Key Stage 3
Mathematics, at Key Stage 3, is designed to give pupils a wider understanding of how the world around them works and prepare them for making decisions, solving problems and processing everyday information. It is important that pupils develop skills such as calculating, logical thinking and investigating. It enables pupils to:
- understand quantity and measures.
- appreciate patterns and relationships.
- explore size and shape.
- analyse data and chance.
Financial Capability is also developed throughout Key Stage 3 Mathematics with pupils being provided opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of financial issues so that they are able to manage money well both in terms of day to day life but also through significant life events like buying a car or moving home.
During the first term of years 8 & 9 pupils are encouraged to use mental strategies and pen and paper methods when carrying out calculations building up their mathematical confidence and competence. The use of the calculator is allowed from September, however, we do ask pupils to show all their workings. We encourage pupils not to become over reliant on calculators to the detriment of mental skills.
Using Mathematics – Cross Curricular Skill
Using Mathematics is the skill of applying mathematical concepts, processes and understanding appropriately in different contexts. It is one of the three Cross- Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum.Pupils are provided with opportunities to acquire and consolidate their mathematical knowledge and skills within Maths with links to other contexts across the curriculum made and encouraged.
Opportunities to demonstrate mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of ways to communicate, manage information, think critically, solve problems and make decisions are also provided.
CCEA’s Levels of Progression for Using Mathematics are used as a framework to support the development of pupil’s numeracy skills within Key Stage 3 Maths. A departmental bank of Key Stage 3 Using Maths tasks has been collated to provide pupils with the opportunity to apply their Mathematical skills across a range of areas and contexts.
Problem solving is central to Maths, as highlighted by its increasing presence within the strands of the Cross Curricular Skill of Using Mathematics, as pupils move through the Key Stages. The process of developing pupil’s ability to problem solve is complex and is greatly affected by a pupil’s
- topic specific knowledge & understanding,
- organisation & application
- confidence & previous exposure
Frequent retrieval of knowledge and skills is vitally important to ensure that fluency and mathematical reasoning is continually maintained and enhanced. Colin Foster (2019), a reader in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University, says,
“I think of fluency and mathematical reasoning, not as ends in themselves,
but as means to support students in the most important goal of all: solving problems.”
The Maths Department encourages the use of CCEA’s TIER strategy and accompanying resources to support pupils to progress through tasks which become increasingly less structured and familiar; assisting pupils to become more independent problem solvers.