We teach mathematics to enable pupils to think, hear, read and write about mathematical relationships in a powerful, concise and unambiguous way that has many applications in science, technology and everyday life.
The core strands of the maths course are number, shape and space, algebra and handling data. Students will experience work in all four strands through Years 7 to 11 at a level of difficulty appropriate to their ability.
We aim to develop pupils’ mathematical knowledge and skills in a manner that encourages confidence in and enjoyment of the subject. They develop a feel for number and the ability to carry out calculations mentally, on paper and using a calculator or computer. They learn to solve problems and to develop their powers of reasoning. We help them to cope with the mathematical content of their other courses and to acquire a foundation appropriate to further study of mathematics and of other disciplines.
Pupils are taught in sets according to their mathematical attainment. Pupils are tested regularly and can be moved between sets when necessary. Homework is set weekly, increasing from about 30 minutes in Year 7 to as much as an hour in Year 11. We make extensive provision for low-achieving pupils through smaller classes and individual help. Equally extension materials are written into schemes of work for the more able in all year groups and they are given an opportunity to take part in annual National Maths Challenges. At Key Stage 4 all students will have the opportunity to study Maths to GCSE level.
We follow a Linear GCSE programme starting at the beginning of Year 9, at the two available levels – Foundation (grades C to G and from June 2017 grades 1 to 5) and Higher (grades A* to D and from June 2017 grades 4 to 9). Students are entered according to their ability. Also, we consider each year whether to enter our Year 10 students for a ‘Functional Maths’ examination at either level 1 or 2. Functional skills are practical maths skills for everyday life and are now integrated into the GCSE exam. Pupils for whom GCSE is too difficult can gain an Entry Level Certificate. Our more able students are offered an FSMQ in Additional Maths as an excellent taster as they consider Advanced Level Maths at 16+.
Pupils are required to bring a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, calculator, compass and a protractor to every lesson.
We aim to develop pupils’ numeracy, not just in three or four maths lessons each week, but across the curriculum. There are opportunities in many departments to practise mental arithmetic, to measure, to use calculators in relevant contexts, to draw and interpret graphs of real data and to calculate statistics. Teachers in the Maths department are always available to support other staff in suggesting common strategies in dealing with mathematical concepts and give guidance as to levels of success.