Curriculum intent and impact

"Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms: it is about understanding." William Paul Thurston

By the time children arrive at secondary school, many of them have deep-seated beliefs about mathematics - they 'get' it and love it or they don't and they hate it. We have a very different approach at Matthew Arnold. We believe that every child has the wherewithal to understand maths, and to enjoy its application in innumerable situations beyond the classroom; furthermore, that they demonstrate that enjoyment when they leave us with a strong pass at GCSE and a confidence in their thorough grasp and application of the fundamentals whatever direction they choose in life. We achieve this in a number of ways:

  • By recognising each student's current needs and setting them appropriately such that they receive the level of challenge and teaching style which best suits them
  • By acknowledging that children rarely make linear progress, and thus building in regular opportunities for them to move between sets
  • By allowing them to problem-solve and collaborate so that they can articulate their own understanding and needs
  • By using a highly visual method of delivery 
  • By focusing on diagnostic rather than summative assessment
  • By allowing gifted matheticians the opportunity to fast track and diversify


Key Stage 3

At KS3, our ambition is to create an environment where students love to learn and appreciate why and how maths will contribute to their lives and society. During these two years, students study a range of topics which branch off the six main pillars of maths;

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

These topics are all broken down in class so that each lesson is focused on a particular skill. We aim to build on learning experienced in KS2. Students will also start seeing topics that they may not be familiar with such as Pythagoras and trigonometry.

Key Stage 4

As pupils enter KS4 we look at applying these skills learnt at KS3 by relating them to everyday experiences. Pupils are exposed to non-routine problems throughout both KS3 and KS4 however, greater emphasis is placed on this during lessons in years 9, 10 and 11. With an increased emphasis on problem solving within the maths GCSE, mastering the components will enable pupils to combine these skills to answer hugely aspirational, challenging problems. Through this, we hope to nurture resilient pupils who aspire to continue maths in to KS5 and beyond.

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