Maths

Welcome

Our primary goal is to deliver maths in the most enjoyable and effective way possible in order to ensure that students gain a positive mathematical experience and fulfil their potential.

We believe that mathematical learning is life long and so as well as preparing students for success in exams, we develop problem solving skills as well as those of team work and organisation.

We aim to offer students a variety of activities and experiences in prompting understanding and enjoyment of Mathematics. Mathematics is a vital life skill and we have high expectations of all our students, ensuring they are fully equipped with those essential skills.


Staff

The maths faculty at The Vale Academy is made up of enthusiastic, specialist teachers. We are an approachable team and we welcome students who seek help during breaks in the academy day and also after 3.30pm. We often have groups of students working with members of staff at these times both by invitation and voluntarily.

There are 6 full time teachers of maths and a specialist learning mentor.

Mrs C Zietsman: Curriculum Leader

Mr JP Teanby: Assistant Curriculum Leader New classroom

Mrs R Carlile : Teacher of Maths

Miss F Sicard-Askey: Teacher of Maths

Miss A Matthews: Teacher of Maths

Mr A Collins: Teacher of Maths and Vice Principal

Mrs T Cartwright: Teacher of Maths

Mrs S Fell-Bowers: Specialist Learning Mentor

 


Resources

We are based in a suite of six dedicated classrooms, all equipped with interactive white boards. We have a range of maths software and website applications which students can access from home as well as during maths lessons in the college ICT suites. The faculty has invested in purchasing up to date text books and software across the entire age and ability range.

Students enjoy learning maths through a range of teaching and learning styles which allow them to be creative and to learn in a variety of ways. In particular students tell us they enjoy the challenges of working in pairs and groups as well as using maths websites and ICT applications.

In KS3 and KS4 students are taught in ability groups which are reviewed on a regular basis. They follow schemes of work which allow teaching and learning to be tailored to the abilities and potential of each group.

What students enjoy about learning maths at The Vale Academy :

“Maths lessons are fun, we learn a lot and the teachers help us” (Y7 student)

“There is a positive learning atmosphere in lessons. I like having extension challenges and enjoy working independently” (Y11 student)

“Lessons are well planned and staff set regular homework. I feel challenged and get a lot of feedback from my teachers” (Y12 student)


Key Stage 3

All students follow the National Curriculum and by the end of the Key Stage students achieve the full range of levels. Students learn through a range of activities which include pair and group work, mathematical investigations, using ICT to enhance their understanding and application of maths and using maths in real life scenarios.


Key Stage 4

All students follow the Edexcel GCSE linear course which has two tiers, foundation and higher and it is split into 2 papers.

Key Stage 5

Many students choose to stay on and study Maths at AS and A2 level in The Vale Academy Sixth Form. Students follow the OCR syllabus. Groups are small, with around 15 students at AS level and 4 students at A2, which allows for the excellent teacher- student relationships which are essential for students to reach their potential at this level. We also offer Further Maths.


Intervention

The faculty has a range of intervention strategies to support students who would benefit from some extra small group or one to one tuition to enable them to make steady progress towards their target levels and grades. These include targeted in class support and the use of the specialist learning mentor to engage with students outside of maths lessons to address specific mathematical knowledge and skills. Our Maths learning mentor offers sessions to students every day between 3:30pm-4:30pm

Intervention is also offered to sixth form students, usually by the class teacher during students’ study periods.


Forthcoming Events

Junior and Intermediate Maths Challenges – Spring Term 2016

 

Enrichment/Extra Curriculum Activities

Maths students at Franklin College

A number of students from year 11 were invited to Franklin College to a course encouraging them to study maths further. During the day they were divided into different groups and had the chance to experience a numbers of aspects that Maths is involved with. One of the sessions our students had to attend was looking at the Mobius strip (Covered in Decision 1 – a module studied at A2 level) which involves thinking about the path that a point can take. Some experienced how patterns in Maths is connected to other areas of life and an insight to binary numbers was given. But, without a doubt, all students enjoyed the session of “juggling maths”. The lecturer was juggling a number of balls and it was interesting how this was connected to the pattern of juggling and how it changes with the amount of balls juggled at a particular time. As the number of juggling balls became 6, the link was made with how the pattern rotates and it looks like the DNA pattern!

Puzzle club

This is run during Monday lunchtimes by several Maths teachers. Students are welcome to come and experience mental puzzles and play practical board games, all with mathematical links as well as chess and scrabble.