What will I learn?
The Department follows the National Numeracy Strategy using Cambridge Essentials textbooks along with other additional resources, including enrichment activities and extended tasks, to enhance a robust scheme of work. Diverse, interesting and inspiring methods of teaching are used to augment pupils’ interest, understanding and confidence in the subject. Lessons are taught for five 40 minute periods per week in years 7 and 9, and 6 periods in year 8, some as double periods, in classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and many other kinaesthetic resources. Independent study is encouraged through structured, twice a week homework tasks including some based on an internet based programme, MyMaths. We follow a rigorous cycle of assessment which provides specific feedback to each individual pupil and enables bespoke areas of improvement and focused targets. Every week throughout the school year, additional support is offered at lunchtimes and after school by the mathematics department by invitation or on a ‘drop-in’ basis. These workshops take place on a variety of days providing valuable extra support which is greatly appreciated by pupils. Selected pupils are chosen to represent the school at the UKMT Maths Challenge and we have has great successes every year in the Junior Challenge, Intermediate Challenge and the National Olympiad. The department also runs maths master classes for selected pupils at lunchtimes in both Junior and Senior School which allow high ability and gifted pupils to thrive.
The Year 7 course is based on number, algebra, geometry, measures, probability and statistics. Pupils are encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills and study a varied curriculum which includes project based learning and extended homework tasks. Pupils are taught in broadly banded ability groups until Christmas. Following two whole year assessments during the Michaelmas term, they are placed into one of sets depending on their ability. Mathematics sets are reviewed termly after all the assessments during that term, when pupils can move between groups depending on their individual needs.
In Year 8, all pupils build on the foundations taught in Year 7. They study properties of number, fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio, proportion, algebra, constructions, geometry, graphs, scale drawings and handling data. Extended homework tasks are set to enhance pupils’ awareness of practical and functional mathematics in society and the real world. Assessments are conducted during each term and mathematics groups are reviewed accordingly.
In Year 9, pupils deepen their skills and understanding in number, algebra, geometry, measures, statistics and probability in preparation for the GCSE course. Rich tasks and project based learning are continually used to raise pupils’ ability to problem solve and model real-life situations. The internal exam in June is used to set pupils ready to follow the higher or foundation tier at GCSE.
At GCSE, mathematics is taught for five 40 minute periods per week, some as double periods. Pupils receive two pieces of homework per week, and these may be combined to work on a more substantial piece. The vast majority of our pupils follow the higher tier course and work towards the Edexcel specification for GCSE; a select few follow a bespoke foundation/higher tier course and work towards the Edexcel IGCSE. Both courses are examined at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework or controlled assessment. The GCSE comprises of three examinations: two with, and one without a calculator. IGCSE comprises of two examinations, both with a calculator. In Year 11, pupils sit a mock examination in preparation for their final examination. For some pupils there is also an opportunity for them to gain an extra qualification in mathematics. The FSMQ, (free standing mathematics qualification) is available to pupils who excel during Years 9 and 10, and is taught alongside the GCSE specification.