Continuing with our insightful blog series, in which we have been investigating how Ofsted’s new inspection framework will affect different subject leads, this week we spoke with Sylwia Glazewska, Head of Maths at Falinge Park High School in Rochdale.

Offering her thoughts on the importance of maths on the curriculum and what this subject can provide that other subjects cannot, she said: “All subjects throughout the education system can trace their roots back to mathematics in one way or another in the form of different skills; such as looking for patterns in science, geography, or even English when analysing poetry. Developing flexibility in how to approach problem solving is crucial to be successful across all subjects. Mathematics does that by presenting skills that form a foundation for logic, decision making and persistence, in terms of understanding that there is a range of steps that can be taken in order to solve problems.

“Mathematics is not only about the rules and theorems to remember, but the lack of mathematics as a tool within other subjects could lead to certain things being partially understood or not at all. It is a platform for the development of a range of crucial skills needed for success.”

Outlining things to consider when devising intent in a maths curriculum, she added: “The content in teaching mathematics is extensive. The important part of devising a curriculum intent is to decide what the fundamental key ideas are that cannot be omitted and what ideas could be linked with others to make sure students are exposed to all of the content that is necessary for further study.

“Using current research in mathematics is essential in devising the curriculum, not only in its relevance in today’s society, but also because it helps us to make an informed decision of why, what and how to teach students to prepare them well for the next stage of their learning and beyond.

“Assessment is another essential part which gives teachers and students feedback on what was learned and, more importantly, what areas demand attention and further development. It also helps to plan intervention when needed.

“When devising the curriculum intent in mathematics, the focus has to be on designing the whole unit of work and not individual lessons. It should be underpinned by all three aspects mentioned above and include the big ideas, the sequence of introducing them and how to link ideas to help students to see the bigger picture.”

Sylwia concluded by explaining what she feels a quality curriculum in her subject should look like: “A quality curriculum should be a working document which helps all participant teachers, students and parents to see how the key ideas are like building blocks, that fit together to form a big picture.

“A high quality curriculum should be able to set the path for teachers to help them understand what steps they must take to successfully communicate new concepts to students, and how they can be linked to concepts taught and learned previously. The curriculum should challenge students in a way that promotes curiosity and thus allows them to ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts at hand.”

Later this week, we will be exploring the subject of history and asking ‘why is history an important part of the curriculum?’ and ‘what should be considered when devising intent in a history curriculum?’.



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