We believe Mathematics is fun – we want our pupils to discover the joys of number patterns and problem solving, and how mathematics underpins so many aspects of the real world. Our lessons involve pupils participating in a wide range of learning activities, including interactive games and puzzles, show and tell whiteboards, use of the internet and maths software, card matching activities, poster making, open-ended investigations and data collection. Mathematics is relevant, even the much maligned quadratic equations have many applications in the real world. They are useful as they explain the golden ratio and the perfect shape for photographs, the pattern of sunflower seeds, the orbits of the planets, how telescope lenses and satellite dishes work, the braking distance of cars, circuit boards in mobile phones and the perfect drop-goal. Mathematics explains so many facets of the world we live in. Look into anything enough and you will find mathematics!
We believe Mathematics is rewarding – whether it’s the self-esteem we enjoy from cracking a tricky maths puzzle or the knowledge that numeracy and problem solving skills are in great demand with employers, there is no doubt that pupils can reap the benefit of studying maths. In fact, a recent study showed that employees with Mathematics A Level earn 10-15% more on average than employees with other A Levels. We aim to develop resilience in our pupils, so that they are motivated to persevere with topics that they may at first find difficult, and develop their problem solving skills, so that they can apply mathematical methods in a variety of contexts. There’s so much more to Mathematics, including opportunities to take part in national and local Mathematics challenges and attend live or online lectures and roadshows.
As a National Curriculum subject, Mathematics is compulsory in Years 7 – 11. Pupils are placed in appropriate sets to best support their learning. Set sizes allow each pupil to work confidently and effectively at a suitable level and pace, with appropriate levels of support and stretch, so that pupils develop their confidence in the subject and attain the best result that they can. Setting is monitored throughout Years 7 – 11.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 & 8, pupils study number, algebra, ratio and proportion, geometry and measures, probability and statistics. Learning activities will cultivate the pupil’s thinking skills and put the maths that they are learning in context.
Key Stage 4
In Years 9, 10 & 11 pupils will study for the new Mathematics GCSE (AQA specification) at the appropriate level, either Higher or Foundation. There will be three examination papers at the end of Year 11 and a calculator may be used in two of the papers. The areas of study are number, algebra, ratio, proportion and rates of change, geometry and measures, probability and statistics. In Year 10 some pupils may take an additional GCSE in Statistics. In Year 11, a selection of pupils will have the opportunity to study Further Maths or Additional Mathematics, which are bridging qualifications to prepare students for sixth form Mathematics.
As well as teachers who are always willing to help with queries over classwork or homework questions, we run our weekly Maths Surgery for pupils to seek extra support with particular topics or broader mathematical revision. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this has been run this year as a Maths Surgery Homework Club for Year 11 pupils only, helping pupils prepare for their exams.
In 2019, we ran our first international maths trip to Italy, visiting mathematical museums and sites of mathematical interest, with Year 11 and sixth formers.
Our top set pupils take part in national Maths Challenge Competitions throughout the year. These challenges pit our pupils’ abilities to solve intriguing problems against the best young mathematicians in the country. These have continued to run online during the pandemic.
The Maths department regularly celebrates World Pi Day (on 14 March) and has taken part in World Maths Day (by competing in maths competitions online against international students) and raised money for the NSPCC as part of Numbers Day.
In recent years, pupils have attended mathematical lectures run by Liverpool Mathematical Society and by Maths Inspiration, covering diverse mathematical topics including “From hip hop to AI”, “Patterns, Predictions and Juggling” and “Maths, Pigs, Chickens and Criminals”!
The department’s teaching is predominantly based in three rooms, all equipped with interactive teaching screens, student mini-whiteboards and a variety of classroom teaching resources. The department subscribes to a number of websites, including MyMaths, kerboodle and MathsWatch, to support the teaching and learning of Mathematics, and these are accessible to all students both in college and at home.