Mathematics is essential to everyday life; critical to science, technology and engineering; and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. At Stanborough we are committed to developing excellent teaching and learning in mathematics, incorporating a wide range of approaches to ensure students enjoy and succeed at maths. We aim to provide students with a solid understanding of mathematical concepts which will help them in their further studies and careers, as well as in their exams. Students will look at all aspects of mathematics including number, shape and space, algebra and statistics.
Head of Department: Mrs S Pryor
What will students study?
Over the course of Key Stage 3, our aim is to ensure students become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. This supports our students to develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
During their three one hour lessons per week, students are supported to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
It is vital students 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
This is the Key Stage when the GCSE maths curriculum will be delivered. This begins from the start of Year 9. On the basis of performance in the end of Year 8 exams, students will be placed in a Higher or Foundation GCSE class. Depending on their performance, confidence, attitude and effort, set changes will be carried out. Students will be given an assessment to complete at the end of every term.
Students will follow the new Edexcel 9-1 curriculum, details of which (subject content and assessment objectives) can be found on the school VLE. Students will sit their maths GCSE exams, which will be in the form of three 80 mark papers – one non calculator paper and two calculator papers, at the end of Year 11. There are no controlled assessments or coursework in maths. Please remember that the course content for the new GCSE has increased in size.
In Year 9, students will learn basic concepts from each area of maths. This year will also provide students with an opportunity to clear any gaps in their understanding of the topics learnt in Key Stage 3.
In Year 10, students will build on the skills in topics learnt in Year 9. Students in sets one and two (Higher GCSE) will also be given an extra opportunity to strengthen their skills in algebra by preparing them for a Level 2 Award in Algebra. This is specifically chosen to complement the higher content of algebra in the new specification. Students in sets three and four (Foundation GCSE) will be prepared for Level 2 and Level 1
Awards in Number and Measure respectively to develop their skills in number and geometry.
In Year 11, the top end topics will be delivered in order to ensure that students are provided with the opportunity to achieve the highest possible grade. Students will also sit mock exams which will help them and teachers to measure their understanding and progress.
Students can study mathematics at A Level, mathematics and further mathematics at AS or A level or the Level 3 qualification Core Maths.
A Level mathematics builds from GCSE level mathematics and introduces calculus and its applications. It emphasises how mathematical ideas are interconnected and how mathematics can be applied to model situations mathematically. It prepares students for further study and employment in a wide range of disciplines involving the use of mathematics.
Further mathematics is designed for students with an enthusiasm for mathematics, many of whom will go on to degrees in mathematics, engineering, the sciences and economics. The qualification is both deeper and broader than A Level mathematics. AS and A Level further mathematics build on, and may only be studied alongside, AS and A Level mathematics.
Students who do not choose to study A Level maths may choose to study Core maths which is equivalent in size and UCAS points to an AS and is designed to maintain and develop real-life maths skills. The content is not purely theoretical or abstract; it can be applied on a day-to-day basis in work, study or life. It will also help with other A Level subjects – in particular with science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics.
The skills developed in the study of mathematics are increasingly important in the workplace and in higher education. There is evidence that students who study maths after GCSE improve their career choices and increase their earning potential.
How can I support my child in this subject?
KS3 and KS4
Encourage your child to complete their homework, which will be set every week. Details of these can be found on Show My Homework. Also encourage your child to review the work done in lessons using their exercise books or by using one of the websites below:
Stanborough School VLE
www.mymaths.co.uk (login: stanborough, password: adding)
Details of topics taught in each half term can be found on the school VLE in the form of a ‘teaching calendar’ and detailed schemes of work.
We also run a Maths Club every Tuesday (KS3) and Thursday (KS4) from 3 pm to 4 pm. Students can attend these sessions to complete a piece of homework to revisit a topic that they struggled with during a lesson or to do revision. At least three teachers will usually be present to support students.
Although you may not feel able to help directly with the mathematics taught at A Level, it will still be useful to take an interest and encourage your child to take advantage of the many sources of support available to them. Show My Homework and www.mymaths.co.uk are still used in the sixth form as well as the Integral online resources, www.integralmaths.org.
It is essential that students stay on top of the work from the beginning of the course. Revision should be an ongoing process which is not left until the period immediately before exams. Textbooks, class notes, the websites mentioned above and extra support sessions offered every lunchtime in G19 will all help students to consolidate their learning throughout the course.
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
Students are required to have the same stationery equipment in line with Stanborough School expectations. In addition, students will require a compass, protractor and calculator.
Celebrating successes in this subject
Students who show an interest in and aptitude for mathematics are entered in the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Maths Challenges at the appropriate level each year. This is a national competition in which the top performers are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates and the highest scorers qualify for additional follow-on rounds. Over half of the Stanborough students entered each year earn certificates and we normally have at least one follow-on round qualifier from each challenge. Very occasionally, outstanding performance in follow-on rounds has led to invitations to join external mentoring schemes and prestigious summer schools.
A number of students in each year group are selected to represent the school in team mathematics competitions. In Years 7 and 8, two teams of four students compete in the Hertfordshire County Team Challenges and these have gone on to the final of the competition on several occasions. A mixed team of Year 8 and Year 9 students take part in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge Regional Final each year, which is always very competitive. We also enter two teams in the FMSP Year 10 Team Maths Competition and one in the UKMT/ FMSP Senior Maths Challenge each year.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
Trips are a regular occurrence in maths. In addition to team competitions, students attend Maths Inspiration shows as well as other popular lectures, such as those hosted by the London Mathematical Society and the Cambridge Science Festival. Students regularly attend Year 10 and Year 12 Enrichment Days organised by the Further Maths Support Programme and the Millennium Maths Project.
A maths enrichment club meets weekly to enable students of all ages to work on extended projects, play mathematical games and solve mathematical problems and puzzles.