The aims of this department are:
- To instill confidence and promote an enjoyable appreciation of mathematical investigation.
- To create a classroom environment of curiosity, thinking and both interdependent and collaborate learning.
- To promote the development of effective and responsible learners who are comfortable and literate in mathematics.
- To ensure equality of access and participation of all students.
- Development of the relevance of mathematics for everyday living.
- To develop each students independent thinking skills, fostering a problem-solving approach.
- Development of mathematical thinking supported by the use of technology, i.e calculator, smart boards and computers.
- Establish common purpose and direction in teaching of Mathematics.
- Develop communication among subject colleagues.
- To embrace the new Project Math’s initiative in a positive way, creating an enjoyable learning environment where teachers can share resources and support each other.
- Promote collaboration with subject colleagues in order to:
- Share good practice
- Provide mutual support.
- Review subject needs.
The objectives of this department are:
- Decide on matters of policy and procedure for the subject (within the whole-school framework).
- Coordinate assessment practices.
- Manage subject resources effectively.
- Enhance continuity and progression in student learning through coordinated subject planning and subject development.
- Create a useful and convenient forum for communication and consultation with other school personnel and structures.
- To review, plan and monitor the mathematics department with a subject meeting every two months.
Each mathematics class is 40 minutes long.
Mathematics is on the timetable once every day of the week for every student.
Mathematics is a core subject and is mandatory for every student.
Grouping of students
Classes remain in their form classes and consist of mixed ability in all eight classes. Students will be streamed in second year based on their overall result from two exams in first year. The Christmas exam accounts for one third and the summer exam will account for two thirds of this overall result.
Student access for this subject
Every student must study Mathematics throughout the six years of second level education. All students are introduced to a common introductory course in first year at the same level with no streaming. Streaming occurs at the beginning of second year, determined by a first year overall result. Students decide on the level of mathematics studied in consultation with their teachers and parents in second and third year.
Class roll will be taken at the beginning of every class using the SIMS system. Desks are arranged in two’s forming three rows in each classroom. This allows for group work. Desks can be separated easily to allow for individual work during class tests ect. Resources are stored in a room within the Mathematics classroom (room 6). They are easily accessible as most Mathematics classes take place here as much as possible or take place on the same corridor.
Textbooks and course materials
Text & Tests 1, Common Introductory Course for First-Year Math’s, O.D Morris, Paul Cooke, Paul Behan, The Celtic Press.
Calculator, Casio FX-83ES (only to be introduced after Christmas)
Planning for Students with Special Needs
Willow Park has one member of staff who is trained and qualified as a Learning support teacher.
Consequently, she is assigned pupils who have special learning needs or may require extra learning support.
Every teacher is notified at the beginning of the year by the Learning support teacher if there are students with special needs in their class. The Learning support teacher then advises on what the individual learning needs of this student are with regard to taking down material and their expected ability in the classroom and homework.
Each teacher can then plan what they need during their lessons for each student.
The teacher and Learning support teacher have regular informal meetings with regard to the students progression and what teaching methodologies are working well/not working well.
As a Department, we actively and continuously engage with the Special Needs Department on teaching strategies, extra course material and extra time in the exams for these pupils. We provide extra work sheets or notes to the Special Needs Department and pupil, provide feedback to the Special Needs Department on the pupil, allocate less homework or different learning outcomes for each pupil with special learning needs.
To provide for students who are bright/gifted, we provide higher level option questions.
As a department we collaborate with other subject departments with regard to cross-curricular topics, providing our scheme of work detailing when topics are being covered.
Science Department: Data Handling (Statistics) and Measurements (Geometry), coordinate geometry.
Business Department: Data Handling , Probability, Percentages.
History department: Primary and secondary data, timelines (integers), historical origins of mathematical investigations.
Construction Department: Measurements and Geometrical Constructions.
Geography department: Coordinate geometry.
Subject Planning for a Culturally Diverse Society:
TEFL classes are provided for a small minority of students who do not speak English as their first language. These students are mainly boarders.
A formal process of evaluating the work of this mathematics department will take place during subject meetings.
We plan to take a close look at the Project Math’s teaching and learning plans that are being tried out in class this year and discuss these at subject meetings. Successful approaches will be adopted by all members of the team and, in time, incorporated into planning documentation.
We will discuss the word banks being used in the classroom and corridors and look at what ways it is working and if we can improve on this.
At the end of this academic year, we will carry out a survey on students on their experience in the Math’s classroom. We will analyse and discuss these results with the view to improving this experience in the future.
Use of familiar situations, mnemonics and items of student interest to explain mathematical concepts. This enables students to identify with the lesson material and make it easier for them to understand the work at hand.
To support literacy through implementing the JCSP interventions for all class groups and through the use of key words.
To encourage students to explore the concepts taught by asking open questions and by taking care not to over support students in their work.
Mathematics homework to provide the students with opportunities for independent learning, and to engage the students in problem solving and research.
Use of Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies such as, comment only marking, the provision of encouragement in the correction of written work and the provision of advice on how to improve.
To encourage students to work on previously unseen problems with general advice and encouragement rather than direct teacher assistance. This is an important strategy in enabling students to develop essential independent thinking skills. Students will be provided with frequent opportunities to engage in activities that allow them to practice problem solving, and interpreting mathematics questions. This will not only prepare them for Project Math’s examination papers but will contribute to the personal satisfaction that they receive from independently solving mathematics problems.
To use higher-order questions as a means of challenging students’ understanding and fostering a problem-solving approach.
All teachers clearly identify and explicitly state the objectives and key words at the beginning of all lessons.
All teachers summarise key words and investigations taught at the end of each class.
Range and variety of resources
Smartboard. Chapter resources and PowerPoint presentations are saved in folders on the math’s room smart board for use by all teachers.
Word banks for each topic.
Geogebra software on smart board.