The Mathematics department is a vibrant, successful and thriving faculty which prides itself in providing a supportive learning environment which has demonstrated continuous growth, development and year on year improvement.
We aim to provide a stimulating learning environment in which all students feel that they can achieve and make progress in their learning. Consequently, we provide a wide variety of activities all of which are designed to meet students’ individual needs at all Key Stages including A level.
The programme of study and pace of learning for the academically more able is designed to expose them to Mathematics which demands a variety of higher order thinking skills and to advance and strengthen their interest and enthusiasm for the subject. There is also extensive support given to students who are identified as requiring additional assistance or to those who request it.
ICT is used extensively to facilitate learning and aid assessment and feedback. The department has a computer network and is equipped with computers for use during lesson time. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and electronic resources which are used to enhance the quality of teaching and cater to a variety learning styles and preferences of learners.
See below for details of each key stage:
Key Stage 3
Throughout years 7, 8 and 9 students will be working through one of four different stages in line with their year group and stage of mathematical development. Each stage is split into units the content and timing of which is detailed below.
In general homework will be set for every lesson, subject to the suitability of the task. Homework tasks will be set online through the MathsWatch website ( www.mathswatchvle.com) for which students will receive usernames and passwords. On occasion it will be appropriate to set a pre learning or research task to prepare for the coming lesson.
Each unit will be assessed by way of a ‘Quest’, a series of questions based on the unit. These include questions on reasoning as well as direct skill questions. Students are encouraged to revise from the examples they will have been given in lessons prior to the tests. Students will then be given a ‘currently working towards’ level based on these assessments.
Key Stage 4
Students will be offered four different pathways within Mathematics at GCSE. The appropriate pathway is selected for each student, depending on their own individual progress and achievement in previous years.
As a department we continually evaluate the progress of the students to ensure that they are working within the appropriate pathway.
The Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics qualification requires students to:
Develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts, including:
• Ratio, proportion and rates of change
• Geometry and Measures
Use knowledge, skills and understanding to make connections between mathematical concepts Apply the functional elements of Mathematics in everyday and real-life situations.
The course also gives students the opportunity to develop the ability to:
• Acquire and use problem-solving strategies
• Select and apply mathematical techniques and methods in 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
Homework will be set for every lesson. Homework tasks will be set online through the MathsWatch website
( www.mathswatchvle.com) for which students will receive usernames and passwords.
In addition to this the students will be set an ongoing task on MathsWatch, this will support them in their main assessment. There will be a series of revision questions that relate directly to the main assessment. The students will be expected to complete this prior to sitting their test.
How will I be assessed?
In Year 10 and 11 each unit will be assessed by way of a ‘Quest’, a series of questions based on the unit. These include questions on reasoning as well as direct skill questions. Students are encouraged to revise from the examples they will have been given in lessons prior to the tests.
In addition to this the students will have one main assessment per half term that will be the basis by which we give their ’currently working towards’ grade.
What is the GCSE Exam format?
• Three written papers at the end of the course: one non-calculator paper and two calculator papers, each contributing a third to the final grade
• Foundation (grades 1-5) and Higher (grades 4-9) Tier papers available
• Each paper is 1 hour 30 minutes
• 80 marks on each paper
Key Stage 5
A-Level Mathematics and Core Maths available for students joining our Sixth Form
You will be using maths skills at a high level and a clear understanding of the key concepts is essential in order to be able to apply them. Therefore, it is vital that you:
- complete plenty of practice exercises in your own time as well as in the lesson
- keep in close communication with your teachers
- attend additional tutorial sessions so that they can support you with this
- keep good, clear and concise notes
- do plenty of exam practice.
To be successful on this course, you will need to be hardworking and diligent, as each topic builds on earlier work and everything is dependent upon a sound understanding of the GCSE content. There is plenty of additional support provided to help students with the transition from GCSE to AS level.
What’s in the exam?
There will be 3 papers for the full A Level, all 2 hours long. 2 pure, 1 applied.
What coursework do I have to do?
There is no coursework, but plenty of practice material and regular assessments to monitor and support progress.
What grades do I need to have to get on the course?
It is recommended that students achieve at least a Grade 6 for Mathematics at GCSE to get onto the course. We may consider students who may have narrowly missed out on achieving a Grade 6 in exceptional circumstances.
What could this lead to?
Students with A-level Mathematics are highly sought after by both employers and universities. Mathematics students not only have the ability to solve problems and think logically, but they also develop strong team-working skills, resilience, effective communication of complex ideas and the ability to use their own initiative; all highly desirable in the modern workplace.
Many university courses will require a qualification in Mathematics, typically Physics, Engineering and Chemistry but often Computer Science and Economics too. If you already have a firm idea of what you want to study at university, then it is a good idea to check entry requirements before making your final subject choices.
The breadth of mathematical applications is immense. It underpins most of science, technology and engineering and is also important in areas as diverse as business, law, nutrition, sports science and psychology. There are many opportunities to use mathematics to make a difference in society, for example through the analysis involved in medical research, developing new technology, modelling epidemics or in the study of patterns of criminal activity to identify trends.
CORE Maths ( Edexcel : Mathematics in Context)
The Core Maths qualification is designed to support those learners who do not wish to take an A-Level in Mathematics, but whose other subject choices demand a good knowledge of Mathematics to a higher level. This could include science subjects, geography, psychology, law and many more.
The qualification is completed in one year and would be chosen as a fourth subject. Universities place great value on the Core Maths qualification and may make a lower offer to students with this qualification.
Paper 1 (40% of the course): Mathematical comprehension
Paper 2 (60% of the course): Application of Mathematics
Pathway 2 entry requirements
Careers & Higher Education
Study of Core Maths will support your studies in a variety of areas which require good mathematical skills. Many Universities will make lower offers for students who have studied Core Maths.
Chris Stanford Maths Head of Faculty
Ian Currie Head Of Key Stage 3 Maths
Anne Catton Head of Key Stage 4 Maths