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.
Our vision in the Mathematics Department is to create interesting and purposeful lessons which challenge the students and promote independent learning. We aim to instil confidence in the understanding and application of Mathematics in the real world. This is achieved through being a department that is enthusiastic, reflective, inspirational and innovative.
The Mathematics Department utilises 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 focuses on the five key processes in Mathematics: Repeating, Analysing, Interpreting, Processing and Communication. Much of the work involves problem-solving, which is prevalent in the new GCSE course and a skill highly desired by employers.
The emphasis is always on students producing the ideas and the information, and the success of the department has its roots in the structured approach used to achieve this. The department has access to ICT suites to support teaching. All rooms have an overhead projector and there are many hands-on resources available.
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 https://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 learning or to undertake an investigation to enhance what is covered in class.
Homework tasks are always posted in Google Classroom.
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.
Mathematics teaching through KS3 and KS4 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 and 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.
The majority of students are entered for the Higher Tier Maths GCSE and the very best entered for the Certificate in Further Maths. An Entry Level qualification is also available.
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 in itself.
Key Stage 3
In Mathematics at KS3 our aim is to:
- Develop a positive attitude towards Mathematics and an appreciation of its practical applications in life
- Develop problem-solving skills and the ability to use Mathematics in everyday life
- Use mathematical language effectively and accurately
- Understand mathematical concepts and processes at a level commensurate with student development and ability
- Become proficient in fundamental mathematical skills and in recalling basic number facts
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, 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 KS3 develop students’ confidence and fluency in order to prepare them for the demanding topics in KS4.
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 have the opportunity to study for the Further Mathematics Certificate, which complements their main GCSE and is a great stepping-stone to A Level.
The curriculum is separated into 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, a Level 3 qualification, and the skills obtained help them access the GCSE course.
For GCSE Mathematics we follow: Edexcel1MA1
For GCSE Further Mathematics we follow: AQA 8365 Certificate Level 2 https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/mathematics/specifications/AQA-8365-SP-2018.PDF
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 Pure Mathematics and the other 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.
For A Level Mathematics we follow: Edexcel 9MA0
For A Level Further Mathematics we follow: Edexcel 9FMA
Meet the team
Head of Mathematics: Mr B Alison
Second in Department: Mrs S Lingham
Teachers of Mathematics:
Ms R Chowdhury
Mr J Crowther (also Deputy Head)
Mr R French
Mrs A Hendy
Mrs K Kirtland
Mrs R Le Page
Mrs S Mills (also Assistant Head)
Mrs A Patel
Mrs E Scott (also Music)
Mrs J Zamblera