Mathematics forms the building blocks of everything around us and is prevalent everywhere in the modern world. Maths & Further Maths are about much more than completing calculations and processes; they are also about spotting patterns, solving problems, and thinking creatively.
Our department aims to develop pupils’ understanding of the fundamental concepts and knowledge required for success in Mathematics in exams and in life after school; develop mathematical skills such as problem solving, logical thinking, reasoning and communication; help pupils to make links between mathematics and the real world; ensure pupils leave school with the numeracy skills needed to navigate the challenges of adult life.
Key Stage 3
The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to ensure that we support pupils in their transition from primary school and then prepare them sufficiently for the start of their GCSE's. Pupils initially study the important groundwork of Mathematics such as sequences and patterns, data handling, angles, negative numbers and an introduction to basic algebra. Pupils are assessed at the end of each topic using assessments which check students understanding and their ability to use the taught skills in problem solving scenarios. As the pupils progress through Years 9 & 10 more emphasis is placed on the more challenging skills such as algebra and trigonometry.
All pupils follow the CCEA Mathematics course, and cover the material for Modules M4 and M8, enabling them to access grades up to A*. Pupils will normally sit one module in Year 11, and one in Year 12. Approximately 60% of the Year 11 pupils will be selected for GCSE Further Maths. This means that they will complete their ordinary Maths GCSE in Y11, and devote their Year 12 classes to the study of GCSE Further Maths. This very demanding course is an excellent preparation for Maths A level, as it covers most of the A Level topics in a simplified manner.
Both Maths and Further Maths are offered at AS and A level. The courses are divided into 3 branches; Pure Maths, Mechanics and Statistics. In Pure Maths pupils extend their knowledge of Algebra and Trigonometry, as well as being introduced to new topics like Calculus, Exponentials and Binomials. In Mechanics, pupils learn to use mathematics to describe the motion of objects and the effects of forces upon them. They learn the technique of mathematical modelling and how to convert a complicated physical problem into a simpler one, which can then be solved. These ideas provide an introduction to areas such as Engineering, Physics, Cybernetics, Robotics and Biomechanics. In Statistics pupils learn how to represent, summarise and analyse data in order to arrive at a conclusion about it. They also extend their knowledge of probability and apply it in the real world, and again use mathematical modelling to simplify and analyse complicated real life problems.
Pupils get the chance to enter the Mathematics Association Maths Challenges at Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels. Some pupils make it through to the further rounds. There is a support network after school for any pupils who require help with Maths. These are regularly rotated so that as many year groups as possible are able to access a teacher for individual help and support. Many after school revision sessions are also organised in the run up to GCSE and A Level modules.
Where to next?
Pupils from both Maths & Further maths A Levels have progressed to further study in areas such as: Maths & Statistics, Engineering, Finance, Dentistry, Medicine, Science, Actuary, Pharmacy & Software Engineering.