Mathematics is a core subject studied by all pupils from Year 7 to Year 11 and it’s also a popular A Level choice.
Maths is not only an important subject in its own right but also because of its applications in other subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as Business, Design & Technology, Geography, ICT and Psychology.
The Mathematics Department is staffed by highly qualified, specialist Maths teachers. They will support you through your studies in lessons and also in ‘Maths clinics’ which are offered at lunchtime. In addition, there are specific revision classes for GCSE pupils and A Level students. There will be two pieces of homework set each week to all groups at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Homework is generally due in the following day and pupils are expected to attend Maths clinic if they have any problems completing it. All classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard. In studying Maths, you will learn about numbers, algebra, ratio, proportion and rates of change, geometry and measures, probability and statistics.
Our aim is to produce young people capable of dealing with numbers and logical methods in the world around them and helping them to develop key skills that will support them in their studies and careers.
Pupils are taught Maths in their forms in Year 7. They are assessed every half term during the Autumn and Lent Terms and have an end of year exam in the Summer Term. From the start of Year 8 pupils are set by ability into three sets.
Mathematics is a central, core subject, which is compulsory for all pupils. At St. Mary’s, pupils start studying the GCSE course at the beginning of Year 9, following the AQA syllabus. The course is linear and external examinations take place at the end of Year 11. There is no coursework element to the course. The content of the Maths GCSE course places emphasis on solving problems that require multi-step solutions.
The following is taken from the Department for Education:
“GCSE specifications in mathematics should provide a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study.
They should encourage students to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society. They should also provide a strong mathematical foundation for students who go on to study mathematics at a higher level post-16.”
Teaching is supported by the use of resources available through the exam board, our yearly subscription to MyMaths, an online resource that has worksheets for every topic as well as revision packs for pupils to use to support revision and Hegarty Maths, an online resource that has homework tasks and videos on every topic. Homework books are available to pupils to support their learning if they want extra practise. There are also textbooks for use in class, which pupils can take home, if they wish, when they need to, e.g. for revision purposes.
The Maths Department puts great emphasis on the use of past paper and sample paper questions for consolidation.
Mathematics is a popular A Level option, as it should be, because it is highly respected by employers and universities alike. There are many degrees and careers where having A Level Maths is useful such as Computer Science (including gaming), Business & Economics, Psychology, Geography, Marketing, Meteorology and Medicine to name but a few. Furthermore, it is essential in many careers such as Engineering, Science, Banking & Finance, Accountancy/Actuarial Science and Architecture.
The A Level Maths course follows the Edexcel syllabus and is split into two disciplines: Pure Maths and Applied Maths. Pure Maths is the method of Maths, the techniques required to solve problems – geometry, algebra and calculus. Applied Maths includes Statistics and Mechanics in A Level Maths (with the addition of Decision/Discrete Maths in Further Maths) and allows us to solve more contextual problems. Any A Level candidate must be willing to work hard from September of the Lower Sixth onwards.
The course has now moved from modular to linear and there is no longer any optional content in A Level Maths so pupils can no longer choose what applied branch they follow; all pupils will learn Statistics and Mechanics.
We also offer A Level Further Maths. This is a more challenging A Level and useful for pupils thinking about taking Maths, Physics or Engineering at university.
Like A Level Maths, Further Maths A Level has also changed to a linear model but there is some choice in the route available. The route we have opted to go for is the one with Further Mechanics and either Further Decision or Further Statistics in addition to the compulsory Pure Maths content. Pupils can still take AS Further Maths but this qualification will not count towards the overall A Level grade. We would only expect pupils who are unsure if they wish to continue to A Level Further Maths to take the AS qualification.