Mrs J Walker (Head of Department), Mrs N Akbar-Phillips (Assistant Principal), Mr T Bhachu, Miss A George, Mr R Gibson, Mrs K Howell, Ms L Liu, Mr J Mateu-Bueso, Mrs E Phillips, Mr G Pimentel, Mrs S Vassallo, Mr O Johnson-Walker, Miss K Watling (Senior Assistant Principal)
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all students:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that students develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, the Mathematics programmes of study are centred around the five main areas of mathematics: Algebra(20%), Number (25%), Ratio, proportion and rates of change (25%), Geometry (15%) and Probability and Statistics (15%).
At Key Stage 3, the department aims to focus on developing skills that students have gained in KS1 and 2 and improving the students' thinking and problem-solving skills by integrating activities and investigations with real life problems. Students are given opportunities to work collaboratively in pairs and as members of a team, where it is hoped they will gain confidence in setting their own challenges, posing their own questions and thus extend themselves as fully as possible. Problem solving is integrated into everything they do.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students continue to develop and build upon their mathematical knowledge gained at Key Stage 3, where all students are entered for the Edexcel GCSE examination. Due to the challenge of the new specification, we do not enter students for the GCSE examination in Year 10. Instead, the more able students will study GCSE Statistics and sit the examination at the end of Year 10 and then study Additional Maths in Year 11 and will sit GCSE Mathematics and Additional Maths at the end of Year 11. This provides our most able Year 11 students the opportunity to stretch and challenge their mathematical understanding . In addition to this, depending on the academic profile of the year group, we would also enter one or maybe two groups for GCSE Statistics with the aim of gaining two Mathematics qualifications. The assessment of Mathematics at GCSE involves three examinations (one non calculator and two calculator papers) which are sat at the end of the course. The department also offers revision workshops after College on Monday for Year 11 students only and on Thursday afternoons which are available to all Key Stage 4 students.
Using assessment data we identify students that have fallen behind their expected levels of progress and we provide support. One of the ways is small group intervention where students are removed in groups of 3-5 from lessons and given specialist support, thereby allowing more focussed attention. Another way that support is given is during registration. Students go to intervention during the registration period and work on improving number skills. The targeted students are monitored regularly and the list is updated according to need.
Key Stage 5
Mathematics at Advanced Level is a very popular subject, where different combinations of units including Pure Mathematics, Mechanics, Statistics or Decision Mathematics (or combinations of these) are combined to gain AS or A2 Mathematics. For gifted mathematicians there is an opportunity to gain a double award at A Level in both Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Use of Mathematics is also offered at AS and A2 Level. This is a more practical approach to mathematics where the students study mathematical topics in real-life scenarios and develop confidence in using their Mathematics. Transferable skills are acquired that can be a useful support to those studying Business Studies, Geography, Biology and Psychology.
The Mathematics Department is committed to providing as many opportunities as it can to enrich the education of our most able students in all year groups. The different activities that we encourage our students to participate in are designed to promote their interest in Mathematics, to enhance their problem-solving abilities and to develop their ability to work as part of a team.
For several years the Mathematics Department have invited Key Stage 3 students to attend Masterclass sessions after College in a variety of topics from Fibonacci to Fractals. These always prove very popular. In the Spring term the most able Year 8 students are invited to attend 8 weeks of Saturday sessions at Surrey University where they learn about topics such as code breaking and curves. Those who attend also get the opportunity to go to a Maths lecture in London at the end of the Summer term. This year teams of students from Years 7, 8 and 9 were entered for the SHAPE Inter-school Maths competitions in November, March and June which they all thoroughly enjoyed and some were very successful. Teams from Years 12 and 13 and Years 8 and 9 took part in the UKMT Senior and Junior Team Maths Challenges. They were impressed by the standard of the competition and especially enjoyed the problem-solving and the teamwork aspect of the events.
We entered over 200 students for the UKMT Individual Maths Challenges, significant numbers of students achieved Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates and several students qualified for and participated in the prestigious follow on rounds, reserved for the top few percent of mathematicians in the country.
In September a small group of Year 11 students were selected to visit Three in Maidenhead to learn about Mathematics involved in the work place and in the data industry. The students thoroughly enjoyed the day out and have had the opportunity to be student ambassadors, feeding back to their peers in College.
In October the Maths Department took a group of 15 Year 9 students to Windsor Racecourse to investigate how Maths is used in the racing industry. The students thoroughly enjoyed their day out and appreciated seeing how the topics studied in class relate to real life.
In October, February and April we took groups of Years 10 and 11 students to Maths Inspiration events held at Wellington College, the Hexagon Theatre in Reading and Surrey University in Guildford, where they were motivated by speakers including Matt Parker and were able to learn about different and often unexpected applications of Mathematics. These events enable students to see beyond classroom Mathematics and encourage them to study Mathematics at A Level and beyond.
In March a team of our most able Year 10 students entered a Maths competition at Sandhurst school.
In July some of our most able Year 10 students were able to go to Brooklands Museum to work alongside Primary School students, helping them to build parachutes and solve problems, enabling our students to develop their leadership skills and build on their mathematical communication.