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National Curriculum

Mathematics, personal development and Every Child Matters

Personal development is a vital part of the key stage 4 curriculum and mathematics has a distinctive contribution to make in this area. The mathematics programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that support personal development through the five Every Child Matters outcomes.

Enjoy and achieve

Mathematics can be enjoyed as a worthwhile activity for its own sake and as a powerful tool in a wide range of applications. Enjoyment stems from the creative and investigative aspects of mathematics, from developing mathematical ways of perceiving the world and recognising underlying structures and connections between mathematical ideas.

Mathematics is a subject that empowers students to prove results. Students develop their problem-solving, decision-making and reasoning skills through working on a range of tasks.

Be healthy

Mathematics enables students to understand the numerical data related to becoming and staying healthy. Monitoring nutritional intake, blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health are all examples where mathematics assists understanding and can lead to making healthy decisions. By becoming financially capable, young people are able to exert greater control over factors affecting their health such as housing and money management. Strategy games and logic puzzles are an important part of maintaining mental health.

Stay safe

Understanding risk through the study of probability is a key aspect of staying safe and making balanced risk decisions. Students learn to understand the probability scale and use it as a way of communicating risk factors. They develop an understanding of how data leads to risk estimates. By understanding probability and risk factors young people are able to make informed choices about investments, loans and gambling.

Achieve economic wellbeing

An understanding of mathematics, and confidence in using a variety of mathematical skills, are both key to young people’s ability to play their part in modern society. The skills of reasoning with numbers, interpreting graphs and diagrams and communicating mathematical information are vital in enabling individuals to make sound economic decisions in their daily lives. Mathematics skills and habits of mind are highly prized by many employers and mathematics is a gatekeeper to many careers and professions.

Make a positive contribution

Having confidence and capability in mathematics allows students to develop their ability to contribute to arguments using logic, data and generalisations with increasing precision. This in turn allows students to take a greater part in a democratic society. Becoming skilled in mathematical reasoning means students learn to apply a range of mathematical tools in familiar and unfamiliar contexts

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