A core subject at GCSE, mathematics, along with English, forms an essential part of the bedrock in a young person’s education in preparation for further study, an apprenticeship or employment. In our dynamic, digital and increasingly global environment, young people find themselves needing to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to function effectively in order to make progress and develop in their chosen field. Mathematics and numeracy are a fundamental element of these requirements. Consideration should also be made for the problem solving, logic and, dare I mention it, the enjoyment to be had from studying mathematics.
At The Bridge Education Centre we aim to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to engage with mathematics at an appropriate level and to suit their individual learning styles. Using the internet through the interactive whiteboard we can access a great number and variety of resources that are relevant to pupils at all levels. Every pupil carries out a baseline assessment in order to ascertain their ability, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. A curriculum map for both Key Stages 3 and 4 is in place so that all the basic skills, knowledge and understanding are covered for the less able pupils and the more able pupils can develop towards higher achievement. Following on from the baseline assessment, pupils plot a flight path from their present level of ability with a view to making progress throughout their time with us at The Bridge. The potential flight path based on Key Stage 2 results is plotted for comparison.
Year 10 and 11 pupils follow the two-year GCSE AQA Linear Mathematics course. Our Year 11 pupils are to sit the outgoing lettered grading system (A* - G) this May/June while our Year 10 pupils are following the new numbered grading system (9-1). These numbers do not equate to the outgoing National Curriculum levels. (See poster below).
Throughout Year 11 pupils are given access to past GCSE papers so that they may become familiar with the type and format of questions so that may have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in the final exam. Once they have sat a “mock” paper, subjects areas are identified that may need to address in subsequent lessons. From these papers pupils are given targets and predicted grades.
The above poster displays the new grading system that will apply to our present Year 10 pupils and those who are to follow. During a topic Year 10 pupils may be given past examination questions to assess their understanding and to slowly introduce them to the level expected of them.
Key Stage 3 pupils enrolled at The Bridge for whatever length of time have invariably missed out on some of their mathematical education. Their Key Stage 2 results may indicate they have struggled with mathematics or they have considerable ability. We aim to re-engage them with the subject and give them the confidence required to make progress and for them to be prepared for the GCSE course and beyond.
Pupils are aware of the importance of mathematics whether it is as a GCSE grade, a stepping stone to an apprenticeship or college place, or its significance as a life skill.