Mathematics is a core subject in the curriculum for all students in Years 7 to 11. The department is staffed by a team of enthusiastic mathematics teachers and supported by two fantastic maths specialist teaching assistants.
Key Stage 3
At KS3 our main aim is to produce mathematicians who are able to work flexibly and creatively to solve mathematical problems. This requires that students really understand the mathematics they do, rather than use methods they have simply memorised and not understood. We embrace the use of practical resources and diagrams which help our students visualise problems. We encourage students to have a range of different methods they can use to solve problems. We value depth of thinking and high quality explanations rather than simply ‘being fast’. This approach helps our students appreciate the beauty of mathematics and enjoy their studies. Furthermore, it develops the skills and mindset they need to succeed in the new GCSE and A-level examinations, as well as creating students who can apply their mathematical skills in practical contexts in other subjects and their future careers.
Our scheme of work arranged into half termly themes that draw together two or three connected areas of mathematics. Lessons are designed to be interactive and stimulating and promote discussion and investigation of mathematical ideas as well as routine practice to master the skills.
Key Stage 4
Half-way through Year 9 students begin the GCSE course. With the solid grounding gained at KS3, our students have the fundamental skills and knowledge they need to succeed at GCSE. There are 2 tiers of entry for this exam, Foundation and Higher.
The Foundation exam awards grades 1 to 5. Broadly speaking, a 4 is equivalent to a C in the old GCSE grading system. Grade 4 will be the grade required for progression by most universities, FE providers and employers. This is - and will remain - the level that pupils must achieve in order not to be required to continue studying English and maths post 16. The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that Grade 4 will be considered a 'standard pass' and Grade 5 a 'strong pass' for the purposes of performance tables. The Foundation exam, which allows students to achieve grades 4 and 5, is a suitably challenging course for many of our students from which they can achieve the grades that they need to access the further and higher education they want.
For students who are excelling in mathematics, and who often wish to pursue mathematics at A level and beyond, the Higher course is more appropriate. This exam awards grades 4 to 9, but is most suitable for students who will achieve a grade 6 or above.
The GCSE course is taught in unit themes. At the end of each unit students create a revision sheet which they use to build a revision folder. They also complete a unit assessment so that we can carefully monitor their progress.
UK Mathematics Trust
The UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) is a registered charity whose aim is to advance the education of children and young people in mathematics. They produce many fantastic resources which we use to deepen and extend our students’ mathematics understanding, particularly those who are excelling in mathematics. Every year we enter our very able mathematicians for the Junior (Years 7 and 8), Intermediate (Years 9, 10 and 11) and Senior (Years 12 and 13) Maths Challenges. Where students qualify for further rounds in these competitions, we will ensure that students have the opportunity to take these tests.