At Bristol Metropolitan Academy we believe that understanding the ‘why’ of maths is the foundation on which true learning begins and allows students to fully appreciate and enjoy this fantastic subject.
We aim to create learners who are fluent in the mathematical vocabulary and can explain their reasoning and justifications clearly. This not only helps them build their confidence and clarify their own understanding, it also helps them attain well in exams and apply their knowledge to develop lifelong, transferable skills.
The curriculum takes a mastery approach and has been developed deliberately as a whole from Year 7 through to Year 11. We spend time ensuring that key skills are well understood so that at each stage, students have a good foundation from which to build; furthering and deepening their understanding as they progress. Students are encouraged to work with each other, discussing their thoughts and techniques at each step as well as independent work. Students’ understanding is frequently checked (for example by using mini whiteboards) during lesson time so that teaching can be adapted as needed and all students understand and can access the work. Using this and regular, in class marking, misconceptions are flagged up quickly and addressed so students don’t spend lesson time reinforcing these.
All students in KS3 will be studying the same topics at the same time (within year group). This allows teaching teams to joint plan and develop resources that both support and challenge students so that all are making their best progress, whatever their prior understanding of any given topic. The curriculum has been carefully developed to sequence concepts, methods and topics so that previously learnt ideas can be connected to new learning. This helps students understand the coherent, connected nature of the subject and allows them to apply this understanding to multi-step problems in a variety of contexts, including other subjects. Again, this supports both their exam outcomes and their ability to problem solve in real life.
In KS4, students will be learning either the Higher Tier curriculum or the Foundation Tier. Teaching methods and curriculum development follow those of KS3. We encourage students to support their own learning at KS4 by providing personalised feedback after mocks/larger assessment points. This is often linked, question by question, to Mathwatch clips that target their own gaps in understanding. This is particularly helpful for them when they begin revising as they won’t waste time relearning topics they can already answer.