Head of Department: Mrs Moira Lee
Head of KS3: Miss Charlotte Sarson
Head of KS4: Mrs Jo Langdon
Mathematics is an important and exciting subject because it has direct and valuable applications for students in many areas of life. It makes an essential contribution to a student’s education by developing a wide range of skills which can be applied across the curriculum.
As a department we are committed to the philosophy that during the five core years, each student should:
- Enjoy and develop a love of mathematics, appreciating its beauty.
- Develop fluency in their mathematical skills and confidence in using them effectively; understand the significance of results and estimate whether or not an answer is reasonable.
- Tackle increasingly difficult problems, learn from their mistakes and develop high levels of resilience.
- Apply mathematics to everyday situations and appreciate how mathematics can be used to solve real life problems, including in other subjects.
- Reason mathematically, generalising findings and develop and communicate arguments using mathematical language, both orally and in writing.
- Experience a feeling of progress and success in the subject throughout their school life through being prepared for the demands of their GCSE and beyond.
We are committed to pushing students towards fulfilling their potential, irrespective of their starting point. We believe that students should be encouraged to learn not just mathematical content, but the full range of skills required in order to apply this when solving problems. We plan all our lessons to engage students with the subject, and to build confidence.
Over the last four years, we have been involved, with other local schools, in the national ‘Teaching for Mastery’ initiative. Mastery is achieved through developing procedural fluency and conceptual understanding in tandem, since each supports the other. Lessons are designed to have a high-level of teacher-student and student-student interaction where all students in the class are thinking about, working on and discussing the same mathematical content. Every lesson has a highly focussed objective. Teachers model new concepts using worked examples, giving explicit instructions and explanations. Challenge and the opportunity to deepen understanding of the key mathematical ideas is provided for all. Differentiation is achieved, not through offering different content, but through paying attention to the levels of questioning, support and challenge needed to allow every student to fully grasp the concepts and ideas being studied. This ensures that all students gain sufficiently deep and secure understanding of the mathematics to form the foundation of future learning before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence. Students are encouraged to make notes in lesson to support their learning. They do this in their exercise books along with independent consolidation work which they complete.
Students in the top sets in all year groups plus all our sixth form students have the opportunity to take part in the UK Maths Challenge. This is a national Mathematics competition aimed to challenge the most able students. We have had many successes at all levels with several pupils each year being asked to take part in further competitions by the invitation of the organisers. These competitions give the very best students the chance to shine and if you can achieve at this level, you really can describe yourself as a mathematician! We enter the Maths challenge Team competitions at all age groups and have achieved good positions over the last few years.
Our top students in Year 8 have the opportunity to attend a series of Master Classes at Bath University which take place on Saturday mornings.
This year we are offering students the chance to participate in the National Cipher Challenge, organised by Southampton University. To support them in this, there will be weekly tutorials run by Mr Crowther.
For A level maths students, Mrs Briggs will be running a weekly club to look at an area of Maths called Discrete Maths, which has applications to Computing and Business (amongst others) to extend their knowledge beyond that of the A level course.
There will be a weekly Maths club run by Mrs Yousaf and Mrs Harrisson. This is open to any student in KS3 and KS4 who wants to try logic puzzles and play Maths games, have some help with homework. There will also be some competitions.