong understanding of the basic mathematical concepts, creating a solid tool bank for them to call upon throughout their mathematics career. Tasks are structured to support and stretch students, challenging their mathematical thinking at all stages.

In addition to a depth of understanding, we know how important fluency with multiplication and division facts (times tables) is. To support students in becoming proficient and fluent in these skills we use the PiXL Times Table App. This is an online times tables resource which is very popular with the students and has had a significant impact on improving their times tables, both in terms of accuracy and speed.

All pupils also have a log in for Pearson ActiveLearn, an online maths learning platform which supports their learning outside the classroom with ‘Help  me solve this’ resources.

Years 10 & 11

Students begin to follow a 2 year GCSE course at the beginning of Year 10. However, we begin to familiarise students with the types of problems they will face at GCSE from Year 7.

Throughout GCSE Mathematics, pupils develop skills that enable them to apply Mathematics in other subjects and in everyday life. We continue to build upon the numeracy skills taught at Key Stage 3 but also develop the more abstract concepts required for GCSE. The skills learnt during GCSE Mathematics prepare students for life after Year 11, and for those pupils who wish to continue studying the subject post-16 and take A-level Mathematics, their GCSE studies will have prepared them for the rigor of the subject.

In preparation for the GCSE examinations, the Mathematics Department ensure that students receive the very best support and resources in order to reach their full potential. Students are encouraged to be proactive about seeking advice from staff, manage their own learning and exam preparation and work collaboratively in lessons to help them to solve mathematical problems and support their peers in their learning. These skills, not only help them in their mathematical endeavours, but will equip them with the skills they need in everyday life.

All pupils will be entered for the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) in Mathematics (1MA1).

We aim to ensure that pupils are able to:

  • Recall and use their knowledge of the topics covered.
  • Select and apply mathematical methods in a range of contexts.
  • Interpret and analyse problems and generate strategies to solve them

Final decisions on the appropriate tier of entry for each pupil will be taken in March of Year 11 based upon progress during the course and performance in the mock examinations. Final assessment consists of three equally weighted written examinations taken in May/June of Year 11. One of the papers is a non-calculator paper.

Revision for GCSE Mathematics

In Year 11 students are encouraged to use their ActiveLearn account to support with revision; please ensure your child makes use of this valuable resource. Ask them to log in and show you their grades.

All students can access the free CorbettMaths website where they will find video tutorials and practice questions for all topics as well as the latest past exam papers.

  • After the mock exams your child will receive a personalised analysis of what they need to work on and a checklist of the most popular topics on GCSE papers to support them with their revision. We ask that you take an active part in supporting your child with their revision by helping them manage their time and plan their revision.
  • The department will be offering revision classes during the holidays in the lead up to the exam. Please ensure your child takes up the offer of extra lessons throughout the year instead of leaving revision until the last minute.

How parents can help

Please support us by:

  • Ensuring that students come fully equipped to their lessons. Pupils need to have a Scientific Calculator with 2 line display (ideally, a Casio FX-85GT plus). 
  • Regularly checking Class charts on the website to ensure that students are completing homework tasks to the best of their ability, and encouraging them to seek support in plenty of time if they are struggling. 
  • Using Mathematics as much as you can in everyday life, such as giving opportunities to work out how much change you should get in a shop, estimating the cost of shopping, discussing fractions of pizza or cake and comparing offers in shops.
  • Ensuring your child knows all their times tables and downloading the PiXL times table App to your phone/tablet/computer. 
  • Being positive about Mathematics at home. Negative comments rarely help and students that hear positive things about the subject at home are more likely to develop a positive attitude to it themselves! Instead of saying ‘I was bad at maths at school’ say ‘I had to work hard at maths at school’. Encourage a Growth Mindset in your child.

You can find lots of useful information on improving your own and your child’s numeracy skills on the National Numeracy Website.

Finally, your child’s maths teacher will always welcome contact and support from parents so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

Science Overview

A high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Science is vital to the world’s future prosperity. We believe that all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods and uses of science. Through building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, students are encouraged to recognise the power of rational thought and develop a sense of curiosity about science in the world around them.

Core skills developed in all science lessons across all year groups within the academy:

  • Observation as a stimulus to investigation
  • Designing an investigation
  • Making measurements
  • Societal aspects of scientific evidence
  • Presenting data
  • Using data to draw a conclusion
  • Evaluation
  • Limitations of scientific evidence
  • How science works
  • The thinking behind the doing
  • Fundamental ideas

Computer Science Overview

ICT and Computing has one dedicated computer suite to accommodate all timetabled lessons. The room is equipped with 30 PCs, interactive whiteboard and projector, Internet and email access and a range of software suites including Microsoft Office and Macromedia.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum has been written by the Subject Leader to satisfy the new National Curriculum for Computing and to also allow the development of core ICT skills through the Key Stage. This includes the use of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access. In Years 7 and 8 students are taught in ability groups . There is an option for Year 9 to choose Computer Science where they learn the fundamental skills if they decide to pursue the subject at KS4.  This comprises of four lessons a fortnight. Our aim is that students become independent learners and confident users of ICT and Computing within a range of software programs where skills can be transferred and used in a variety of other subject disciplines. Students are encouraged to progress and develop their knowledge and understanding in a variety of units including e-safety, hardware and software, ethics, algorithms, data representation, programming, graphics, animation, web design, databases and app development.  Students are assessed in their work via a range of different methods.

GCSE ICT

For Key Stage 4 ICT we follow the Edexcel syllabus of work.

In Year 11 students complete the remaining theory including ‘Smart working’, ‘Shopping experience!’ and ‘Let’s revise! Health and well-being’ whilst completing the remaining Controlled Assessment with designs, digital products and evaluation of the project.

Classes are mixed ability based on option block choices and all assessment is finalised at the end of the two year course.

Business Studies Overview

Business Studies provides an engaging and stimulating introduction to the world of business. This is probably the most relevant subject students will ever experience. Not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur and not everyone will set up their own business. However, wherever students go and whatever students do, they will either be surrounded by people that work in a business and / or work in a business themselves.

Our aim is to actively engage our students in the study of Business to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.

Core Skills

  • Practical skills – Time management, personal organisation and action planning.
  • Presentation skills – Addressing audiences using a variety of media and forms
  • Personal skills – Showing evidence of progression
  • Interpersonal skills – Communication and group work
  • Cognitive skills – Reflection and review of own and others’ performance

Examination Information
 

Mathematics
Contact: Mr N Davies
Applies to: Years 7 - 11
Course Type: GCSE
Exam Board: EdExcel
Specification Code: 1MA1
Board Website: Edexcel Maths Website

 

Science
Contact: Mr N Davies
Applies to: Year 10 & 11
Course Type: GCSE
Exam Board: Edexcel
Specification Code: 1SC0
Board Website: EdExcel Science website