Studying Mathematics

Students best learn mathematics through a variety of experiences in lessons and when they are given time to discuss and practice new ideas and techniques. Mathematics is important in itself but also equips students with powerful problem solving skills that they will be able to transfer into other subjects and other situations once they have left school. We are committed to helping all our students make the very best progress they can in lessons and endeavour to share our enjoyment of mathematics with them.

Every lesson counts so we expect our students to always be fully prepared for learning.  Children take responsibility for their own exercise book and bring it to every lesson along with their own basic equipment. As a minimum this includes pens, pencils, a ruler and eraser. In addition, a scientific calculator is a very useful tool, although we teach students not to rely on one unnecessarily.

The curriculum structure in Phase 1

Students are taught in mixed attainment groups in Year 7 and 8 and follow a structured program of study designed to build upon their hard work in primary school.

As they move through secondary school our students gain more experience in explaining their ideas and justifying their solutions to problems.  They continue to build up their confidence in mathematical processing and calculating skills and extend this into the deeper understanding that is needed for more abstract thinking as algebra becomes a greater part of their lessons.  Throughout these years, and beyond, we place great emphasis on the use of physical equipment to help students literally get a feel for their mathematics.  For example we might use Dienes blocks to demonstrate and explain calculations with decimals but we also use similar equipment to lay the foundations for more complex work such as factorising quadratic expressions and completing the square in Years 10 and 11.

The curriculum structure in Phase 2 – GCSE Mathematics

The Mathematics specification we use is the Edexcel Linear GCSE (1MA1). There are three written examination papers taken at the end of Year 11. Calculators are allowed to be used in one of these papers.  The GCSE course focuses on all areas of mathematics: number, algebra, geometry, proportion and statistics. As in all schools, changes have been made for Summer 2017 when students in our current Year 11 will be amongst the first to sit GCSE Mathematics and English examinations that will be graded on a new scale of 9-1 instead of the ‘old’ A*-G scale.