Maths is a subject that opens the world to creativity and problem solving. It is a subject that creates moments of pleasure and wonder, enhancing the ability to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically and to make sense of the world. An essential life skill, it is important as a stand-alone subject and for its impact in many other areas of study, particularly Geography, Science and Technology. Finally, it is also important in everyday life, in many forms of employment and in general decision-making.
Mathematics is a means of making knowledge useful, allowing students to build a secure framework of mathematical reasoning, which they can use and apply with confidence. The power of mathematical reasoning lies in its use of precise and concise forms of language, symbolism and representation to reveal and explore general relationships.
As typical maths enthusiasts, we want all our students to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason mathematically and to solve problems by applying their mathematical understanding to a variety of problems. Mathematical Mastery for all is our overriding aim.
A key department in the school, we aim to set challenging targets with high expectations for all students. We strongly believe in the importance of offering a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning to help motivate & engage our students and future mathematicians.
When students leave us at the end of sixth form, it is our aim that they will:
- Experience the satisfaction and enjoyment of their mathematical achievements.
- Think and act as independent learners.
- Identify patterns and understand the meaning behind these.
- Reason clearly and logically and set out logical and well thought-out arguments.
- Approach problems systematically choosing appropriate techniques for their solution.
- Communicate with a team; sharing and investigating problems.
- Perform basic numeracy skills.
- Understand the mathematics likely to be encountered in everyday life.
- Obtain their best possible results at all times, especially in the public examinations at KS4 and KS5.
Meet the team
The maths team are all subject specialists who are passionate about high quality, supportive and challenging maths education for all.
Vicky Connor - Head of Maths
Wendy Haydon - Second in Maths
Joe Lincoln - Teacher of Maths - PP & SEND Progress Champion
Tammy Bailey - Teacher of Maths
Alec Bithersea - Teacher of Maths
Bianca Lewis - Teacher of Maths
Brian Malone - Teacher of Maths
Emily Pooley - Teacher of Maths
Matt Tamblyn - Teacher of Maths
Natasha Taylor - Teacher of Maths
The Lipson maths curriculum is designed to ensure learners leave our classrooms with the mathematical skills and knowledge to describe, analyse and change the world.
The seven year journey fluently structures both the knowledge and skills of students from KS2 all the way through to A Level and is designed in small steps, that are interleaved across the key stages, and enable students to flourish mathematically as they grow in self confidence.
Careful consideration has been given to the sequencing and linking of declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge so that learners acquire the mathematical facts, concepts, methods and strategies to be successful problem solvers and proficient mathematicians.
Transition & Building on KS2
As a department, we collaborate with our local Primary schools to identify what is being taught in Year 5 & 6 and how. Our SOL builds on the KS2 curriculum and develops students’ knowledge and skills so they are equipped with the skills that will assist them in KS4 and beyond. This is exemplified in the Curriculum Overview link below and further simplified in the Curriculum Pathway link. As you can see the Lipson Maths Curriculum is well-planned and sequenced to build on prior knowledge and skills right through to Year 13!
Our Curriculum Learning Pathway
Key Stage 3
The KS3 schemes of learning build upon KS2 objectives and introduces those that will support progression into KS4. A full range of topics cover the 4 main attainment areas of Number, Algebra, Geometry and Data Handling.
Key Stage 4
Study of the GCSE content begins in Year 10. Maths is one of the only subjects that have tiers of entry - higher and foundation. However we do not assign pathways to our students, all have the opportunity to access ‘higher level content’ as students progress through the course. Entry decisions are carefully considered on an individual basis, with the most positive outcome for each student at the heart of our decision.
Key Stage 5
The A Level maths course at Lipson has been carefully sequenced to ensure the success of our A level mathematicians, enjoyment of the subject is fostered through student achievement and increasing confidence in their ability. Each module is named after a mathematician famous for work in that area, this provides some historical context to the study and highlights how the subject has grown and continues to develop. This also stimulates students' curiosity into the development of mathematical theory, providing a starting point for further reading around that topic area. In making links with the real world development of mathematics, and working within a theme, students will make links which will support their retention of learning.
A Level mathematicians study content that builds on concepts and skills covered during GCSE. Units studied at the beginning of year 12 are designed to reinforce, before extending, previous study - providing the opportunity to uncover and correct any misconceptions and gaps that would inhibit progress as the course develops. These units develop confidence, providing the bedrock of mathematical understanding and skill, that will enable students to flourish during delivery of new content, as well as preparing students for the rigour of the course. Retrieval and formative assessment are also a part of our lesson structure, and so students will be clearly guided in consolidating learning and further development of their mathematical skills.
There are three disciplines taught at A Level - pure, statistics and mechanics. The careful sequencing of discrete topics across the two years of study emphasises how mathematical ideas are interconnected, providing opportunities for reinforcing students' mathematical skills and developing independent problem solvers across a variety of contexts. Our programme of study is structured and layered to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to engage with complex mathematical problems in practical and theoretical contexts, promoting enjoyment and enthusiasm for both the usefulness and beauty of mathematics.
To fully develop our mathematicians into resilient problem solvers across the two year course students learn to identify what information they have been given, what they are endeavouring to solve with that information and finally how to plot a route from one to the other. Students practice these techniques across the disciplines. In pure this could be solving geometrical problems regarding circular geometry - useful in navigation, or using integration to work out volume of valuable material in a tor or mine. Whilst in statistics students will be able to carry out hypothesis tests to decide if a company can make a profit depending on the amount of wasted material, or if a construction is safe- or likely to collapse!- in mechanics.
Ultimately, this course builds and develops learners ready to progress onto undergraduate study equipped with powerful analytical, reasoning and problem solving skills as well as a passion for maths. The second year of the course revisits and develops content and ideas studied in year 1 more thoroughly - providing more accurate models of problems and powerful solutions. Academic progress for all is a key aim in the delivery of the KS5 maths curriculum, but equally as important in the design is developing mathematicians with a passion for the subject and leaving sixth form as independent, methodical, reasoned and resilient learners, ready to thrive at university.
What Examination Courses do we follow?
Our students follow:
Edexcel GCSE Mathematics
AQA A Level Mathematics
Curriculum Impact How do you measure attainment and progress?
Students are assessed throughout the year with an assessment at the end of each half term. Following an assessment, students have the opportunity to reflect and consolidate their knowledge and respond to any feedback given.
At KS4 we measure student progress based on the following assessment objectives:
- AO1: Use and apply standard techniques
Students should be able to:
- accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions
- use and interpret notation correctly
- accurately carry out routine procedures or set tasks requiring multi-step solutions.
- AO2: Reason, interpret and communicate mathematically
Students should be able to:
- make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions from mathematical information
- construct chains of reasoning to achieve a given result
- interpret and communicate information accurately
- present arguments and proofs
- assess the validity of an argument and critically evaluate a given way of presenting information.
- AO3: Solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts
Students should be able to:
- translate problems in mathematical or non-mathematical contexts into a process or a series of mathematical processes
- make and use connections between different parts of mathematics
- interpret results in the context of the given problem
- evaluate methods used and results obtained
- evaluate solutions to identify how they may have been affected by assumptions made.
How do we enrich our subject outside the classroom?
We offer both minecraft and chess clubs where students can test their mathematical skills.
At KS4 and KS5, we offer opportunities to complete workshops run by the university.
All year groups also compete in national mathematics competitions run by the UK Mathematics Trust.