In the maths department at John Cabot Academy we train students to be mathematicians: to think logically; to solve problems; to be rigorous; to be resourceful when stuck. Our overarching aim is to help each student to become the very best mathematician they can be. For many students, this means choosing to study mathematics after leaving secondary school – we are very proud of our record on this. But we are just as proud of helping other students become proficient with the mathematical knowledge and skills that will help to bring them agency and confidence in their daily lives as adults.
Students at John Cabot Academy secure fantastic GCSE results every year because they care about learning maths. Students caring about their learning, the intrinsic motivation to want to know more mathematics, is what we aim to foster in our pupils during their time with us.
Every teacher in our department strives for their teaching to be:
We as teachers are also learners, and we spend significant time working together as a department talking about our teaching and the learning of our students. Lessons will contain well crafted examples, independent questions and continual low-stakes assessment of student learning. Students will be challenged, mathematically provoked and encouraged to form links across different parts of their learning. They will learn to develop coherent reasoning strategies and become good orators of mathematics. In key parts of the curriculum, every member of the department will use consistent models and representations to help students move towards an abstract understanding of the subject.
Our maths department understands the value of developing a classroom atmosphere based on mutual respect, between teacher and learners, and between the learners themselves. This allows students the psychological safety needed for real learning to take place. Students will be required to think, to be inquisitive and to explore problems, all within a non-judgemental environment that is focused on learning. Teachers will help students make specific links about what they are learning, why they are learning it, what came before it and where their learning is heading.
Teachers will deliver memorable explanations, of course, but the feeling a student gets when learning maths within a safe environment is more memorable – this is what we strive for.
Our teachers strive to be experts in assessing the learning of students within their lessons. From this starting point, we can then adapt our explanations and our questioning to ensure we are meeting the needs of all learners. We teach from a knowledge-rich, progressive, well sequenced curriculum that builds carefully from KS2 concepts that students will have experienced at Primary school. The curriculum has been collaboratively developed by us and 6 other secondary schools since 2016; our job as teachers is to know the current position of our learners and help them navigate the best course through this curriculum.