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big ideas final e21c maths ks3.pdf


big ideas final e21c maths ks4.pdf



Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and an increasing number of careers. 

Receiving a good maths education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and the power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.   

Through use of statistical investigations, students will understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data. This is a skill necessary for many jobs from Accountancy to Data Analysis and from Engineers to Computer Science. This skill also enables students to question information they are provided with. Students can use their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty.    

Your study of maths at Spires Academy will follow a carefully designed curriculum that enables students of all ability to make excellent progress. Foundations are strengthened, ensuring students are equipped with required skills for both GCSE and everyday life, students are also given opportunities to explore maths and make connections between topics. In lessons, you will be encouraged to think hard and solve problems efficiently – a skill required that universities and employers will appreciate. You will have time to explore all areas of GCSE maths – number, algebra, shape and space, ratio and proportion and probability and statistics. At Spires Academy these areas underpin our Big Ideas – Fundamental number skills for life, Equations always balance, Shapes must have properties, Scale factors keep things in proportion and Statistics help us to analyse. Our Big Ideas are written to help demonstrate the relevance of maths to our students’ lives. 

Spires Ethos: respect, responsibility and resilience

In Mathematics we develop respect by: 

  • Encouraging all students to participate.  
  • Ensuring all students respect each other and their answers. 
  • Encouraging the understanding that students can learn from their mistakes. 

 In Mathematics we develop responsibility by: 

  • Students enter classrooms, taking their book to their seat and take responsibility for setting out their work according to our presentation policy and ensure they have a strong start to the lesson 
  • Encouraging students to self-assess to ensure they have immediate feedback  

In Mathematics we develop resilience by: 

  • Providing scaffolded work to enable all students to work at a suitable level with the right amount of challenge to help build resilience. 

whole school intent: inclusive

In Mathematics we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by: 

  • Scaffolding by personalising the learning based on individual student need 
  • Explicitly teaching Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary to develop students’ literacy and academic confidence. 

Tier 2 Vocabulary

Tier 3 Vocabulary

  • Our curriculum is delivered in mixed ability classes to ensure all students’ have a fair and equal academic experience in maths promoting good progress. 

whole school intent: focused

In Mathematics we identify powerful knowledge that were having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

We share this with students and their families using Knowledge Organisers: 

Year 7 Maths Knowledge Organisers

Year 8 Maths Knowledge Organisers

Year 9 Maths Knowledge Organisers

Year 10 Maths Knowledge Organisers

whole school intent: sequenced

In Mathematics we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 

2-year Curriculum Map

Year 7 Curriculum Map

Year 8 Curriculum Map

Year 9 Curriculum Map

Year 10 Foundation Curriculum Map

Year 10 Higher Curriculum Map

Year 11 Foundation Curriculum Map

Year 11 Higher Curriculum Map


In Mathematics we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the students at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

 Our Big Ideas are: 

  • Fundamental number skills for life – This encompasses all the basic number skills that a student will need for everyday life which also underpin other mathematical concepts. 
  • Equations must balance – This covers algebraic concepts which help students to identify missing values and solve problems in a variety of contexts. 
  • Shapes must have properties – This big idea enables students to explore shapes, their properties and identify relevant formulae. 
  • Scale factors keep things in proportion – Students will be able to explore how scale factors work and where proportion works in everyday life. 
  • Statistics help us to anlayse – This explores what data is, how data can be represented and how conclusions can be drawn from data. 

KS4 Qualifications

Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (1MA1) 

Paper 1: Non-Calculator Paper  Paper 2: Calculator Paper  Paper 3: Non-Calculator Paper 
1 hour and 30 minutes  1 hour and 30 minutes  1 hour and 30 minutes 
You answer all questions  You answer all questions  You answer all questions 
80 marks available  80 marks available  80 marks available 

  240 marks available in total for all 3 papers. 

enrichment opportunities

Some opportunities that will be available are: 

  • University trips to the University of Kent 
  • UKMC maths challenges 
  • Kings Maths Masterclasses 
  • Maths seminars at Thorpe Park

progression routes

Maths will be required for all progression routes. Whatever a student goes on to study, organisations will require a minimum of a grade 4 in GCSE Maths. In Maths we aim to support student’s in their pursuit of this to make their progression route smoother and more successful. It will also provide a progression route for those students wishing to study Maths at A-Level. Following this progression route opens many pathways to universities and careers, which require a good understanding of Maths, such as Aeronautical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Economics, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering (General), Physics, Statistics and more.