Curriculum Intent

We believe that all students can learn and achieve in mathematics, and we seek to remove any potential barriers to learning to enable them to achieve their very best.  We aim to instil a lifelong love of mathematics, equipping students to confidently use mathematics in their everyday lives and providing a solid foundation for further post 16 study.

In school level mathematics we have relatively little choice in the content we teach; exam specifications offer no choice – the national curriculum is fixed. However, what we can affect is how we choose to teach it. Our mathematics curriculum prioritises problem solving; students are taught the prerequisite knowledge to access each topic explicitly and asked to practise the relevant procedures. Students are regularly given mathematical problems which are previously unseen; this might require them to apply known mathematical ideas in original contexts or to apply problems that link together different areas of mathematics. Our aim is for students to be able to use maths as a tool, using one concept to unlock access to concepts they may study in the future. At The Dorcan Academy we teach students to think like mathematicians, approaching problems systematically, setting out work logically and forming generalisations from specific answers.  We encourage students to reason mathematically, to sketch diagrams and to add annotations to explanations as well as using precise mathematical notation and vocabulary.

An important aspect of our curriculum is supporting students to develop their confidence in mathematics. Our mastery approach identifies students’ starting points and builds from them, introducing ideas in small steps and allowing the students time to fully understand a new concept before moving on. We aim to foster a growth mindset and create a mistake friendly environment where students are praised for their effort and encouraged to learn from their challenges.


In Mathematics last year, 41.8% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 64.7% achieved grades 9 to 4.

What we study – Topic Overview

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 7Sequences Algebraic Notation EqualityPlace Value Fractions and DecimalsAddition and Subtraction Multiplication and Division Percentage of amountsDirected Number Operations with fractionsGeometric Reasoning Geometric NotationNumber Sense Probability Prime Numbers
Year 8Ratio and Scale Multiplicative Change Multiplying and Dividing FractionsCoordinates Data Tables and ProbabilityBrackets equations and inequalities, sequences, indicesFractions and Percentages Standard form Index FormAngles Area Symmetry  Data Handling Averages
Year 9 FoundationNumberAlgebraData and StatisticsNumberAlgebra AnglesSampling and Averages
Year 10 FoundationNumber DataNumber ProportionNumber AlgebraAlgebra DataAlgebra DataAlgebra
Year 11 FoundationProbability Constructions  Area Volume SimilarityTransformations Vectors EquationsRevisionRevision 
Year 9 HigherNumberAlgebraData and statistics ProportionGeometryGraphsGeometry
Year 10 HigherNumber AlgebraData ProportionGeometryGraphs Area and VolumeTransformations EquationsProbability Multiplicative reasoning
Year 11 HigherAlgebra Number GeometryAlgebraRevisionRevisionRevision 

How we assess

In mathematics students are assessed regularly by their class teacher. This might be in informal ways such as through responses to class questions and work with mini whiteboards, and regular mini class tests. In support of this each student will have three formal summative assessments each year. These are marked and scored by the class teacher. Students should use the information from the regular assessments to inform their revision. In year 11 students are also expected to complete a mock examination in full exam conditions for which they will be awarded a mock exam grade.

Meet the team

Ms Laura McMahon – Associate Assistant Head and Head of Mathematics

Miss Stacey Messam – Deputy Head of Mathematics and Home Learning Lead

Mrs Julia Abbott – Teacher of Maths and Raising Aspirations Lead

Mr Daniel Alsop – Teacher of Mathematics and STEM Lead

Miss Emma Booth – Teacher of Mathematics

Mr Tristan Scott-Hallam – Teacher of Mathematics

Mrs Mirelle Tchoya – Teacher of Mathematics and Business Studies, Young Carers lead

Curriculum Allocation

All students study Mathematics throughout their career at The Dorcan Academy.

In Year 7 students in the Extended pathway have 6 lessons a fortnight, whilst students in the Central pathway have 8.

In year 8, students in the Extended pathway have 6 lessons a fortnight, whilst students in the Central pathway have 7.

In year 9 students in the Extended pathway have 7 lessons a fortnight, whilst students in the Central pathway have 8.

In Years 10 and 11, all students have 8 lessons of Mathematics a fortnight.

Enrichment Opportunities

The teachers at Dorcan have a keen interest in mathematics and are always keen to introduce ideas and discussions beyond the scope of the national curriculum. We also provide a range of enrichment opportunities. For example, we regularly enter students for the UK Mathematics Trust Challenges; this is a national competition where students can be awarded bronze, silver and gold awards and even potentially a qualification to the Maths Olympiad. There are also booster sessions and intervention periods which are offered both within and after the school day.

The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.