Maths Teaching Staff 

Why Maths is Important 

Maths is a core subject in the curriculum for all students.  A good standard of mathematical competence is an essential life skill, helping students in many areas of everyday life. Maths is needed in all careers and, along with English, is one of the basic qualifications employers require when recruiting.  As such, since 2016 it has been a requirement that any students who do not achieve at least a grade 4 by the end of Year 11 continue to study maths and resit their exams alongside their post-16 study and training in further education colleges, sixth form or apprenticeships.   

At The Wey Valley Academy, students follow the Pearson Edexcel five-year teaching plan starting in Year 7.  Time is spent mastering, strengthening and then extending skills across all areas of maths, including number, algebra, ratio and proportion, statistics, geometry and measures.  Students will learn how to use and apply the mathematical skills they have mastered to solve increasingly complex problems in both real-life and abstract situations. The focus on, and development of, problem-solving skills is possibly the most important element of the new maths programme of study and will benefit students across their school curriculum and into their adult lives. 

Teaching and Learning in Maths 

Maths teachers place a high emphasis on key skills which are practised at the start of every lesson, regularly revisiting the basics and using retrieval of prior topics to aid long term retention of skills taught. 

Topics are taught in a modular format, with each skill following a develop, master, apply and reflect sequence. Regular time is allocated within the curriculum for students to self-assess, improve and extend their learning. In addition to whole class formative assessment and improvement time, all classes from Year 7-10 have a lesson in the maths IT room once a fortnight.  In that lesson, students are given guided support to practise skills taught in class based on their own needs. We use the Hegarty Maths online learning platform which contains instructional videos and interactive exercises to support independent learning.  

All students need their own scientific calculator for maths lessons from year 7.  We recommend the Casio FX-85 series which have the full functionality required to take them through to GCSE and beyond. 

Weekly homework consists of a set of key skills questions from the previous four units of work with with links to Hegarty videos from the learning intention sheets for each unit should a student require additional help. We consider homework completion to be an important part of the mastery and retention of skills taught and maths homework tasks are designed to provide a key opportunity for purposeful practice. 

Key Stage 3 

In years 7,8 and 9 students cover all requirements of the KS3 national curriculum.  We follow the ‘Pearson Edexcel 2nd Edition Maths Progress’ syllabus and it is intended that by the end of year 9 all students will have secured the building blocks and skills required to be successful at GCSE. Students are taught in ability sets. All sets follow the full core curriculum with additional content delivered from the support and depth resources as appropriate to facilitate best progress for each individual.  

Key Stage 4 

Students in years 10 and 11 follow the Pearson Edexcel 9-1 GCSE syllabus.  Students are taught in sets and aim towards either the foundation (grade 1-5) or higher (grades 4-9) exams depending on their target grades and progress.  We consider the tier of entry for each student on an individual basis and always with the intention of them gaining the highest grade they are capable of. 

Curriculum content continues to be taught in a similar way to KS3, with 20 units at foundation and 19 units at higher tier. As at KS3, each unit ends with a summative assessment of that unit.  In addition, KS4 students have multiple opportunities to practise past papers in the classroom and during formal mocks before their final GCSE exams and are given full individual feedback and guidance for improvement after each formal mock exam.  

At both higher and foundation tiers the GCSE maths exams consist of three 90 minute papers –  Paper 1 is a non-calculator paper and papers 2 and 3 are calculator papers.  The content of the course can be tested across any of the three papers and individual questions often combine skills from several topics.  This is especially true of the higher tier papers in which applying skills to problem-solving of increasingly unfamiliar situations is a key assessment standard for those aiming to achieve the highest grades. 

Extra-curricular opportunities 

The maths department offer a number of extra-curricular opportunities to interested students during their time at Wey Valley.  Some current and recent examples include: 


GCSE Specification 

Click to view GCSE Specification – Maths