Maths at Stringer
The Maths department is fully committed ensuring progress for every child. In particular we:
- Aim to improve the enjoyment of Mathematics by all students, regardless of ability. Students should be taught mathematics rather than taught to pass a mathematics exam, in the expectation that the latter will follow as a matter of course. For this reason, investigative teaching forms an important part of the teaching programme, as do innovative starter and plenary activities.
- Encourage parents to actively support their children's Maths, through advice on the curriculum through the termly curriculum booklet and on aspects of Maths that can be practiced at home;
- The Maths content on the school website is currently under review with a view to improving our advice to parents through this medium.
- Provide a safe teaching environment in which inappropriate behaviour or bullying is not tolerated.
- Encourage good attendance at Maths lessons for all children, and investigate instances of poor attendance.
Our approach to teaching Maths has proved highly successful. Our Results for 2016 were 76% of students achieved grades 9-4 in Maths compared with 72% across the local authority and 69% nationally. A huge 8% of our students achieved the top grade, 9, compared with only 3.5% nationally.
Moreover, our approach in teaching ensures that every child succeeds - we put the same amount of effort into a potential Grade 9 student or a student who will have achieved well to gain a grade 2 as we do into a student who is targeting a grade 4. This means that 62% of our children last year made at least 3 levels of progress during their time at Stringer.
Grade % Cumulative %
9 8 8
8 9 16
7 12 28
6 12 40
5 20 60
4 16 76
The following provides a summary of our results over the past few years:
Year Dorothy Stringer Local Authority National
2017 (9-4) 76% 72% 69%
2016 (A*-C) 76% 72% 67%
2015 (A*-C) 82% 70% 63%
2014 (A*-C) 77% 70% 63%
2013 (A*-C) 82% 68% 58%
2012 (A*-C) 72% 61% 58%
2010 (A*-C) 71% 56% 58%
2009 (A*-C) 71% 53% 57%
Setting and Tiering Policy
The aim of the department is to set all students in a way which improves teaching and learning throughout all maths lessons, and hence maximises the potential and creates the best learning experience for each child. The number of teaching hours per fortnight is as follows:
Year 7: 6 hours
Year 8: 6 hours
Year 9: 6 hours
Year 10: 8 hours
Year 11: 8 hours
Setting currently comprises 7 attainment levels as follows in years 7 and 11:
a, b, c, d e, f, g
The sets are hierarchical, although there will always be an overlap between sets. Moreover, sets are not taught according to a particular syllabus for that set. Teachers teach the group according to the attainment of the students. Hence two set 2a classes may be targeting different levels.
In years 8, 9 and 10 the setting comprises of 4 hierarchical groups and 3 parallel mixed-attainment groups. This is to raise the expectations of all our students and especially those in the lower groups who can often feel as if they are being left behind.
Movement Between Sets
Regular tests are undertaken throughout a student's career in the school to allow objective assessment of progress across the whole year group. The results of these tests are used to inform (but not to dictate) movements of students between sets. The aim is that each child should be in the set which allows them to maximise thier performance. Therefore whilst test results provide important evidence of the need to move sets, this can only be used to support the judgment of the class teacher. In addition to the test result and the teacher assessment, account will be taken of prior performance and prior set moves. The aim will be both that students are not moved as a result of an unusually good/poor performance in a test. It is also not desirable for borderline students to 'yo-yo' between sets. Set changes are not limited to resetting tests, and may be agreed with the Head of Department at any time if it becomes clear that this will be in the best interests of the child.
The current test schedule is as follows:
Year 7: During the first half term, Spring Term, end of Summer Term
Year 8: Spring Term, end of Summer Term
Year 9: End of Christmas Term, Summer test (SAT-style test)
Year 10: beginning of Spring Term, end of Summer Term
Year 11: GCSE Mock Exams (December and end of February)
A small number of gifted and talented students are given the option of studying Additional Maths as an option in Year 10 and 11. This teaching happens alongside their normal GCSE Maths and GCSE Statistics which the top set students also take in their core Maths lessons.
The aim of the course is to offer those students an insight into where Maths goes post GCSE. Students study content taken from the first year of the A level. Topics include coordinate geometry, differentiation, integration, the binomial distribution and the equations of motion.
The results are excellent for students at this stage, with the majority of students gaining an A or a B.
This is a tough course and is strongly classwork based. Most students taking the course opt to go on and study both Maths and Further Maths at A-level, and in conjunction with the 6th form colleges we provide advice on the best route to take.
GCSE Statistics is offered as part of the core syllabus for our top set mathematicians but also as an option for other students in Years 10 and 11. The course is a good basis for students moving into a number of career areas which are strongly based on statistics (e.g. finance, sociology, psychology).
In addition to providing this insight, there is much in common between the GCSE Statistics and the data handling element of GCSE Mathematics. The course can therefore have the side effect of improving candidates' grades at GCSE Maths.
In 2017, every student entered for GCSE Statistics gained a grade C or above. A fantastic 82% achieved an A or A*.
Grade % Cumulative %
A* 15.3 15.3
A 66.7 81.9
B 16.7 98.6
C 1.39 100