Mathematics is taught in sets in Years 7, 8 and 9, not in the usual form groups. We are able to move pupils up and down the sets if necessary. This is made possible because all pupils follow a common basic syllabus with extension work for faster pupils and for those in higher sets.
Lessons are taught in dedicated Mathematics rooms with whiteboards and data projectors. Many members of staff also teach using Tablet PCs.
Our aim is to improve both competence and confidence in basic skills, whilst introducing more complex topics and developing each pupil’s ability to solve problems. Learning to set out Mathematics in a neat and organised fashion is an integral part of the course. Year 7 are taught a dedicated problem-solving lesson at least once per week.
Years 7 and 8 use the textbook series ‘Essential Maths’ by David Rayner (Elmwood Press). This is heavily supplemented by external sources and our own material. In Year 9 we use the Elmwood press ‘GCSE Maths’ by Michael White as a resource, but we do not start the GCSE course at this stage.
One or two homeworks will be set each week which often consolidate and practise the topics discussed in class, but may also be revision or more open-ended tasks such as data collection.
GCSE exams are taken in Year 11 and all work studied in Years 7 to 9 provides the required knowledge and skills base required at the start of the GCSE course. The top sets at GCSE also work towards an extension qualification. This aids their GCSE work whilst also providing preparation for A Level.
Pupils with talent in the subject are stimulated in a variety of ways and are entered for national Mathematics contests. We hope to engender an interest as well as technical ability.
Extra help is often arranged for pupils who have particular difficulty with the subject or who have missed out on some of the basic work because of their previous circumstances.