Head of Department: Miss S Rusher
The Mathematics Department is a dedicated team working together to put mathematical understanding at the heart of the school.
Key Stage 3 Maths
Students study Maths for 4 hours per week in Year 7, 8 and 9. It is one of the core subjects that follow directly on from the primary school curriculum. The skills and methods learnt at Key Stage 3 develop understanding and confidence, to prepare students for the GCSE curriculum.
Students are set from the beginning of Year 7 based on data from primary schools and our own assessments. Setting is reviewed twice a year, with a focus on placing students where they are confident and secure to enable them to make the optimum progress.
Extra-curricular opportunities include the Junior Maths Challenge in Year 8, and Maths Masterclasses held at the University of Surrey
In Year 7 students study all 4 of the key areas of mathematics.
• Number- All of the basic operations are practiced, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Students perform these operations with decimals and fractions as well as integers.
• Algebra - Students are introduced, some for the first time, to algebra. They will simplify expressions and begin to solve simple equations.
• Shape - Calculations involving area and volume will be studied along with the angle rules. Transformations of a shape are investigated, including translation, reflection, rotation and tessellation.
• Data - The skill of collecting, processing and representing data is introduced in Year 7. The two averages, mode and median are taught along with different methods of displaying data. Probability and venn diagrams are taught towards the end of year 7.
In Year 8 many of the same topics are revisited and developed further to enable greater understanding.
• Number – Along with the four operations, students learn how to calculate percentages and solve more complex problems.
• Algebra - Students work with formulae and graphs and learn to solve more complex equations.
• Shape – constructions of shapes and scale drawing are learnt in the summer term.
• Data – The mean is introduced as a measure of average and frequency tables are used for larger data sets.
This is an important year as students start the transition towards the GCSE.
• Number – Core skills are still vital but the focus changes to working with fractions and percentages.
• Algebra – More sophisticated methods of manipulating algebraic expressions are used including the use of brackets and indices.
• Shape – The more complex shapes are introduced, for example circles and trapezium.
• Data – The whole data handling cycle from data collection to writing a statistical report is part of the Year 9 curriculum
Key Stage 4 Maths
Maths is a core subject at GCSE. Employers and further education institutions expect students to hold at least a C grade (Grade 5 from 2017) as an indicator of their numeracy and readiness for further study or work.
In Year 10 and 11 students study Maths for 4 hours per week. They will continue to develop the skills and knowledge they have developed at Key Stage 3, working to ever higher levels of challenge and difficulty.
Assessment is entirely through examination at the end of the two years of study. We follow the Edexcel specification. Students are entered for either Foundation (grades C-G, or 5-1) or Higher tier exams (grades A*-C, or 9-4), according to how well they perform.
Year 10 is an opportunity to consolidate and develop the ideas from KS3.
More advanced topics at GCSE level include:
• Number -limits of accuracy, repeated percentage change
• Algebra- quadratic equations, advanced formulae
• Shape - Pythagoras, combined transformations, loci
• Data - cumulative frequency, box plots and averages of grouped data
During Year 11 the students working towards the higher level GCSE will encounter the most challenging maths so far. Students working towards the foundation GCSE will continue to embed and develop the skills from Year 10 and KS3.
• Number – Direct and inverse proportion
• Algebra – Simultaneous equations and algebraic fractions
• Shape – Volume and surface area of cones and spheres
• Data - Histograms and stratified sampling