Intent: The Big Ideas in Mathematics at Atherton High School

Our vision for Mathematics at Atherton High School is for all students to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts so that we produce independent and resilient young people who appreciate and understand the world of mathematics around them.

The language of mathematics influences all our lives and is vital to the future prosperity of young people. Whilst providing students with a solid understanding of mathematical concepts, we aim to communicate how mathematics is essential to everyday life, which is critical in science, technology, engineering, business and necessary for financial literacy.

We believe our students deserve a high-quality education that is ambitious for all, with a wide variety of engaging opportunities that builds confidence, develops knowledge and promotes academic excellence, all of which prepares them well for everyday life. Attainment in the subject is key to opening new doors to further study and future employment.

Our aims are for all pupils:

  • To become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils develop conceptual understanding with the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • To communicate like a mathematician using correct mathematical vocabulary to justify, argue and prove concepts and ideas
  • To reason mathematically
  • To problem solve by applying their mathematical knowledge to a variety of problems
  • To develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence, so that they can contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider environment

We have created a spiral curriculum for our learners which covers the full breadth of the national curriculum both at KS3 & KS4. The sequencing of our curriculum is carefully planned to ensure students build core mathematical knowledge that is embedded into their long-term memory.

Throughout KS3 we build upon knowledge, providing a firm mathematical foundation for all pupils. The core aims of our KS3 curriculum is to build fluency in the fundamental knowledge of Mathematics.

All pupils will study KS4 National Curriculum for Mathematics, building upon the foundations of our KS3 curriculum. All students will sit GCSE mathematics so that they can successfully move onto the next stage of their lives of further study and the world of work.

How the Mathematics curriculum contributes to the school’s curriculum intent.

  1. Knowledge – Our knowledge-rich curriculum focuses on providing students with a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, procedural techniques, and vocabulary so that pupils are able to successfully build upon prior knowledge and learning. The knowledge-rich curriculum aims to equip pupils with a solid foundation in mathematics, empowering them to apply their mathematical knowledge to various academic and real-world contexts along with the ability to communicate mathematical ideas effectively.
  2. Vocabulary rich – We have selected key mathematical vocabulary, to enrich learning and deepen subject understanding so that all our pupils can ‘speak like a mathematician’. Vocabulary is embedded throughout the mathematics curriculum, allowing pupils to become more fluent in their use of mathematical language and to also strengthen their knowledge. Vocabulary development will allow pupils to become more confident and strengthen their understanding of key mathematical vocabulary in order to ‘speak like a mathematician’.
  3. Aspiration – The aspiration of our mathematics curriculum is to empower students with the tools and mindset needed to excel in problem-solving and critical thinking. We strive to create an environment where students can develop their numerical fluency, logical reasoning, critical thinking skills. Furthermore, our mathematics curriculum aspires to instil mathematical literacy, enabling students to ‘speak like a mathematician’ so that they can interpret and critically evaluate calculable information in various contexts. We want to provide all students here at Atherton with a solid foundation in mathematics, preparing them for future academic pursuits and equipping them with essential skills for success in an ever-evolving world.
  4. Character building – The discipline of mathematics instils qualities such as perseverance, problem-solving, and logical thinking, which are integral to character building. As students tackle complex equations or problems, they learn the art of persistence, refusing to give up when faced with challenges. Through repeated practise and exploration, they develop resilience and a growth mindset, understanding that mistakes are stepping stones to success. Mathematics also teaches the value of precision and accuracy, as even a minor error can lead to significant consequences. By embracing these qualities, students develop discipline, attention to detail, and a sense of responsibility in their academic pursuits and beyond.
  5. Love learning – The love of learning mathematics at Atherton is a mindset that goes beyond textbooks and exams. It embraces the belief that mathematics is not just a subject to be mastered for academic success but a tool for understanding the world. Those who develop a love for learning maths appreciate its relevance in various fields and the real-world applications it offers. They relish the challenge of problem-solving and enjoy unravelling the mysteries behind patterns and relationships. With the support of passionate teachers and engaging classroom activities, students cultivate a deep curiosity for mathematical concepts and develop the skills to think critically and analytically. The love of learning maths fosters an appreciation for the subject’s logical nature and empowers students to apply their knowledge in practical scenarios, paving the way for future opportunities beyond the classroom.

The Mathematics Learning Journey






Mathematics Knowledge Organisers

Autumn Term






Spring Term – coming soon

Summer Term – coming soon

Reading in Mathematics

Vocabulary and oracy form a substantial element of the Mathematics curriculum. We have selected key mathematical vocabulary, to enrich learning and deepen subject understanding so that all our pupils can ‘speak like a mathematician’. Vocabulary development will allow pupils to become more confident and strengthen their understanding of key mathematical terms and concepts.

Learning Beyond the Classroom in Mathematics

In Mathematics pupils are given lots of opportunities to learn about mathematics beyond of the classroom. All pupils will participate in International World Day of Mathematics, this is a day where we celebrate the essential role mathematics has played in breakthroughs in science and technology, improving the quality of life, empowering women and girls, and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDG1-17) of the United Nations.

In May 2024 we shall celebrate Women in Mathematics Day across the school. The goal of the day is to inspire women everywhere to celebrate their achievements in mathematics, and to encourage an open, welcoming and inclusive work environment for everybody.

Students at Atherton High School have the opportunity to complete in UK maths challenges throughout the year, promoting the love of problem solving. Maths Challenges encourage students to work collaboratively on a range of intriguing mathematical problems.

We offer an enrichment opportunity for KS4 mathematicians to explore some of the higher tier content in greater depth and cover topics beyond GCSE, from the further mathematics syllabus. This is a great option for those pupils thinking of taking A-level mathematics or those who just find pure enjoyment from the subject.

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.”

Stan Gudder