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Mathematics

The Mathematics Department is a large team of subject specialists working together to put mathematical understanding and problem solving at the heart of the school.

'Eureka!'

'Our vision in the Mathematics Department is to create interesting and purposeful lessons which challenge the students and promote Independent Learning. We will instil confidence in the understanding and application of mathematics in the real world. We will achieve this by being a leading department that is enthusiastic, reflective, inspirational and innovative.'

Teaching Styles

The Mathematics department utilise a variety of teaching and learning styles including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approaches. The department believes strongly that, within a basic framework, individual staff should be free to use the methods that they find most appropriate for the class and the individuals within it. Learning will focus on the 5 key process in Mathematics; Repeating, Analysing, Interpreting, Processing and Communication.  Much of the work involves problem solving which is prevalent in the new GCSE and a skill highly desired by employers.

The emphasis is always on the pupils producing the ideas and information and the success of the department has its roots in the structured approach used to achieve this. The Mathematics department has access to PC suites that enable the use of modern technology to support the teaching of Maths. All rooms have an overhead projector and there are many hands on resources available.

Homework

Homework is set on a regular basis in line with the school homework policy. In KS3, students receive two 30 minute slots of homework per week. At KS4 there are two 40 minute slots per week. Some pieces of homework will be on the  www.mymaths.co.uk  website to which the school subscribes. This can be accessed both in school and at home. Homework is provided to consolidate the work or to undertake an investigation to enhance what is covered in the lessons.

Extra Curricular

The Mathematics Department supports a weekly Maths Club and encourages students to enter the many Masterclasses that are on offer. Pupils in the higher sets will also be given the opportunity to enter the UKMT Individual Challenges, which often result in qualification for the National Kangaroo round.  Team competitions are supported at both county and National level.

Grouping

Mathematics teaching through Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 is undertaken in ability sets, based initially on Primary School data.  School expansion means we are migrating to two year halves, each of which will still be set by ability measured by ongoing assessment.  Regular analysis of progress and set changes ensure each student is placed appropriately and entered for the most suitable examinations at the end of the course in year 11.

Progression Opportunities

Studying Maths at higher level GCSE leads directly to A Levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics.  Maths is an excellent A level that facilitates many other subjects as well as being highly regarded itself. 

 

Staff

Head of Mathematics:        Mr B Alison

Second in Department :     Mrs S Lingham

Teachers of Mathematics:   Mr R French

                                                Mrs R Le Page

                                                Ms R Chowdhury

                                                Mrs S Bridge

                                                Mrs A Patel

                                                Mrs A Hendy

                                                Mrs E Scott (maths and music)

                                                Mrs S Mills (maths and SLT)

                                                Mr J Crowther (maths and Deputy Head)

Key Stage 3 

Students study Maths for 7 lessons per fortnight.  Throughout each year we follow a scheme of work based on the objectives specified within the National Curriculum. Mathematics is taught in such a way that topics will be revisited from year to year with the skills required extended and deepened each time. Within the curriculum the students will be challenged by Investigations, Mysteries, Puzzles, Mental Agility problems, Functional Mathematics, Development of Key Processes, Problem Solving, use of Thinking Skills and Application of Mathematics in the real world.

The skills and methods learnt at Key Stage 3 develop students’ confidence and fluency in order to prepare them for the demanding topics in Key Stage 4.

Year 7 follows the following topics:

Equations, Angles, Coordinates and graphs, Shapes, Fractions, Transformations, Data Representation, Circles, Ratio, Use of Mathematical Equipment, Probability and Volume.

Year 8 follows the following topics:

Indices, Bearing, Scales, Data Collection, Percentages, Proportion, Simultaneous Equations, Volume, Inequalities, Pythagoras, Enlargements, Real-life graphs and Grouped data.

Year 9 follows the following topics:

Brackets, Prisms, Probability, Quadratics, Plans & Elevations, Pi, Trigonometry, Cumulative Frequency, Sectors, Statistics, Further Algebra and Circle Theorems.

Support – Some students benefit from additional maths sessions, which are targeted at improving numeric / arithmetic skills.  One to one tuition is also available for those students who may need some additional support.

Key Stage 4 

All students study Mathematics to GCSE level on the 9-1 curriculum. We use the Edexcel/Pearson  (1MA1) specification with the majority of students entered for the higher tier papers (grades 9 – 4). The most able students will have the opportunity to study the Further Mathematics Certificate that complements their main GCSE and is a great stepping-stone to A-level.

The curriculum is again separated in to the strands of number, algebra, geometry, ratio & proportion, statistics and probability.  Topics already covered will be explored in much greater depth and many new topics will be introduced.

Some examples of the topics are:

  • Number (surds, accuracy, compound percentages, harder indices)
  • Algebra (quadratics, advanced formulae, iteration, fractions, further graphing)
  • Geometry (Further trigonometry, 3d calculations, vectors, line segments)
  • Ratio & Proportion (direct and inverse, compound ratios, applications)
  • Statistics (histograms, stratified sampling, box-plots,Venn diagrams)
  • Probability (conditional probability, algebraic trees)

Some students may be given the opportunity to take the Entry Level Certificate which is a 3 level qualification and the skills obtained help students access the GCSE course.

Key Stage 5 

A-Level Mathematics is a popular course at HGS due to its academic rigour, strength of teaching and superb results. Classes are generally taught between two teachers; one teaching the Pure Mathematics and the other teaching the Applied Mathematics. Full details of the courses offered by the Hitchin Schools Sixth Form Consortium are shown in the Consortium Prospectus.

We currently follow the Edexcel 9MA0 course which is linear and contains no coursework.

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