Quite simply the world would not be recognisable to us if Mathematics hadn’t been invented. It helps us to trade goods and keep financial accounts at one end of the spectrum and explore the universe and the laws that hold it all together at the other.

All mathematics has its use! Sometimes the uses that branches of mathematics can be put to are not known in the beginning. A lot of Mathematics is invented because of a need but much starts from a problem that is of interest only to a few people and seems to have no application in the real world. The invention of a number system that started with counting numbers to add up how many animals you farmed and expanded to include fractions, negatives (plus the number 0), irrational numbers including special numbers like π, ends with imaginary numbers. Each new stage was as a result of a need somewhere outside of mathematics. The importance of mathematics can’t be overstated and we believe that the life chances of pupils will be greatly enhanced by not only having the best qualification they can get but also by being able to use the Mathematics they have learned in the real world.

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Mathematics at John Spence is broken into Key Stage 3 and Key stage 4 and is further divided as follows;

Key Stage 3

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Assessment in Key stage 3 is by a variety of means including diagnostic tests which allow the levelling of work but also enable curricular targets to be set. Formative assessments will also include occasional use of past SATS papers at appropriate levels but the end of Key Stage assessment is now a teacher assessment and will be based on all data to hand.

In years 7 and 8 pupils get six 1 hour lessons of Maths per fortnight.

Key Stage 4

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils are currently following the OCR J560 syllabus; foundation groups are entered for papers 1, 2 and 3 and higher groups do papers 4, 5 and 6. Grades 9 to 4 are available at the Higher level and grades 5 to 1 at the Foundation level.

We constantly look to see if another syllabus or exam board will be a better option for our pupils.

Years 9-11 get 7 x 1 hour lessons per fortnight.


In both Key Stages, through the mathematical content, pupils will;

Develop fluency

Reason mathematically

Solve problems


Spoken language

The national curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.


The Mathemtaics staff are:

  • Mrs J Lion (Curriculum Leader)
  • Mrs S Crawford (Assistant Curriculum Leader)
  • Mrs J Farlow
  • Mr M Nichloson
  • Mr J Cain
  • Mr J Betts