Maths – ethos and teaching

Subject leader: Mr  I Keeling



The mathematics department at Kilgarth believes maths is a way of communicating. It is a language through which ideas can be explained, explored and developed, and one through which relationships can be expressed, hypothesis made and tested and patterns identified.  At all key stages, the intent is to provide a motivating and engaging context in which pupils can achieve and make progress based on their assessed levels, developing and taking their next steps in a personalised way.

The following form the foundation of all delivery:

  • communication and understanding
  • personal and social development
  • independence
  • engagement and enjoyment

Our maths lessons, whilst incentivising pupils to engage in the curriculum and display expected behaviours, also serves to encourage pupils to step outside their comfort zones and gain in confidence as they embrace new experiences; often ones that they thought inaccessible to them.

Our vision within the mathematics department is to give students the mathematical and numerical skills with which they can thrive academically and function successfully in their home community and working environment.  The mathematics department intends to ensure that all pupils gain fluency in mathematical reasoning and problem solving.  Our curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils receive a high quality mathematical education that is tailored to develop the skills the learners will require to develop mathematical application and resilience, and to have a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


The mathematics department implements this through a carefully planned curriculum based on a five-year progression model in Key Stages 3 and 4; the mathematics National Curriculum is fully covered in Key Stage 3 to a depth appropriate to each individual. Pupils at Key Stage 3 follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study and their progress is assessed continually as they complete the topics.  The school has adopted the Collins ‘New Maths Framework’ as its scheme of work in Key Stage 3. In addition to this AQA Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics is also offered before the transition into Key Stage 4. Pupils at Key Stage 4 follow the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Mathematics specification.  There are now three papers, one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers. The mathematics department is trialing a new Functional Skills Mathematics up to Level 2 qualification this academic year as an alternative pathway to GCSE maths, this is intended to offer a more practical and vocationally sympathetic pathway.

Lessons are planned building on previous knowledge and skills gained by pupils. Teachers are then supported by each other to deliver high quality lessons where learning is embedded and sequential to facilitate long term retention. Pupils who succeed quickly are challenged by rich and analytical problems before being moved on to new concepts.  Pupils who are less mathematically fluent are supported with extra teaching support and additional intervention where appropriate.  Regular assessments of knowledge, skills and application identifies priorities for intervention and future delivery, and also encourage pupils to reflect on their progress.  We have a designated Numeracy Coordinator who supports other curriculum areas with their teaching of mathematical concepts.  The whole school literacy policy of incorporating the key vocabulary as identified on the curriculum is upheld and pupils are encouraged to use appropriate language.


The aspiration for all pupils who attend the Kilgarth School is they achieve their potential in all aspects of their development. All pupils who attend Kilgarth School have additional needs which are supported by an EHCP. We work in a determined way, going the extra mile, to ensure that all pupils can achieve the most they can. Our aim is to develop pupils’ confidence and proficiency with numbers and measures.  Pupils are taught that successful mathematicians require an understanding of the number system, and ability to solve number problems in a variety of contexts.  They learn that numeracy also demands practical understanding.  They develop ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and how that this can be presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.  To support the development and acquisition of mathematical skills, the department continually seeks to provide a range of practical activities through which pupil’s understanding of the subject can be enhanced.

The outcome of the curriculum is highly individual. All achievement and progress is celebrated. Progress for our pupils can be demonstrated by:

  • Pupils making progress towards/achieving their intended outcomes set with parents/carers for 12 months within the EHCP annual meetings. These outcomes are informed by any relevant professionals working with the pupils.
  • Pupils making progress towards outcomes when reviewed in 6-month review meetings with parents/carers, progress days.
  • Pupils making progress/achieving in the curriculum planned by teachers. Progress and achievement in maths are highlighted within reports to parents termly and shown on their individual flightpath record.
  • Achieving external accreditation for secondary aged pupils e.g. Edexcel accreditation at GCSE.
  • Using existing skills in a wider range of contexts.