Proposals for the New Mathematics Curriculum and Assessment

Proposals for the New
Mathematics Curriculum and
Margaret Brown
Department of Education and Professional
Studies, KCL
AS/A changes and implications for maths
Other Post-16 changes and implications
GCSE changes and implications
National curriculum changes
(implications for Y7 entry in maths) and
KS3 teaching resources
What is happening at A/AS level?
• No January exams (from Sept 2013)
Following consultation, Michael Gove has
written to Ofqual with requirements for
new system(first teaching from 2015):
• Linear, not modular, course – exams only
at end-of-2 years
• Free-standing AS, intended also as 2-yr
course (vertical not horizontal split)
[students expected to choose between A
and AS in each subject at start of Y12]
What happens next?
• Awarding bodies respond to a joint panel of their
senior staff chaired by a V-C about changes
needed for each facilitating subject, having
consulted with Russell Group staff, teachers and
learned societies.
• Panel will make recommendations to Ofqual, who
will consider exam arrangements with content.
• If little change, ABs will work on own syllabuses
to go to schools by Sept 2014 for 2015 teaching.
Otherwise (& other subjects) by Sept 2015 for
Implications for maths
• May take AS maths at end of Y12 (other subjects?)
AS tougher so harder experience in Y12.
• May lead to 4As, then drop 1 or move to AS
• Single area of maths application more likely?
• More complex exam questions on 2 years’ work
• Lack of easy start, bite-sized modules and quick
feedback may reduce A-level and especially AS-level
maths numbers (both now high) and results
• More differentiation at the top to assist selection
What else is happening to maths 16-18?
• From Sept 2013, everyone must continue with
maths GCSE until acquire grade C+ (Wolf) (17s in
compulsory ed. from Sept 2013, 18s from 2015)
• New ‘core maths’ syllabuses for those with grade
C but not wanting A-level [following Is the UK an
outlier?(Hodgen et al.) and university statistics
on students on courses with no A-level maths
(ACME & HE STEM reports: 40% of Chemistry,
50% of Architecture,60% of Computer Science
with no more than GCSE maths).
What is happening now?
• ACME setting up group to look at content
• Some awarding bodies announcing new ‘Core
maths’ courses e.g. OCR/MEI Certificate in
Quantitative Methods (60 guided learning
hours; CQM + Decision+ Stats = AS in QM) –
subject to Ofqual approval
Implications for maths
• Reluctant learners if repeat GCSE course –
need mature GCSE
• Need for more maths teachers – FE/6thForm
colleges expect to cope with staffing most of
GCSE resits but not core maths – may draw
from KS3 teachers qualified but not teaching
• New types of courses mean more work for
teachers alongside new A/AS and new GCSE
What is happening to GCSE (14-16)?
• GCSE content for Ebacc subjects published for consultation
by DfE by August 20th.
• GCSE arrangements consultation by Ofqual by Sept 3rd
• Continue with all awarding bodies competing
• Only June exams (also Nov for Maths/Eng L retakes)
• New grading 1-8 with more differentiation at top and less
at bottom
• More challenging threshold grade (4?)
• Tiers only for maths & science (1-5,3-8; 1-4,4-8?)
• Accessibility to same percentage of age group(!)
• External end-of-course exams only (except science)
• Ebacc subjects first teaching from 2015 (rest 2016)
• Draft KS4 Programme of Study published, consultation later
this year? (But overtaken by GCSE?)
What is happening (accountability)?
Consultation finished 1st May on 2 major
measures for secondary schools:
1) % achieving both Maths & Eng Lang GCSE
threshold grades (grade 4?)
2) progress KS2 points score (Maths and
English?) to mean GCSE pointscore across 8
subjects (M+E+3Ebacc + 3 others, possibly
Headline changes in GCSE content
• Procedures upfront
• Very pure set of skills and understandings – little
indication of purpose or application
• More transformation geometry (not matrices),
APs & GPs, kinematics
• Some odd phraseology e.g. ‘solve formulae’
‘symmetric polygons’
• Higher tier with proofs, sequence convergence,
compound interest, conditional probability
• Recall & procedures (35-45%, of which 14-18% on
items testing more); reasoning (30-40%);
applications and non-routine problems(20-30%).
Implications for maths
• Continued focus on achieving maths
threshold, but with tougher threshold, will
make it difficult for maths teachers
• Reduction in number of ‘passes’
• More non-routine examples?
• What happens to ‘linked pair’?(Initial
reference to ‘maths suite’ now disappeared.)
What is happening to the
National Curriculum (ages 5-14)?
• Currently waiting for final version after KS1-3
consultation – implemented by Sept 2014
• Not legally required for academies, independents
and free schools (but Y6 SATs & GCSE related)
• Detailed year-by-year undifferentiated
programmes of study at primary (40pp for maths)
(only brief outline for foundation subjects)
• Single short list for KS3 (5pp)
• Levels removed; attainment targets are defined
as attainment of everything in programmes of
Maths curriculum 5-14 headlines
• Aims are fluency, reasoning mathematically and
solving problems (i.e. fluency replaces
• At primary, greater emphasis on arithmetic,
promoting the efficient written method of long
multiplication and division, and more demanding
content in fractions (4 operations), decimals and
• More ambitious content generally, including KS3
(& financial maths at KS3)
• Little influence of ICT on curriculum (more at KS3)
Maths 5-14 Curriculum Issues
Mathematically, the draft is much improved but
very pure - main questions are a) emphases in
primary on written algorithms and b) how
practical it is in relation to learners and teachers
Will learners manage this curriculum? What
happens to those who fall behind – will additional
support be enough? Is there so much content
that reasoning and problem-solving will miss out?
How will teachers obtain the necessary resources
and PD to deliver this? (No government budget,
but ARK primary EEF project and KS3 MEI project)
Maths 5-14 assessment and
accountability issues
• How will tracking work with no levels?
• Will Y6 tests be harder? Will they be more
• How will results be reported?
• What will Y6 accountability be?
And also......
• ICCAMS (Investigating Competence and
Confidence in Algebra and Multiplicative
Structures) – KS3 survey results and Y8 amended
lesson plans ready for further trials
• KCL Maths School – a free school 6th form college
for 120 students without good A-level provision
in maths, further maths and physics who want to
specialise in STEM subjects, opening 2014 near
Waterloo (open meeting 5.45 tonight on
Waterloo Campus)
• MathsWorldUK – developing a maths
museum/exploratory (and Sci Mus Math Gallery)
The Emir of Quatar, quoting the
Fourth Caliph....
‘Teach your children other than
what you were taught, as they
are created for a time other than
(Independent 26th June 2013)
And remember...
...there is an election in May 2015.

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