Some Controversial Truths about Mathematics
“It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of the ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of Science and proudly claim incompetence in Mathematics.”
“All Science requires Mathematics. The knowledge of mathematical things is almost innate in us. This is the easiest of Sciences, a fact which is obvious in that no-one’s brain rejects it; for laymen and people who are utterly illiterate know how to count and reckon.”
“Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: Mathematics and Music.”
A high quality mathematics education enables all students to increase their mathematical literacy-understanding mathematical principles, cultivating mathematical ways of thinking, and developing fluency with number, symbolic representation, geometry, and data- which is essential for success in the information and technological environment of the 21st century.
In mathematics lessons, students will have the opportunity to:
- Experience innovative and effective Maths education of the highest quality
- Aim for the highest standards and fulfil their potential
- Develop their understanding and skills through a range of teaching styles and learning activities.
- Pose questions and develop confidence and understanding through communicating and discussing their ideas.
- Nurture their interest in the subject, through enrichment activities
- Appreciate the relevance and real-life applications of the subject
- Identify their current level of attainment and appreciate how to access the next level.
- Celebrate their successes
- Be creative and develop independence.
- Be included
- Be challenged
The Department is housed in a cluster of rooms in the Bradley Building.
All teachers make use of shared resources which are updated and renewed continually.
Interactive Whiteboards are the main teaching medium for electronic documents, including powerpoint, pdf, flash objects, a variety of media clips and graphics. Learning activities may involve discussion, matching exercises, dominoes/loops and cut and paste or colour coding as well as written exercises on mini whiteboards, in books or collaboratively on the (electronic) whiteboard.
Students have regular access to individualised learning and consolidation through ICT on MyMaths, Mangahigh and other web based learning in College as well as through home learning.
Moodle is used as a VLE with a wealth of resources, including past exam papers, media clips and other revision materials, which are all updated regularly.
All students are issued with a course outline, whilst individual trackers – containing targets and historical attainment data- are kept in books and/or folders to monitor progress made. Formal assessment documents are kept in an assessment folder.
Recording of all assessments is kept in departmental marksheets/trackers for monitoring and review.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is taught during Year 7 and Year 8.
- Year 7 is currently taught in streamed groups, whilst full setting takes place in Year 8.
- In Key Stage 3 textbooks (Essential Maths) and an electronic resource (Exploring Maths; Active Teach) are used alongside a variety of other resources.
- The curriculum is divided into topics from the main areas of Number, Algebra, Shape Space and Measures and Handling Data. Topics typically last two to three weeks. (see schedules below)
- Formal assessment takes place through half-term tests, which are accurately levelled. Students perform a self-evaluation of topics studied after each test. A year-exam concludes the assessments. Formative assessment takes place through primarily book marking, which includes home learning.
- Home learning is aimed to improve fluency in basic numeracy and recall, through consolidation of a set of topics over a period of time.
Click to view our Year 7 course outline
Year 7 topic order:
Click to view out Year 8 course outline
Year 8 topic order:
Key Stage 4
- In Year 11 the OCR J567 GCSE course is taught, using mainly electronic resources, many of which are printed for student use. Current Y10 students and thereafter will prepare for the new J560 GCSE (9-1) examinations.
- Groups are set according to ability and setting is reviewed regularly.
- Home learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught and form therefore an accurate reflection of content to be mastered. The tasks are marked, graded and returned with target sheets which clearly identify areas for improvement. Students can reflect and respond to these.
- In addition to home learning tasks, regular mock exams, performed under exam conditions, are used to monitor progress of students.
- The content of the course is divided into three modules which are taught subsequently in Y9-11. This is followed by a review in linear format for the final examinations.
- Students aiming at grades A*-B follow the Higher course, whilst the Foundation course is aimed at grades C-G. The target grades aimed at tend to vary per set. In the new set up, for examinations from 2017, grades A*-G are to be replaced by the 9-1 system, with Foundation covering 1-5 and Higher covering 5-9.
- Final GCSE examinations take place at the end of Y11, through two papers.
- One of the papers allows the use of a calculator, the other one does not. Exams from 2017 will total 4.5 hours, with two calculator papers and one non-calculator.
Working with students at our feeder primary schools
Year 9-11 topic order:
Key Stage 5
Maths: 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above, which must include GCSE Grade 6 in Maths and an aptitude for the subject
Further Maths: 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above, which must include GCSE Grade 7 in Maths and an aptitude for the subject
- As well as GCSE re-sits, AS and A2 courses in Mathematics and Further Mathematics are offered. The latter follow the AQA specifications 5361, 5361, 5371 and 6371
- The GCSE re-sit allows students to re-take their GCSE in November and/or in June, usually to allow students to aim for a grade C where this has not been successful before. The course is a short version of the KS4 course.
- At AS and A2 textbooks form the backbone of the student resources, but are supplemented by electronic resources. Students are recommended to purchase a graphical calculator, both for graphs as well as for algebraic manipulation.
- Three units each are studied and examined in the summer of Y12 and Y13, with the possibility of re-taking some Y12 units in Y13.
- Similar to KS4 Home learning tasks are based on past examination questions for each topic taught and form therefore an accurate reflection of content to be mastered. Tasks are marked, graded and returned with target sheets which clearly identify areas for improvement. Students can reflect and respond to these.
- In addition to home learning tasks, some mock exams, performed under exam conditions, are used to monitor progress of students
- In KS5 an increasing element of independence, rigour and self-study is essential to be successful.
AS and A2 units taken (AQA)
|MPC1, MPC2, MD01|
|MPC3, MPC4, MD02|
|MFP1, MS1B, MM1B (may vary)|
|MFP4 or MFP2, MM2B and/or or MM04 and/or MS2B (may vary)|
Structure and Content: Core Maths 1+2 (MPC1, MPC2): These modules build on GCSE coverage. Algebra, Graphs and Trigonometry are further developed whilst Calculus and Logarithms are introduced. Success requires determination and rigour; later coverage depends on earlier work and it is therefore vital that students keep on target.
Decision Maths 1 (MD01): This applied unit deals with algorithms used to solve real-life problems, such as determining the most efficient route for a gritter through a network of roads. Students have to learn procedures and decide upon the most appropriate algorithm to be applied in a given situation. Logical and detailed exposition of solutions is particularly important.
AS Further Mathematics
Structure and Content: Further Pure 1 (MFP1): This module supplements the AS Maths modules Core 1 + 2 by offering more detailed coverage and also deals with new topics such as Complex Numbers and Matrix Algebra.
Statistics 1 (MS1B): This applied module provides coverage of an additional maths area, dealing with Probability and various Statistical concepts and techniques which can be applied in many other disciplines.
Mechanics 1 (MM1B): This applied module deals with kinematics, forces, Newton’s laws, collisions, projectiles and is related to Physics.
The course is taken in addition to AS Mathematics. It requires self-study in addition to limited time-tabled lessons and is suitable for students with a particular aptitude for and interest in mathematics.
Structure and Content:
Core 3 + 4 (MPC3, MPC4): These modules further extend concepts and techniques studied at AS, in Core 1 + 2. Students gradually broaden independent study skills and success requires determination and rigour. Revision and review are vital to ensure mathematical development; it is not unusual for students to re-take AS modules (Y12) with improved results.
Decision 2: This applied module extends the coverage of Decision 1 at AS. It deals with problems such as those faced by production managers optimising the use of resources. It contains Critical Path analysis, Network flow and Allocation.
A2 Further Mathematics
Structure and Content
The content of this course relies on students’ preferences. Currently the following modules are studied:
Further Pure 2 or 4 (MFP2, MFP4): These modules delve further into Complex Numbers, Polynomials, Series, Trigonometry (FP2) or deal with solving problems in 3D Geometry using Matrix Algebra (FP4)
Mechanics 2 or 4 (MM02, MM04)): These applied modules cover movement and stability of objects as well as forces and energy related to these.
Statistics 2 (MS2B): This applied unit furthers the scope of previously covered areas in S1
The course is taken in addition to A2 Mathematics. It requires self-study in addition to limited time-tabled lessons and is suitable for students with a particular aptitude for and interest in mathematics.
Staff Names and Roles
Miss Suzanne Doyle (SDO) – Assistant Headteacher
Mr Mario Hulzebus (MHU) – Subject Leader – Mathematics
Mrs Heather Emsley (HEM) – Teacher
Mr Shaun Hill (SHL) – Teacher
Mrs Susan Davey (SDA) – Teacher
Ms Mairi McConnell – Teacher