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SMSC in Mathematics

Throughout history, the study of Mathematics stems from intrigue and curiosity, with people’s desire to pose and solve problems relating to the real world or purely within mathematics itself.  We aim for our students to appreciate this and use Maths to explore and question the way the world works as well as applying their reasoning to puzzles for their personal satisfaction.

Our Maths lessons provide a general contribution to students’ SMSC by:

·         Critical thinking – skills of analysis, evaluation and reflection.

·         Discussing the contribution made to mathematics by non-western cultures, such as the Bengali number system.

·         Learning to cope with new mathematical methods and difficult mathematics through perseverance.

·         Problem-solving approach, considering the whole problem or task.

·         Participation in pair, group and whole-class work or class activity.

·         The history of mathematics.

·         The use of maths in real life.

·         The wonder of mathematics, for example, the golden ratio, concept of infinity.

·         Risks, application of probability in real life e.g. gambling with money.

·         Financial decisions, calculating interest, mortgages, coping with less income or consequences of debt.


How does the Mathematics curriculum address SMSC?

SMSC is effectively blended into lesson planning so students have an outstanding learning experience.  This is achieved in a variety of teaching styles including class activity and discussion, routine use of mini whiteboards, justifying method and answers with partners/group, use of real-life data, and serious considerations of alternative methods and their effectiveness.

In lessons, students are encouraged to delve deeply into their understanding of Mathematics and how it relates to the world around them.  Our Maths teaching actively encourages risk taking which enables students to explore and try new ideas without the fear of failure.  This is fundamental to building students’ self-esteem within Mathematics.

The teaching of mathematics supports the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in a number of ways:

Through what is taught:

·         Stories about pi, Pythagoras.

·         Encouragement of the wonder and awe of the beauty of mathematics, the simplicity of mathematics, the complexities of mathematics, the particular qualities of mathematics.

·         Activities emphasising other cultures e.g. Rangoli patterns.

·         Making sense of the world around us.

Through how it is taught:

·         Exploration, investigation.

·         Enjoyment of success / achievement / coping with short term failure and a longer term realisation of each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

·         Encouragement of self-discipline.

·         Problem solving approach – seeking a systematic approach to solve a problem, breaking a task down into more manageable parts.

·         Critical thinking – skills of analysis, evaluation and reflection.

·         In individual, pair, group, whole class work and the importance of participation in these.

Through how we work:

The teacher as a good role model will:

·         Value each contribution – insist students listen and respect each other.

·         Prepare lessons well to meet student needs – it they feel valued, they are more likely to value the subject.

·         Get to know each student well.

·         Create the atmosphere and the opportunity for them to ask questions.

·         Answer their questions – or students will not ask any and their education will be that much poorer.

·         Praise and encourage.

·         Build their confidence.

·         Have high expectations of tolerance, behaviour, quality of work.

Through what we offer:

·         Participation in extra-curricular activities e.g. UK Schools Mathematics Challenges, Maths Enrichment Days, Mathematics Revision Sessions, Maths Club for students who want to extend themselves and have fun in mathematics.  This raises aspirations, broadens horizons and expands opportunities fro students.

·         Lively mathematics classrooms with interesting wall displays.


Spiritual Development in Mathematics

Spiritual education involves the awe and wonder of mathematics.  Mathematics can be used to explain the world and the mathematical patterns that occur in nature such as the symmetry of snowflake patterns or the stripes on a tiger.  We promote a sense of wonder in the exactness of mathematics in the exploration of infinity, pi, e, topology, complex numbers and real world examples; as well as a sense of personal achievement in solving problems.  We encourage the students to appreciate the enormity of the world of Mathematics as it has developed through time.

Spiritual Development… How?

Developing deep thinking and questioning the way in which the world works promotes the spiritual growth of students.  In Maths lessons students are always encouraged to delve deeper into their understanding of Mathematics and how it relates to the world around them.  The skills of analysing data are taught to enable students to make sense of vast amounts of data available in the modern world around them.  Sixth Form students are able to extend this knowledge through the study of Statistics.  Sequences, patterns, measures and ultimately the entire study of Mathematics was created to make more sense of the world around us and we enable each of our students to use Maths as a tool to explore it more fully.  We are sensitive to students’ individual needs, backgrounds and experience.  We aim to give all students an appreciation of the richness and power of maths.  Maths in Nature is embedded in Sequences, Patterns and Symmetry in Key Stage 3. 

Examples of Spiritual lessons in maths:

·         Students considering the development of pattern in different cultures including work on tessellations such as using Rangoli designs or the use of religious symbols for symmetry.

·         Fibonacci pattern.

·         Coping with problems and puzzles, confidence in helping others and asking for support.


Moral Development in Mathematics

Moral education concerns the use and interpretation of data that is becoming more prevalent in society.  Students are given the opportunity to be aware of the use and misuse of data in all issues including those supporting moral argument.

Moral Development… How?

The moral development of students is an important thread running through the entire mathematics syllabus.  The students take part in various projects using maths in real life contexts, applying and exploring the skills required to solve problems.  The environmental impact of industrial development is an area used to explore the moral implications of the commercially centred global economy.

·         Within the classroom, we encourage respect and reward good behaviour.  We value listening to others views and opinions on problem solving.

·         We promote discussion about mathematical understanding and challenge assumptions, supporting students to question information and data that they are presented with.

·         We show the students that we are on a quest for truth by rigorous and logical argument and discourage jumping to conclusions.

·         We explore and evaluate the use of Statistics to inform or mislead in our current data obsessed society.

·         Percentage work across Key Stage 3 and 4 is linked to current financial topics such as loans, debts and investment returns.

Examples of Moral lessons in maths:

·         Students conducting an opinion survey on a moral issue.

·         Students to have an awareness of sexist, stereotypical bias in materials – for worksheets to include female builders, male secretaries etc.

·         Why learn Algebra?

·         Population density – using the law in China for the number of children a family are allowed.

·         Hypotheses testing, group work, investigations and questionnaires and surveys analysing smoking, birth rates, death rates etc.


Social Development in Mathematics

Social education in Maths concerns students being given the opportunity to work together.  Experimental and investigative work provides an ideal opportunity for students to work collaboratively.  Mathematics also allows children to apply their own intuitive feelings and check these against what they have learnt in order to make more sense of the world.

Social Development… How?

Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to Mathematics, through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas.  Students are always encouraged to develop their Mathematical reasoning skills, communicating with others and explaining concepts to each other.  Self and peer reviewing are very important to enable students to have an accurate grasp of where they are and how they need to improve.  Working together in pairs or groups and supporting others is a key part of Maths lessons.

Examples of Social lessons in maths:

·         Allowing discussion and debate on the use and abuse of statistics in the media.

·         Use of maths in the financial industry, working with others to solve problems.

·         Students learning how mathematics is used to communicate climate change.

·         A revision day for year 11 students who work with students from other schools across the county, building on their current knowledge and learning how to work with students from another school and with different cultures.

·         Investigation when teaching questionnaires.

·         Collaborative real life learning through Maths projects.

·         Chess club.

·         We look for opportunities for students to use mini-whiteboards to promote self-esteem and build self-confidence.

·         We encourage collaborative learning in the classroom – in the form of listening and learning from each other and paired discussion / working partners.

·         We help students develop their mathematical voice and powers of logic, reasoning and explanation by offering explanations to each other.

·         We seek out events and maths challenges for increased student involvement.

·         We exhibit student’s work in maths classrooms - to share their good practice and celebrate achievement through creating informative displays.

·         We run an enrichment club where all are welcome and students look at solving maths puzzles.

·         We run a Maths Week which is filled with enrichment activities for all students.

Cultural Development in Mathematics

Cultural education concerns the wealth of mathematics in all cultures and the opportunities students are given to explore aspects of personal culture and identity through mathematics. Recognition is given to symmetry patterns, number systems and mathematical thinking from other cultures.  Links are made to British mathematicians and the influence they have had; for example, life in modern Britain today wouldn’t be as we know it if it wasn’t for the work of Alan Turing.

Cultural Development… How?

Mathematics is a universal language with numerous cultural inputs throughout the ages.  It is important to encourage the teaching of various approaches to Mathematics, including the Chinese lattice method for multiplication.  We also explore the Mathematics applied in different cultures such as Rangoli patterns, symmetry, tessellations and Islamic geometric patterns.  The ability to use exchange rates for foreign travel is also important life skills students will learn.

Examples of Cultural lessons in maths:

·         Students investigating different number sequences and where they occur in the real world.

·         Allowing discussion on the cultural and historical roots of mathematics, such Pythagoras’ theorem.

·         Students discussing the use of mathematics in cultural symbols and patterns.

·         Mathematics is a universal language.

·         Use of the Chinese lattice method when teaching multiplication.

·         Influence of other cultures on mathematics e.g. Arab societies, Islamic patterns in the history of maths and tessellations.

·         Students to have the ability to use exchange rates for foreign travel.

·         We share the appreciation with the Students that mathematics, its language and symbols have developed from many different cultures around the world: eg Egyptian, Indian, Islamic, Greek and Russian roots.

·         We look to make explicit reference to Mathematicians contribution to the progression of the subject as we teach topics throughout our Schemes of Work.

o   We investigate and research cross cultural patterns – tessellation, Islamic tiling.

o   We demonstrate and encourage diverse techniques e.g. for multiplication that have derived from different ancient civilisations. – Russian / Chinese multiplication, Napier’s Bones etc.

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