Maths

“In mathematics the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.”  – Georg Cantor.

We want our students to find Mathematics interesting and enjoyable. Our aim is to challenge students to think about their approach to problems in a way that encourages clarity of thought, logical thinking, creativity and rigour. We strive to give students the confidence and skills to look at the world beyond the classroom, and how the wider applications of Mathematics impact on everyday life.

The Mathematics Department comprises a team of specialists, all of whom have a passion for the subject and a desire to share their enthusiasm with their students.

As Mathematics is a core subject, students are taught Mathematics through to GCSE. Many students successfully sit A-Level Mathematics, and we support students who aspire to study Mathematics in Higher Education.

 

Key Stage 3 Mathematics:

In Key Stage 3 pupils further build their confidence and competence with Numbers and Measures, and learn to generalise patterns and rules through Algebra. Geometric reasoning and visualisation skills are developed, as are methods of Handling Data, including making inferences from data.

Pupils are encouraged to develop their mathematical thinking so that they are able to use and apply their mathematical thinking skills. This means that they will be able to use and apply their mathematical knowledge in a variety of contexts.

We give students the opportunity to develop the ability to:

  • acquire and use problem-solving strategies
  • select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in mathematical, every day and real-world situations
  • reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions
  • interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

All pupils are expected to do two set pieces of homework per week, one of which may be online, each taking up to 30 minutes in Year 7 and increasing to 45 minutes by the end of Year 8.

We offer various extracurricular opportunities:

  • Students in year 7 take part in our annual Maths Puzzle Day.
  • Students in Key Stage 3 are regularly entered for the UKMT Challenge, which pits their wits against students across the country.
  • Year 8 and Year 9 students participate in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge.
  • Each year two students from Year 9 are invited to take part in the Royal Society Mathematics Masterclasses, run by the University of Hertfordshire.
  • Students needing help with their studies also have the opportunity to attend our Maths Clinic which is held on two lunchtimes per week.

Useful websites include:

Extension and enrichment materials:

http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage

For revision:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/maths

http://www.mymaths.co.uk

Key Stage 4 Mathematics:

At the end of Year 11, pupils will sit a GCSE in Mathematics.  We follow Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (1MAO) in Year 11, with students in Year 9 and 10 following the new Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (1MA1).

The Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics qualification requires students to:

  • develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts including: Number,  Algebra, Ratio (proportion and rates of change), Geometry and measures, Probability & Statistics.
  • acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems
  • reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
  • comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context

All pupils are expected to do one set piece of homework per week, taking up to 60 minutes.  Students can also be set additional assessment in the form of an online homework task by logging on to the MyMaths website which we subscribe to.

Extracurricular opportunities:

  • Students in Key Stage 4 are regularly entered for the UKMT Challenge, which pits their wits against students across the country.
  • Our highest achieving pupils in year 10 attend a day of lectures at the Institute of Education, University of London.
  • Students needing help with their studies have the opportunity to attend our Maths Clinic which is held on two lunchtimes per week.

Particularly useful websites:

Edexcel GCSE Mathematics specifications, support materials and past papers

http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/maths

http://www.mymaths.co.uk

Key Stage 5 Mathematics:

Students starting the course in September 2017 will be prepared for the Pearson Edexcel 9MAO exam specification.

An A Level in Mathematics is gained from a total of three exams, two in Pure Mathematics (66.66%), and one in Applied Mathematics (33.33%) which is comprised of Mechanics and Statistics.

A broader understanding of the subject is encouraged by reading some of the books in the following reading list.  Some of these books are fairly accessible and also look at some of the historical aspects of some everyday mathematical concepts:-

  • Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh
  • The Code Book by Simon Singh
  • Does God Play Dice by Ian Stewart
  • 1089 and all that by David Acheson
  • How Long Is a Piece of String? by Rob Eastaway
  • E, the story of a number by Eli Maor

Successful A-Level Mathematicians must be prepared to persevere at problems. Questions are multi-stage and it is essential to develop the ability to produce a logically progressive answer.  Calculators and formula books will not provide easy answers.  The ability to manipulate fractions and algebraic expressions is crucial.  It is therefore important that students devote some time over the summer holidays to consolidate what they have learned at GCSE.  The 6 multiple choice tests found on the school network’s Shared Area (Shared Area (W:)/Maths/Mr Burani/Prospective 6th form) will enable students to do this.  They can also access the 6 tests via the school website (Maths/Year 12 Maths Induction).   These are intended to make students go back to their notes or do some research in order to find out what you need to know in order to answer them.  They should attempt all the questions, and bring in the answers ready for your first maths lesson.  Students are advised to create a list of any topics they could not do or found difficult.

Extracurricular opportunities:

  • We regularly take our pupils to attend lectures at the Institute of Education, University of London.
  • In order to support their applications for higher Education, students are given the opportunity to act as Maths Prefects.
  • The Maths Department has links with our feeder Primary Schools, and our sixth form students often volunteer to support younger pupils in their learning.
  • Students needing help with their studies have the opportunity to attend our Maths Clinic which is held on two lunchtimes per week.
  • Sixth form mathematicians take part in peer mentoring, as about once a term they are put on a rota to help students lower down the school at Maths Clinic.

Pupils will find the following websites useful:

Edexcel A-level Mathematics specifications, support materials and past papers:

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/mathematics-2017.html

Extension and enrichment materials:

http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage

Revision:

http://www.examsolutions.net

http://www.mymaths.co.uk

 

Page updated June 2017