Key Stage 3
Upon entering the school the children are put into groups according to their SATS results.
The students that have performed significantly above the rest of the cohort or seem that they need further support are put into specific groups for these needs. The other students are put into mixed ability groups. We then test them just before the October half term and reconsider the sets making set moves in and out of the specific groups if necessary. The students then remain in these groups for the rest of the year. The philosophy behind this is that this ensures that the majority of students are all working at the same pace and the same topics which allows them to fully settle into secondary Mathematics before making judgements on their ability. The topics covered are predominantly basic skills with a strong emphasis in ensuring that these are secure for all students by the end of the year. We feel that having a solid foundation of basic skills will result in greater progress being made in subsequent years.
Year 8 and 9 continue to focus on getting the basics mastered whilst also developing and introducing new topics. There are regular assessments at the end of topics and two major assessment points midway and at the end of the year. If teachers feel that students are in need of a set move and these assessments indicate similarly then set moves will be made in order to ensure that by the time students are fully embarking on their GCSE course they can be confident that they are in the correct set.
In Year 10 students will begin to cover the GCSE Maths syllabus with their exam at the end of Year 11. This exam covers topics on Number, Algebra, Geometry, Ratio and Proportion, Data Handling and Probability.
The exam board we use for GCSE is Edexcel and 100% of the GCSE is assessed through three exam papers - one non calculator and two where a calculator is allowed - all sat at the end of year 11.
Approximately 70% of students are entered for the higher tier exam although this does vary from year to year. At the Higher tier grades 4-9 are available whereas at the Foundation tier grades 1-5 are available. Please note that grade 4 is considered a standard pass and grade 5 a good pass. Both of these grades are available at the Foundation Tier. The final tier of entry decision is not made until year 11 and as sets are reviewed regularly throughout the five years at Huish all students have an equal opportunity to progress into sets taking a Higher Tier exam.
Students in top sets are given the opportunity to attend after school sessions in year 10 in order to study for an extra GCSE in Statistics. They sit the exam at the end of the year. They will also complete an extra qualification: AQA Level 2 Further Maths in year 11 alongside the usual GCSE in Maths. This is a standalone qualification that incorporates a mixture of grade 8/9 GCSE maths and A Level Maths and serves as an excellent foundation for those wanting to go onto study A level Maths.