As a department we have a very proud record of success at GCSE and A level, as well as in the various National Mathematics competitions.
We aim to encourage all our pupils to develop:
- A positive attitude to mathematics, including self-confidence, enjoyment and perseverance
- An appreciation of the historical and cultural importance of mathematics
- An appreciation that mathematics is a continually changing subject with new branches being developed at an ever increasing rate
- An ability to understand mathematical ideas and to communicate them in a variety of different ways
- An ability to think mathematically - precisely, logically and creatively
- A willingness and ability to work both independently and within a group
- An appreciation of the interdependence of different branches of mathematics
- An awareness of the use of mathematics in other disciplines: for example, science, engineering, geography and economics
- The knowledge, skills and understanding needed to apply a range of mathematical concepts to situations which may arise both inside school and the world beyond
- The skill to investigate mathematical ideas, and to test and prove their own hypotheses
- A firm foundation for further study of mathematics, or other subjects requiring a mathematical foundation
- An ability to use ICT, where appropriate, in their study of mathematics.
In Year 7 students are taught in forms but from Year 8 upward students are set according to ability, with all sets from Year 8 to 10 following the same course, though lower sets benefit from a slightly slower pace of working.
All year groups have homework set twice a week and tests set every half-term to assess progress. Coursework (extended investigational tasks) and ICT tasks are integrated into each year’s programme. At the end of each year an examination paper is set to measure overall progress.
In Year 11 all students sit the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) examination. Some students also sit the OCR FSMQ Additional Maths examination
Throughout Years 7 and 8 a small group of students who are identified as having difficulties with mathematics join Buddy Scheme. This is a weekly session where help is given on a one to one basis by Sixth Formers. Students receiving this help find it very beneficial in helping them to make better progress.
Social responsibility is seen in the behaviour of older pupils, who act as good role models, and in outstanding mentorship initiatives, such as the mathematics ‘buddy’ scheme. ISI Report 2011
In Year 8 all students sit the Junior Mathematical Challenge, an exercise in problem solving. Each year around 30 of our students gain Gold Certificates and the best 4 or 5 of these proceed into the next round of the competition, the Junior Mathematical Olympiad, which consists of more challenging problems. We have a good record of medal winners in the JMO.
A ‘problem of the week’ is available to all students to help stimulate mathematical thinking and to help students to independently develop their mathematical problem solving...During Year 10 all students sit the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge and again many gain Gold Certificates. Selected sixth form students sit the Senior Mathematical Challenge. Some students qualify for the follow on British Mathematics Olympiad papers.
In recent years we have also entered teams for both the Year 10 Team Maths Challenge and the UKMT Senior Team Maths Challenge with considerable success. In 2014 the School team won the regional Year 10 competition and in both 2013 and 2015 the School team won the Senior Team regional final and qualified for the national final held in London.
The majority of our GCSE students progress into the Sixth Form to study AS/A level Mathematics. We also have a number of enthusiastic students who decide to study Further Mathematics.
Most of our students have an impressive record of success and progress on to a wide variety of courses at university, again illustrating how useful an advanced grounding in mathematics is in many careers.
We also offer a twice weekly drop-in workshop for sixth formers to come along and discuss any problems they may be having with any part of their mathematical studies and to receive individual help from a member of staff. In the Sixth Form, our students have, following on from the junior competitions, the opportunity to enter the Senior Maths Challenge.
We also encourage our students to tackle the Student Problems in the Maths Spectrum and the Maths Gazette magazines.
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