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Mathematics

Head of Department: Mrs Moira Lee

Head of KS3: Mrs Chris Melton

Head of KS4: Mrs Jo Langdon

 

Mathematics is an important subject because it has direct and valuable applications for students in many areas of life. These range from the basic level of dealing with money, to the solution of complicated problems in modern technology.

Mathematics also makes a significant contribution to a student’s education by developing a wide range of skills which can be applied across the curriculum. These skills include the ability to think logically, to analyse complex situations, to solve problems, to explain and predict with some level of certainty and to communicate clearly.

As a department we are committed to the philosophy that during the five core years, each student should:

  • Have a positive experience of learning Mathematics. Regardless of ability, we aim to support every pupil to achieve the very best results for them. This subject is certainly challenging for some but we try very hard to ensure that it is enjoyable for all.
  • Show continuous progression and improvement.
  • Achieve their full potential. 

 In particular, we wish each student to develop: 

  • A genuine feeling of how numbers fit together; the ability to carry out calculations; understand the significance of results and estimate whether or not an answer is reasonable.
  • The ability to confidently apply Mathematics in everyday situations and develop an understanding of the part which Maths plays in the world.
  • The ability to apply Maths to other subjects across the curriculum.
  • The ability to solve problems, present solutions clearly, check and interpret results.
  • The ability to communicate what they have learned clearly, both in written form and orally.
  • The ability to read, write and talk about Mathematics in a variety of ways.
  • The ability to work individually and as part of a group.
  • Through a growth mind-set, develop the confidence to experiment and make mistakes and persevere when problems arise.
  • A foundation in the subject which will allow them to use or study Mathematics in the future.
  • A feeling of progress and success in the subject throughout their school life.

 

As a department, 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 two 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. 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. 

Enrichment

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 also enter into the Maths challenge Team competitions at all age groups and have achieved good positions over the last few years. Information regarding the UK Maths Challenge can be found here.

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.