Maths across Wickhambreaux CEPS
At Wickhambreaux, we believe that mathematics is so much more interesting and diverse than simply the study of number and calculation. It is a playground for pupils, amateurs, and professionals; a subject that presents challenges; an arena for competitions; a source of problems, small and large; a stadium in which games of strategy, logic and tactics are played; and the key to unlocking the great mysteries of science, art, music, philosophy and even sport!
Our approach to teaching mathematics follows the principles of constructivism, whereby learners have the opportunity to derive solutions and strategies for solving problems for themselves through investigation using their fluency with mathematical facts and relationships to develop their conceptual understanding. We use intelligent practice and variation theory to facilitate deep understanding, and interleaved practice to strengthen transfers skills, retention of information, faster acquisition of new skills, and improved mastery of existing abilities.
Our mathematics subject leader is a qualified MaST, and regularly meets with other specialist practitioners at Canterbury Christ Church University to discuss the latest in research, effective practices and developments in the field of mathematics teaching. This information is then disseminated through the whole school, ensuring Wickhambreaux remains at the forefront of development of best practice and effective teaching and learning.
Pupils at Wickhambreaux enjoy mathematics, and we have a variety of extra curricular clubs, activities and events in which pupils participate. Some examples include; lunch time chess club, before school maths sessions, after school STEM club, entrance into competitions (local and national) including the UKMT junior maths challenge, in which students from Wickhambreaux have achieved bronze and silver awards. We also run themed weeks during which pupils enjoy participating in mathematical activities for an entire week. Past highlights have included visits from theatre companies who have performed mathematical plays, games afternoons wherein parents and carers are invited to come and join in with maths games with their children, visits from practical puzzle companies, architectural challenges and escape rooms.
All our staff have genuine enthusiasm for this wonderful subject, and this is reflected in pupil’s positive attitudes and engagement, which all contribute to academic progress and enjoyment which lays the foundation for lifelong learning.
In the words of Galileo: Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe.
Subject Leader Profile
Following the completion of her Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Forensic Chemistry, Mrs Chipperfield worked for a short while as a manager in industry before electing to pursue her passion for teaching, gaining Qualified Teacher Status through the Graduate Teaching Program. She was the first candidate in history to be simultaneously accepted onto the GTP and MaST (Mathematics Advanced Skills Teacher) post graduate courses. This was an unprecedented achievement, since a prerequisite for acceptance onto the MaST course was to hold QTS. She qualified as a teacher within the year, having been awarded “outstanding” grades, and subsequently completed her postgraduate MaST qualification in 2015.
She then continued her academic studies, successfully completing her Masters degree in Mathematics Education in 2018. Mrs Chipperfield was also awarded a Fellowship of the Teaching and Learning Academy (FTLA), for ‘outstanding contribution to their research’, an honour bestowed following recognition by the Academy of the wider impact of her research project on the effect of the Mastery Curriculum.
Since undertaking the role of Mathematics Subject Leader, Mrs Chipperfield has written articles for academic journals, lead workshops for various stakeholders and been invited to speak at the Annual Mathematics Conference. She is actively involved with Canterbury Christ Church University, and meets regularly with other qualified mathematics specialists to discuss the latest developments in educational research and practices, striving for continuous, sustained improvements in teaching and learning for pupils.
Mrs Chipperfield has a genuine passion for mathematics, and endeavours to inspire this same passion within her pupils, their parents/carers and other members of staff.
At Wickhambreaux, mathematics is taught through an interleaved approach, in discrete sessions and through themed weeks, where ‘real-life’ applications are emphasised and concrete resources are used to support abstract understanding.
All staff at Wickhambreaux understand that mathematics is fundamental to life, and that an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this subject will lay solid foundations upon which pupils can build a successful future.
Mathematics is a beautiful subject which is deeply embedded through-out all areas of our school’s curriculum. It provides students with powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world. Students can experience a sense of awe and wonder as they appreciate the power of mathematics and come to understand the connections betwixt every aspect of the subject.
Students who are functional in mathematics are able to participate in modern society having the tools to understand science, technology, engineering and economics.
Students at our school study mathematics so that they can become fully participating citizens in society who are able to think mathematically, reason, solve problems and assess risk in a range of contexts.
Good learning takes place when students are given opportunities to solve a variety of problems in different contexts, develop their understanding, both instrumental and relational, and make links between different areas of mathematics.
Good teaching enables good learning to take place. It involves creating an appropriate environment in which students can respond to high levels of expectation and challenge. All pupils are expected to achieve, and this is facilitated by the use of intelligent practice, variation theory, and fostering positive, meaningful home-school partnerships.
'The teachers’ job is to organise and provide the sorts of experiences which enable pupils to construct and develop their own understanding of mathematics, rather than simply communicate the ways in which they themselves understand the subject.'
(Non-Statutory Guidance, National Curriculum, 1989)
As a result of good teaching and learning, our students are encouraged to develop into free-thinking, creative risk takers who can operate mathematically and achieve their potential. They are encouraged to enjoy and pursue this beautiful subject both in lessons and outside of the classroom, so that mathematics can truly become a genuine passion.