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Orchard School Bristol

Mathematics 

In order to understand the universe you must understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics.

- Galileo

Maths underpins so much of our world. It is through mathematics that we have made the great leaps in human history and continue to develop our understanding of the world around us. Mathematics has been, and will continue to be, pervasive and fundamental to the advance of human civilisations for generations. From early arithmetic methods and the use of geometry to navigate via the stars; through to contemporary pattern recognition to combat diseases; understanding social processes such as criminology and demographics; the use of algebra and iterative simulations for tracking and forecasting of meteorological, climatic and tectonic hazards; understanding number patterns for developing cryptographic security; engineering the next megastructures; managing the global economy; stimulating technological advances such as search engine optimisation and artificial intelligence; and sharpening our understanding of the origins of our universe through to the future discovery of life on other planets – maths really is the keystone to learning. 

We believe that everyone can experience the moment of pure joy and satisfaction that occurs when a mathematical concept is understood.  Our curriculum is based on the belief that everyone, regardless of previous experiences, has the ability to fulfil their potential in Maths. This can be done through determination, practice and a willingness to learn. Our honing of students’ resilience is central to their success. We strive to ensure that our students leave Orchard School secure in the knowledge that mathematics will never be a barrier to them in life and will instead provide them with opportunities to succeed and succeed in their chosen path. 

Curriculum Features 

Our curriculum is designed to build on students’ prior learning through Maths Mastery. With this approach, students develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. This encourages students to further develop resilience, to become independent learners while also developing problem solving skills which can be applied in any context. Inherent in the curriculum is a foundation of support and opportunity for all students to maximise their progress regardless of prior attainment in maths. 

In Year 7 we consolidate and stretch the fundamental elements of Number in Mathematics before introducing algebraic concepts. We develop these skills across other areas of mathematics throughout the year. In Year 8 we further develop students’ algebraic fluency and their problem solving skills. We also introduce the concepts of probability, sequences and data analysis. 

From this strong platform, our students embark on the GCSE curriculum: a curriculum rich in content with further opportunities for them to develop their mathematical and problem solving skills. 

 

Mathematics - Journey on a Page  

Year 7

Year 8 Year 9
  • Algebra: Algebraic thinking, including sequences, using algebraic notation and equality
  • Number: Place Value, applications of number, directed number, fractional thinking, and reasoning with number
  • Ratio and proportion: Introduction to proportion
  • Geometry and Measures: Lines and Angles, including measuring, construction and developing geometric reasoning
  • Probability: Sets and probability
  • Algebra: Solving linear equations, sequences, linear graphs, rearranging formula
  • Number: Rounding and accuracy, properties of number, calculations with fractions and percentages
  • Ratio and proportion: Ratio and proportional reasoning
  • Geometry and Measures: Area, perimeter and volume of both rectangular and circular shapes
  • Representing and interpreting data: Averages, range and handling data 
  • Algebra: Expressions including simplifying, indices and brackets and formulae
  • Number: Place value, rounding, calculating with fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Geometry and Measures: Angles and polygons, including congruence and similarity and working in 2D including transformations and area
  • Representing and interpreting data: Handling data, including averages
  • Probability: Introduction
Years 10 and 11

KS4 (Foundation) GCSE Mathematics (AQA 8300 Papers 1F, 2F and 3F) 

Our two-year Foundation GCSE curriculum deepens understanding of all content covered at KS3, but in addition looks at new topics such as vectors, trigonometry, solving inequalities, the probability of independent events, generating quadratic sequences from an nth term, area and circumference of sectors, more complex compound measures and algebraic proof. 

KS4 (Higher) GCSE Mathematics (AQA 8300 Papers 1H, 2H and 3H) 

Our two-year Higher GCSE curriculum deepens understanding of all content covered at KS3, but also covers a significant number of new topics including advanced trigonometry, factorising and solving complex quadratics, surds, quadratic inequalities, vector proof, histograms, simultaneous equations, algebraic fractions, equations of parallel lines and transformations of functions. 

Orchard students learn to:
  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts 
  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems 
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusion 
  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context. 
  • Have confidence in their ability to work with mathematics. 
Enrichment Opportunities

We open students’ eyes to the beauty of Mathematics in the world around us. Outside of the classroom we regularly host experts in relevant fields who visit Orchard School to showcase the exciting applications of Mathematics and the opportunities it presents to young people. We also use competitions such as the National UKMT Challenge and Bristol Maths Fest to build on the joy of problem solving that is interwoven throughout our curriculum.

Education and Employability
Students leave Orchard School numerate, with a confidence and assurance that they can tackle mathematical problems on a range of concepts in real life contexts. Whether they choose to take the mathematical studies further, to A-level or degree level, or not, mathematics will never prove to be a barrier to their everyday life or career opportunities. They will instead be able to thrive in any situation they find themselves and use the all-important problem solving skills that they have learned with us. 

Staff Profiles

  • Mr Josh Fish, LLB (Hons), PGCE - Head of Faculty

I graduated from the University of Swansea with a degree in Law and then went on to complete a Mathematics Knowledge Enhancement Course and PGCE at UWE. I believe that all students have the ability to achieve in Mathematics and do all that I can to help make this a reality. I want our young people to be well rounded individuals and encourage all of them to take part in extra-curricular opportunities, especially sport, which is a passion of mine.    

  • Ms Sophie Hampton, MA (Hons), PGDE - Second in Maths

I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Philosophy and Mathematics. I then taught English as a foreign language in Hanoi, Vietnam before returning to the UK to complete the Teach First teacher training programme. I have a firm belief that every student can be successful in mathematics, and I seek to foster a love of maths for all students.

  • Ms Alexandra Badea, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in Architecture and, after a spell working in an architecture company, I decided to specialise in Maths and start my teacher training. I am passionate about Maths and education, and I believe every child can learn Maths. 

  • Miss Rachael Cox, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from Plymouth University with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics and went on to train as a teacher at the University of Bristol. Alongside being passionate about supporting trainee and early career teachers, I am also a keen sportsperson and try to encourage all students to partake in extra-curricular activities.

  • Ms Laura Evans, BA (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Chichester with a degree in Childhood, Youth and Society and then went on to complete a Mathematics Enhancement Course and PGCE at Bath Spa University. I am a maths examiner for two examination boards. I have a passion for Restorative Justice and am currently working towards my National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders.

  • Ms Sophie Hampton, MA (Hons), PGDE

I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Philosophy and Mathematics. I then taught English as a foreign language in Hanoi, Vietnam before returning to the UK to complete the Teach First teacher training programme. I have a firm belief that every student can be successful in mathematics, and I seek to foster a love of maths for all students.

  • Ms Sarah Hardy BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics with Teaching. I am passionate about making Maths education a positive experience for all and have a particular interest in health and wellbeing within schools.

  • Mrs Bev Jervis, BSc (Hons), ACA, PGCE

I graduated from the University of Leicester with a degree in Psychology and went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, specialising  in Forensic Accountancy.  I retrained as a Mathematics teacher and now specialise in interventions to help students gain confidence in mathematics and to maximise their potential. 

  • Mr Ruori McIntyre, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from UWE with a degree in Mathematics. My final year project was on Cryptography, and how our bank accounts and emails can be kept safe into the future. I am heavily invested in making sure our students grow up with a focus on empathy and compassion. I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching.

  • Miss Phoebe Pham, BSc (Hons), MSc, QTS

I studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics and went on to graduate from Warwick University with a degree in Economics. I also obtained a Masters in Business and Management from Bath Spa University. Due to my background in Economics, my favourite strand of Maths is Statistics. I am also a trained English as a Foreign Language teacher with a CELTA qualification.