As a key academic discipline, Mathematics plays an important role in the curriculum throughout the College. The Mathematics Department’s approach to teaching uses a wide variety of techniques to stimulate, encourage and enhance pupils’ enjoyment and eventual success in the subject. Innovative and unique lessons and encouraged and ensure the inclusion of all pupils whatever their ability. Teaching of Mathematics links the subject with the world around us to help give a greater purpose and deeper understanding of Mathematics and its crucial role in society.
The Mathematics Department is located in the Goodwin Building in the main teaching area of the College campus. There are six dedicated classrooms which host lessons and daily voluntary support sessions for pupils to improve on specific areas of weakness.
An online support network, MyiMaths, enables all pupils to access lesson content and practice materials which support their class-work and prep. In major recent changes to schemes of work, there has been an emphasis on the introduction of ICT and kinaesthetic support materials. Great strides forward have been made and the department now has access to a range of resources including exam wizards, software textbooks and online testing programmes.
Our focussed diagnostic approach to testing has developed a specific database aimed at highlighting pupils’ strengths and weaknesses. This information is used to inform teaching approaches and curriculum planning.
Lower School pupils explore basic mathematical principles in an annual trip to London’s Science Museum. Pupils wishing to further extend their understanding of the subject relish taking part in the UKMT Mathematics challenges. Senior pupils can also get involved in mentoring their younger peers.
Key Stage 3
Mathematics lessons in Years 7 and 8 are short and evenly spread throughout the week to aid pupils’ concentration and learning. In Year 9, pupils are comprehensively tested at an early stage to inform planning and setting. The structure of five academic sets allows excellent differentiation so pupils can benefit from specialised support and teaching. The linear iGCSE foundation programme of study is followed to enable the early sitting of this examination in January of Year 10.
Mathematics is a compulsory subject for all pupils, as it holds a key position in pupils' academic development. A basic understanding of the subject is essential for everyday life and a good performance will be required for most careers. The GCSE courses begin in Year 9 with a review of all Foundation Course topics. With a thorough diagnostic testing programme and on-going assessments designed to identify areas for future development, pupils are then grouped into one of five ability sets.
The syllabus has tiers of entry, which allows pupils to be entered for a level appropriate to them; Foundation Tier and Higher Tier are available. Each is assessed via terminal examination papers. In addition to the normal curriculum time allocation, support sessions are available on weekday evenings. These sessions are open to anyone wishing to improve or wanting additional assistance with a specific topic.
Retention of pupils from GCSE to A level Mathematics has improved significantly in recent years. This has established Mathematics as one of the most frequently selected Sixth Form subjects at the College. Students wishing to study Mathematics should be on course to achieve an A or A* grade at GCSE.
The course is comprised of two main branches; pure and applied Mathematics. Pure Mathematics is a continuation of the subject which was taken at GCSE where the principles of algebra, geometry and trigonometry are developed to a higher level. Applied Mathematics consists of mechanics, statistics and decision modules. Two pure and one applied units are studied in each year, with a degree of choice available on the latter depending on an individual’s personal strengths and interests.
Those who qualify in Mathematics are in the fortunate position of having a wide range of career choices. A Mathematics degree should enable you to turn your head to a variety of careers including finance, statistics, engineering, computing, teaching or accountancy.
A number of our very able mathematicians also opt to study Further Mathematics at A Level. This is a demanding course which requires another six modules to be studied in addition to the six required by the standard Mathematics course. Further Mathematics is regarded as a benchmark of exceptional academic ability by university admissions tutors, and it helps to meet the entry criteria for almost every academic discipline.