Year 8 Maths
Guidance for parents
What will students be studying in Maths this year?
In Year 8 students will complete a very wide variety of study encompassing topics from all sections of the new national curriculum including number, algebra, shape and space and statistics Students will also work on some substantial pieces of independent work this year: a series of investigative tasks that teach them to think independently in maths and improve their problem solving skills and their ability to write down their findings to communicate their knowledge to others. These skills are vital in the new GCSE syllabus.
What do we expect of the students in the classroom?
The students should turn up to every maths lesson with the correct equipment ie in addition to the normal items a calculator, ruler, protractor and compass. They should pay close attention in class and ask if they do not understand any part of the lesson. If they still don’t get it at the end they should tell the teacher who may see them at lunchtime to clarify any outstanding issues. When the class is going through homework they should ask about any questions they do not understand, and make a correction in their books, not just a number but also a method so that they can remember how to do it when revising.
What homework are they set?
Students will be set two approximately thirty minute homeworks each week. These may be combined into one piece of work. Students should start to attempt each of these soon after they are set (and not the night before the deadline) so that if they cannot understand a large part of them they have time to come to see their teacher to ask questions before the work is due.
What are the major assessments this year?
Each six to eight weeks students will complete a test on the topics they have just covered. They should revise for these thoroughly by trying questions and asking about any they cannot do in class. After the test they should write down correct solutions to any questions they did wrongly. In the Year 8 summer exam after a period of revision students will answer questions on the whole of the year’s work.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?
In the first instance, she should speak to her subject teacher. They will arrange an opportunity to go through the relevant areas, if necessary at lunchtime. She should try to identify specific questions which she is finding a challenge so that they can offer targeted support. In some cases they may arrange an older student mentor to help.
How can I support my daughter in Year 8?
Please do not worry if you do not understand the topics, you do not have to! The best way to provide general support to Year 8 students is by talking to them about their work in the subject and how things are going. Some students become anxious about a subject: coming from a primary school where they are near the top of the class to Newstead where everyone is good in any subject and they don’t stand out can be disconcerting: please re-assure her that she is still very good at maths and will be competing with the same cohort as Junior school when public exams come along. Some students get worried about the setting: again please re-assure her that at Newstead every set is quite similar and covers the same material leading ultimately to Higher level GCSE and beyond. The point of setting is simply to have students working with peers who are developing at a similar rate at a particular time. They are revised constantly and anyone in any set can access AS and A2 at KS5. Each student should be trying to work to the best of their ability, that’s all that any of us can ask, and not be constantly comparing themselves to others.
What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?
Students should be completing the regular homework assignments to progress in the subject. There will be starred, optional questions to stretch those who are talented, but if these are not sufficiently challenging tell your teacher. If you are stuck on a topic at home we subscribe to the Mymaths website which will take you through any topic with a tutorial and give you questions to practice. There are more resources outlined on the Moodle site. If these do not help please ask your daughter to see her teacher. We enter students routinely for the national maths challenges, and there are opportunities to get help with these beforehand and try past papers.
Who can I contact for further advice and information?
Please feel free to contact your current maths teacher at first instance via firstname.lastname@example.org