The purpose of the maths curriculum is to provide a secure understanding of mathematical concepts, from basic principles of mathematics to complex topics that combine several areas of study into a single question. The curriculum promotes retention of knowledge and a depth of learning rather than an accelerated curriculum, resulting in pupils who are confident in taking their studies further into sixth form, university and beyond.
In all year groups, there is an intentional focus on numeracy which will support pupils not only in their study of maths but will also enable them to access mathematical questions in other subjects.
The following principles have informed the planning of the United Learning curriculum across all subjects:
- Entitlement: All pupils have the right to learn what is in the United Learning curriculum, and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it.
- Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.
- Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.
- Adaptability: The core content – the 'what' – of the curriculum is stable, but schools will bring it to life in their local context, and teachers will adapt lessons – the 'how' – to meet the needs of their own classes.
- Representation: All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience.
- Education with character: Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, our co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.
Here we explore these principles in the context of the maths curriculum:
- Entitlement: All pupils in maths are exposed to extensive number, algebra, geometry, proportion, and statistics content and are not taught on separate pathways until Key Stage 4. This ensures that all pupils can access all areas of maths and have time to develop their skills before limiting their entitlement to Higher maths.
- Coherence: Our curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that knowledge is revisited without having a spiral curriculum, and to ensure that classic misconceptions between topic areas are avoided.
- Mastery: Mathematical concepts are taught in-depth and continually revisited through careful interleaving of content into future teaching topics. The focus on retention of knowledge is at the core of the maths curriculum; the mastery approach supports this.
- Adaptability: Teachers are provided with a fully resourced curriculum that will meet the expectations of the maths curriculum in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Teachers are expected to adapt these resources and have autonomy in the way they are delivered in the classroom.