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National Curriculum: Algebra KS3 - Making Connections

Created on 25 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 04 June 2014 by ncetm_administrator

Making Connections

Making connections to other topics within Key Stage 3


Pupils will need to be conversant with a whole range of number topics to support their learning and development within this area. They will need to be secure in operations with fractions, percentages and decimals in an algebraic context.

Ratio, proportion and rates of change

Pupils use algebraic representations including in functions, direct and inverse proportion.

Geometry and measures

Pupils use and apply algebraic relationships including formulae for perimeter, area and volume and relationships between the number of sides and angles for polygons.

Algebra is also used and applied in solving problems requiring Pythagoras’ Theorem and the use of trigonometric ratios in right angled triangles.

Making connections to this topic in Year 6

In year 6 pupils for algebra should be taught to

  • use simple formulae
  • generate and describe linear number sequences
  • express missing number problems algebraically
  • find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation with two unknowns
  • enumerate possibilities of combinations of two variables.

Notes and guidance (non-statutory) suggest:

Pupils should be introduced to the use of symbols and letters to represent variables and unknowns in mathematical situations that they already understand, such as:

  • missing numbers, lengths, coordinates and angles
  • formulae in mathematics and science
  • equivalent expressions (for example, a + b = b + a)
  • generalisations of number patterns
  • number puzzles (for example, what two numbers can add up to).

Cross-curricular and real life connections

  • Recording the results of an experiment in science (e.g. Hooke’s Law) and using the graph to draw conclusions and make predictions.
  • Recording the relationship between variables observed in a science experiment.
  • Changing the subject of a formula (e.g. V = IR or v = u + at) in science.
  • Using a spreadsheet in Computing lessons will involve using and constructing formulae and generating sequences, functions and graphs.
  • Changing temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius using the formula C = 59 (F – 32)
  • Interpreting formulae in recipes - e.g. Cook the bird at 180°C for 28 minutes per kg + 108 minutes.
  • Using graphical representations to compare mobile phone tariffs.
  • Using graphs showing population growth, radioactive decay, temperature cooling, etc. and read off information from them.


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