Determination to succeed brings great GCSE (9-1) Maths results

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Name Park High School    
Type Academy School    
Location Stanmore, Middlesex    
Cohort GCSE Maths cohort size: 285  Cohort EAL: 66%  Cohort SEN 15% 

Background

Park High is a mixed, multi-ethnic Academy and has been a Pearson Maths collaborate hub school since November 2017.

Mine Bayar - Park High School

Mine Bayar, Head of Mathematics SLE, explains how the school changed the way it taught Mathematics to help deliver the new GCSE (9-1) curriculum and how quality teaching and determination to learn by the students brought success.

Training and teaching additional content were our initial challenges

One of the main challenges we faced with the introduction of the GCSE (9-1) curriculum was staff training. We had to change the way we taught mathematics and we also had to make sure the teachers were fully trained and ready to deliver additional content. We had to do a lot of planning and also rewrite our Schemes of Learning (SoL) in all key stages. Lack of knowledge on the new grading was also a concern.

We changed the way we taught and continually evaluated progress

We dealt with the new challenges by planning ahead and changing the way we taught by focusing on the conceptual understanding of maths. We also had to rewrite the KS3 SoL to prepare our learners to meet the demands of the new specification from Year 7.  

We did a thorough evaluation of what was being taught in each year group and we constantly updated Years 7-11 to keep students on track. Our focus was on embedding problem-solving,  rich task and investigations to improve students’ higher order thinking skills.

A restructure of teaching practices helped prepare students

To give our students the best chance of success we moved to a 3-year GCSE course starting from Year 9. We also allocated extra time to ensure a deeper understanding of mathematics in Years 7 and 8 as well as regular assessments, marking and feedback. We invested a lot time in CPD so that our staff were confident and could share best-practice through collaborative work.

We used Edexcel’s new text books, Maths Emporium resources and TES Sharing resources with other colleagues to support our teaching.

Provisions were put in place to support students every step of the way

In addition to restructuring our teaching we held double lessons for our Year 10 students whereby we integrated problem-solving activities so they became part of our lessons. We had a clear focus on early intervention and we also put in provision for the development of students’ literacy skills. We held regular weekly revision sessions for our Year 11 students and Master classes a day before the exams. Going forward we plan to cover the content by November in Year 11 before the mocks.

Mocks were crucial in determining tier entry

We used mocks to help determine the tier entry. It was a hard decision to determine how to tier our students, but after the mocks we monitored our students’ progress and those who were working at Grade 3 and below were entered for Foundation. We entered more students for Foundation compared to previous years.

The outcome – hard work and determination delivers exam delight

We were delighted with our results with 80% of our students achieving Grade 9-4. Our success is testament to the quality of teaching and learning and determination to make a success of the new curriculum.