Learning in Maths

Maths is an important subject within Goodwin Academy and within our community. We have a strong team all working together to improve our students’ results and to enable them to be successful members of our society.

We are committed to making our learners feel secure in their lessons so that they find Maths enjoyable and stimulating.

Curriculum Intent

In Maths, we aspire for our learners to reflect on their learning and for them to be brilliant and successful by knowing their strengths and the areas to improve upon. We aim for them to strive for accuracy, to make links to previously taught topics and to persist when faced with unfamiliar questions and situations. We want students to always be thinking about their thinking and to develop their long term knowledge by, amongst other things, the use of the retrieval key and we wish for them to have transferable skills which will enable them to be successful in their future careers.

Maths is a cultural endeavour. Children who learn maths gain cultural capital and can join a wider range of conversations therefore having a greater input and influence in our society and culture. It gives them power and a voice..

Mathematics is a universal language with a myriad of cultural inputs throughout the ages. It is important to encourage the teaching of various approaches to Mathematics.

KS3, Years 7, 8 & 9 Maths 

In years 7, 8 and 9, we develop the skills and foundations in order to enable our learners to successfully pursue GCSE Maths. We ensure that each lesson has an element of retrieval so that we can build on these skills as time progresses. We aim to deliver our lessons with energy and enthusiasm to support and challenge our learners. We aim to keep up-to-date with research so that we may implement new concepts into our teaching. We aim to use a multi sensory approach to help all learners but especially our SEND students, for example, we are looking at the use of manipulatives, dual coding and bar modelling in the classroom.

All learners should have the correct equipment for every lesson including a Casio fx-83GTX .

We have high expectations of all pupils which are made clear in the routines that have been established in the department with regards to acceptable behaviour and the level of work required.

The Mathematics department encourages learning and behaviour strategies that allow all pupils a fair chance to answer and to explain their methods. Opportunities to discuss viewpoints are encouraged in Mathematics lessons and the use of data has a significant role in democratic decision making and influencing change. Students will hear statistics quoted to justify and argue for particular positions.

Pupils are encouraged to believe in their own ability in order to reach their potential in Mathematics.

Brace Map

KS4, Year 10 & 11 GCSE Maths

We foster a “can do” attitude and provide a safe learning environment so that pupils have the freedom to try, and try again, without fear of failure. We stress that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them, and each other, and are able to move on and make progress. At all times within the subject, students are encouraged to recognise an individual’s strength and support their development.

Students follow the Pearson Edexcel course, which consolidates and builds on prior knowledge.

There are three GCSE papers each of 1 ½ hours, one non calculator and two calculator papers. The GCSE is a two tier system, higher and foundation, and students follow the appropriate scheme of learning. There is also the opportunity for some to sit GCSE Statistics.

Websites to help with KS4 Maths

Year 12 & 13 Retake Maths

We currently only offer a GCSE Maths resit in Key Stage 5 but in the future we aim to offer A level Maths.


Studying this course can lead to further areas of study such as A Level Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geography and Psychology. Almost every employer will look for Mathematics as proof of a student’s ability to think logically and analytically but it is particularly useful in the following fields:

  • Medicine
  • Accountancy
  • Insurance
  • Teaching
  • Computer Game Design
  • Finance and investment analyst and adviser
  • Programmer
  • Software developer
  • Actuary
  • Sports scientist


Fundamental British Values

Students are encouraged to embrace diversity and treat all others with respect both in and out of the classroom.

Within Mathematics, there are opportunities to study areas where numerical data is part of the rule of law. This might include taxation or calculations which need to be made to make sure that industry complies with Health and Safety legislation.

Statistics can also be used to identify the impact of legislative change. The Office of National Statistics may be helpful to demonstrate the use of Statistics to identify strong, weak and negative correlation and enable students to understand the dangers of assuming relationships between variables.

Pupils are encouraged to develop their thinking skills when analysing mathematical questions which will enable them to think through ideas critically.

Students might explore the extent of individual liberty bearing in mind legal constraints which are numerical in nature e.g. speed limits; levels of alcohol in the blood when driving; taxation levels.  Students will discuss choices in terms of future education choices and careers.

At various points in the schemes of work, pupils in all year groups will study Mathematics from different cultures including the origins of Pythagoras and the Fibonacci numbers in work on Sequences. We also look at where certain words in Maths originate from such as algebra coming from Arabic.

Values such as respect, tolerance of other opinions and positive criticism are embedded in Mathematics. An underpinning drive to develop students who are resilient, determined and respectful in Mathematics, creates a positive set of values to apply to all areas of life.

There is a spiritual element to Mathematics as it can create awe and wonder in the children we teach.  Mathematics can be used to explain the world and the mathematical patterns that occur in nature such as the symmetry of snowflake patterns or the stripes of a tiger.  There is a sense of wonder in the exactness of mathematics as well as a sense of personal achievement in solving problems.

The moral development of pupils is an important thread running through the entire mathematics syllabus. Students will look at misleading graphs and discuss the morality of such graphs which is especially important in the era of ‘fake’ news. Pupils will also be taught how to interpret averages and why specific groups would choose certain averages and whether this is moral or not.

Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to Mathematics, through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas.  Students are always encouraged to develop their Mathematical reasoning skills, communicating with others and explaining concepts to each other.  Self and peer review are important to enable pupils to have an accurate grasp of where they are and how they need to improve.  Working together in pairs or groups and supporting others is a key part of Mathematics lessons.

Further Reading

  • Why do buses come in threes? Rob Easterway
  • Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh
  • Alex’s Adventures in Numberland Alex Bellos
  • The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets Simon Singh
  • The Number Devil Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction by T Gowers
  • Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci  by Joseph D’Agnese
  • The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics by David G. Wells