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Maths Department

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Achieving and enjoying success according to individual ability is at the centre of all we do at Coln House, and it is a philosophy we fully embrace in the Mathematics department.

Pupils at Coln House are taught in small groups according to their Key Stage. Pupils at the school follow the National Curriculum according to their individualised education plan. Pupils are taught how mathematics applies to real life and how a good grasp of functional numeracy will help them in the future, from buying a house or car, to borrowing and paying back money, budgeting for household expenses and working out how pay is calculated.

Homework is set for the whole school every week; this can be either paper based or internet based using My Maths. Pupils have a week in which to complete their homework and help from staff is always available. Any difficulties with homework are addressed in the classroom; this maintains the high standard of teaching and learning and supports the school ethos of our 24hour curriculum. Some pupils are given extra work for the weekends especially those pupils studying for GCSE and a few regularly ask for work to be set. It is the expectation that all pupils will complete mathematics homework.

The mathematics department is proud of its success rate; every Yr 11 pupil leaves the school with some form of mathematics accreditation. All pupils study mathematics at GCSE level and expectations are high. All pupils are encouraged to make above average progress in order to equip them to compete for jobs and college places.

Coln House is proud of its links with the University of Gloucestershire and welcomes trainee teachers on placements. These trainees can spend up to 8 weeks in our school gaining valuable teaching experience and knowledge of working with our pupils.

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Lower School

The lower school is made up from pupils in years 6-9; all are placed in classes according to their age as far as possible, although individual needs are carefully considered and changes made accordingly. Great emphasis is put on ensuring basic mathematical skills are in place so that students can become independent and creative in their thinking.

Pupils are assessed each term to ensure that they are making progress and interventions are put in place where necessary to make sure all pupils have the opportunity to reach their potential.

The work in the lower school is aimed at making mathematics an enjoyable experience as well as supporting the GCSE programme of study that students will have to follow in the upper school.

Upper School

On entry to Key Stage 4 pupils choose their pathway and are placed in classes as appropriate to their needs and choices.

We follow different examination syllabuses for GCSE and entry level as experience has shown this affords our pupils the best chance of success. Both GCSE and Entry Level follow a linear route. The GCSE course follows the Edexcel Linear specification, and the OCR exam board is used for entry Level.

All Key Stage 4 pupils take an entry level Qualification in Mathematics during year 10. Pupils then continue to study for GCSE mathematics following either the Foundation or Higher course. Both tiers of entry allow pupils to achieve a grade C, which is the expectation of many college courses and jobs.

Some students will have the opportunity to sit examinations early, to give them an extra chance of gaining the grade they need to get on to college courses. A detailed analysis of paper gives the students a personalised learning plan so that they can aim for the next grade up the next time they sit the GCSE. Experience has shown that early entry gives pupils the courage to aim high, and special congratulations go to Jack Edgell this year for achieving a grade C in Mathematics in year 10. Jack is now ambitiously aiming for a grade B.

In 2013 the mathematics department is aiming for all year 11 students to achieve above their expected grades, in order for them to continue to the next step in their life journey, confident, educationally well equipped and numerate.

Louise Goode December 2013