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Mathematics

 

"There is a difference between not knowing, and not knowing yet."

Curriculum

The mathematics curriculum at all levels aims to equip students with the skills to solve problems logically and creatively.

In the Lower School, the curriculum is based on mathematical mastery, allowing students to fully explore the full depths of a topic, and to build confidence in mathematical foundations. We have mapped out the Foundation Edexcel IGCSE (9-1) syllabus to years 7-9, meaning that at the end of Year 9, they should have the mathematical foundations to build upon in the Middle School, and take the Higher IGCSE, or concentrate on making the Foundation syllabus stronger. The following Foundation IGCSE topics are explored in the Lower School:

Year 7: Calculator skills, Negative Numbers and BIDMAS, Algebraic Representation, Place Value, Types of Number, Sequences, Understanding Fractions, Angles and 2D Shapes, Time and Other Measures, Representing Data, Understanding Percentages, Expanding and Factorising, and an investigation into famous numbers, mathematicians and other number systems.

Year 8: Area and Perimeter, Algebraic Equations, Ratio, Multiplying and Dividing Fractions, Straight Line Graphs, Angles and Polygons, Proportion, Constructions, Index Notation and Standard Form, Inequalities, Transformations, 3D Shapes and Surface Area and an investigation into Financial Maths.

Year 9: Estimation, Pythagoras’ Theorem, Set Language and Notation, 3D Shapes and Volume, Averages and Range, Further Percentages, Quadratic Expressions and Equations, Probability, Simultaneous Equations, Bearings and Trigonometry, Circle Geometry, Congruence and Similarity, Graphs in Practical Situations and preparation to take a Foundation IGCSE.

In both the Lower and Middle Schools, we challenge the girls with a skills check, where we have a quick assessment of prior knowledge in every lesson, so that those precious skills are not lost. 

Depending on their Year 9 result on the Foundation IGCSE paper, the curriculum in the Middle School either builds on the mathematical foundation in the Lower School where they then go on to study the Higher IGCSE content, or they concentrate on making sure their Foundation IGCSE knowledge is secure. The IGCSE curriculum is designed to equip students with transferrable skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving to enable better progression to A level and university study.  For those who show strong mathematical aptitude, there is the opportunity to sit the AQA Level 2 Qualification in Further Mathematics, which places an emphasis on higher order technical proficiency and rigorous argument, and gives an introduction to AS level study.

Mathematical students in the Upper School study the Edexcel A level in Mathematics, and they can, if they show true potential and ability, sit the Edexcel A Level in Further Maths. Students in the Upper School sitting A Level Mathematics only sit exams at the end of the Upper Sixth, which consists of three papers; Pure Mathematics 1, Pure Mathematics 2 and Applied, a mixture of Statistics and Mechanics. Students in the Upper School sitting A Level Further Mathematics sit exams at the end of the Upper Sixth, which consists of four papers. Further Pure Mathematics 1, Further Pure Mathematics 2, followed by two of the following options; Further Statistics, Further Mechanics or Decision Mathematics.

A Bespoke Mathematical Education

We believe that every individual will start their mathematical journey at different levels, and at all levels we want students to find challenge and enjoyment. The schemes of work are designed to extend, challenge and support students to allow for their confidence to grow, progression to be made and their interest in the subject to flourish. We encourage a mathematical growth mind-set through discovery where mistakes are explored and used as a point of learning.

For students who are able, interested and motivated, we give the opportunity to enter into the United Kingdom Mathematical Trust (UKMT) Mathematical Challenges, which are national problem-solving question papers designed to stimulate discussion and interest. Participation in these could lead the student on the pathway to a Mathematical Olympiad. We also offer students the opportunity to take part in The National Cipher Challenge, and there are plans for trips to mathematical lectures in London with guest speakers such as Simon Singh and Ben Sparks, to The Bank of England to discover the world of money and to Bletchley Park to explore the Enigma Machine.

Through assessments, or from the skills checks, if there are students who are finding a topic particularly challenging then we offer a variety of support structures. The student’s teacher will always be willing to help outside class hours. There are also sessions in the AEN department, either individual or in small groups, if a student is really finding the content challenging. We also have access to a mathematics specific virtual learning environment called MathsWatch, where catch up videos and questions are available to all students across a multitude of platforms. Teachers can set work for individuals based on weaknesses, or students can increase their independent study skills by sourcing the materials themselves.

Exam Results

The exam results for the Mathematics department for summer 2017 were as follows:

GCSE: A* = 16%,      A*-A = 37%,     A*-B = 66%,     A* - C = 95%,     A*- D = 100%

AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics:    A** - A = 100%

A Level: A* = 18%,    A*-A = 64%,     A*-B = 73%,     A* - C = 73%,      A* - D = 82%

A Level Further Mathematics: A* - B = 100%

University Destinations

2017: Ella Bray – Warwick (Engineering), Jane Choi – Southampton (Aeronautics, Astronautics and Spacecraft Engineering), Angel Wen – King’s College London (Maths with Management and Finance)

Student Quotes

“If you don’t understand something, don’t be shy, the maths teachers are really supportive and will help you with anything.”

“Using whiteboards really helps us to understand what’s going on in the lessons – we can try, make mistakes, and it’s OK.”

“The lessons are good because they are fun, and I know I have progressed a lot in maths.”

“We study a large variety of topics in one big topic, meaning we have the chance to fully understand something.”

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