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Subject intent

We believe students deserve a knowledge rich and ambitious curriculum which, in turn, will aim to prepare the students for a world outside the walls of John Ferneley College. Mathematics is an exciting discipline that is found in multiple walks of everyday life. Through our lessons and a carefully selected enrichment plan, we hope to show children how mathematics is creative and intuitive.  

We fully embraced the 2014 National Curriculum for Maths which aims to ensure that students: 

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics 
  • Are able to reason mathematically 
  • Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics 

Within the Mowbray Education Trust, these key fundamentals that are carefully incorporated into the schemes of work, work together with the running theme that ‘Every Child Matters.’  We believe that every child deserves the same enriching curriculum which develops fluency in mathematics and the department has an expectation that all pupils can and will achieve.  


In order to achieve security in the fundamentals of mathematics we take a Mastery approach of learning through our KS3 curriculum. Our students are taught in mixed ability groups when they first arrive with us providing all children with the same opportunities to achieve and so that no child feels that they ‘cannot do maths’ because the setting is removed. In Year 7 we focus predominantly on the ‘number’ area of mathematics which creates a solid mathematical foundation, whilst in Year 8 there is an emphasis on ‘algebra’, both of which are heavily weighted within the GCSE examination. The KS3 curriculum has close links with the White Rose Maths Scheme of learning.  

The KS4 curriculum (specific GCSE content) starts in Year 9 and runs for 3 years allowing teachers to delve deep into each topic area when teaching. As we teach the threshold concepts at KS3, it allows teachers to extend our learners when they reach KS4.  The topic areas have been carefully sequenced to run in an order that is fluid and pedagogical.  Students should be able to see how the topic areas link together and how as a department we build on their prior knowledge.  


By the time our students leave us in Year 11, the aim is that our curriculum will support them in their future choices, whether it is further education or the world of work. The problem-solving abilities that we teach throughout our scheme of learning, provides them with the conceptual understanding and knowledge required to recall and reason quickly and efficiently. Pupils will leave school fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics required for day-to-day life. 

Subject journey