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The John Bentley School

An Outstanding Centre For Learning


Department Overview

At The John Bentley School we see mathematics as a creative and highly interconnected discipline. Mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and problem solve, an appreciation of the power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. At JBS we strive for students to make connections across mathematical ideas, to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We also aim to develop well rounded learners who demonstrate resilience to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects outside of mathematics. We strive for all pupils to develop a love of learning mathematics and a confidence to gain the necessary competencies to access the next stage in their learning journey.

Key Stage 3 Maths Overview

Our KS3 maths curriculum focuses on the idea of ‘mastering’ topics to ensure understanding is thorough and comprehensive. Students are set based on KS2 SATs as well as continued in class assessment. Sets are continually monitored and students may move up or down at any time depending on whether teachers feel their learning would be enhanced in a different set.

Each term we have key themes and as they progress through years 7, 8 and 9, students learn new topics based on these themes. For example term two is based on statistics; in year 7 pupils strengthen their knowledge of averages and types of charts and graphs. In year 8, pupils learn how to apply their averages knowledge to frequency tables and use it to compare sets of data and in year 9 we then include interquartile range linked to box plots and other graphs. Our aim is to increase awareness of connections between topics; both within mathematics as well as to the real world.

Each term we focus on key transferable skills such as resilience, problem solving, working in groups as well as independently, and ensuring all work is logical and ordered. Our assessment policy focuses on percentage progress so pupils are aware of how they have improved each term. Pupils sit an initial assessment at the beginning of the term to highlight topics they know as well as topics they need to learn. At the end of term, pupils then sit a final assessment which we use to identify the progress they have made.

The philosophy of our KS3 curriculum is to inspire curiosity, deepen understanding and encourage pupils to think strategically to solve a problem they are faced with.