At Bedford Free School we aim to equip pupils with the knowledge of mathematics that they will find useful to solving problems and exploring the world around them. We introduce pupils into mathematics so that they can join the custodians of well over 5000 years of documented knowledge bequeathed on us. Mathematics itself is as old as man, and as such dates more than 5000 years from the likes of Euclid, Pythagoras, Fermat, Aryabhata, Ada Lovelace, John Napier and many more. We do this so that pupils can in turn pass this knowledge on to many that will study Mathematics after them as well as to their contemporaries.
We want pupils to know that in 2600BC Egyptian Palace officials knew exactly the quantity of limestone, water, food, money, men and time each Pyramid will take to build even before they laid the first stone! We ensure pupils are fluent in adding numbers efficiently and use additive and multiplicative reasoning around different shapes and quantities to solve today’s even more complex problems. We ensure pupils see patterns and how nature is connected in numbers.
We do this via a focus on the basics, ensuring pupils master the necessary procedural knowledge to build ever more complex layers of mathematics on top.
In KS3 our main focus of mathematics teaching is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of integers, number systems and place value and connect these to fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. We start to consider the context of increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic and we induct them into the language of algebra as a means for solving varied multi-dimensional problems.
To do this we sequence our topics carefully paced to ensure that no child is left behind but that those that can be are stretched and challenged.
Having gain fluency from practice in KS3, mathematic reasoning is developed in Key Stage 4. Pupils gain the ability and the confidence to make logical assumptions, follow a line of enquiry, make conjectures about relationships, develop arguments, justify arguments or proof conjectures. At this phase your child is being readied for further studies and use of mathematics as it applies to science, technology, the humanities and the satisfaction of holding that knowledge for conversational transmission.
Key Stage 4 is a two-year pathway followed in either the foundation or the higher tier in the Edexcel GCSE examination.
We engage your child in cross-curricular activities including STEM projects and external activities such as UKMT challenge and Times-Tables Rockstars to enhance their understanding of mathematics and ensure wider participation in the quest for knowledge.
We use CGP textbooks and revision guides in the maths department. We recommend your child gets these guides and workbooks. We will also provide your child with login details to HegartyMaths, Times-Table Rockstars and MathsWatch so they can use excellent online resources and access their homework.
In addition, the following websites are invaluable in to your child. We encourage you to support your child to use them for independent studies:
BFS Maths is much improved recently. Our year-on-year pass rates show that we achieve significantly above average progress compared to nationally, and some of the best results locally. In 2018, two-thirds of our Year 11 pupils achieved a 4+ grade. We strive to keep pushing as we want to be the best in the country!
At individual level many of our pupils excelled as grade 9 pupils and many more have carried on studies in colleges in courses where mathematics plays a crucial role.
Head of maths: Naomi Bell