Aims and Overview of the Mathematics Department
The mathematics department fully supports the philosophy, beliefs, values and aims of the school. Mathematics is a core subject that all pupils must take at ks3 and ks4. It is our intention to provide opportunities for pupils to learn through a variety of different teaching techniques and by having high expectations of all pupils. We are keen to promote a positive ethos in the department, with our aim, especially at ks3, to provide pupils with an enjoyable experience in mathematics. Good relationships between pupils and staff, attractive wall displays and a range of different classroom activities are all ways we seek to do this.
Numeracy is a cross curricular skill, essential for life long learning, and we believe that the mathematics department has a key role to play in developing numeracy. (A separate numeracy policy is available for consultation). Specific number work days and mental maths tasks are used throughout the ks3 course to help improve competency in numeracy. A number of GCSE topics are specific to numeracy allowing the teacher the chance to develop numeracy at ks4.
Thinking skills and Personal capabilities are also incorporated into the teaching in the mathematics department through the use of appropriate mental maths tasks used at the teachers discretion.
All pupils are issued with a login and password for a mathematics website that can be accessed at home to allow pupils to do some extra revision at home. It also allows teachers to set online homework that pupils must complete at home.
Essential Websites for Pupils
Mr I Thompson
Mrs C Allen
Mrs L Cowan
Mrs M Dixon
Mrs C Graham
Mr D McKean
Mrs W Shingleton
Mrs C Wasson
Mrs L Woods
To do a job well you need the right tools. The pupils mathematics toolbox should contain:
Key Stage 3
Every year 8 pupil has 5 periods of mathematics per week. Pupils are taught in their registration group. Band 2 classes are provided with 2 periods of team teaching per week. All pupils follow the same course with common homework and tests for all classes. In the first week of year 8 all pupils sit a MIDYIS test to benchmark the year 8 pupils. Pupils in band 2 with specific numeracy difficulties are highlighted and withdrawn during the team teaching periods for extra support if required.
Year 9 and 10
Every year 9 and 10 pupil has 5 periods of mathematics per week. Pupils are streamed in bands according to their end of year exam score in year 8. There are effectively seven classes ranked from one to seven. Class seven is provided with 3 periods of team teaching per week. All pupils follow the same course with common homework and tests for all classes. The department will assess using mathematics in year 10 through use of the using maths tasks and report with a level.
There are 4 tracking scores recorded for each year group at KS3 to help track pupil progress.
Pupils in year 8 get the opportunity to do the maths trail at Carnfunnock which is always an enjoyable experience.
There is also the opportunity to do a maths fun day
KS4 – MATHEMATICS
Specification/Exam Board: CCEA
Mathematics is a core curriculum subject studied by all pupils in Years 11 and 12. The GCSE Mathematics Course is Modular in structure and is offered at Foundation and Higher Level.
All units in GCSE Mathematics are assessed through written examination papers.
The content of each GCSE Mathematics unit relates to:
- number and algebra;
- geometry and measures; and
- statistics and probability.
The units all provide opportunities for students to develop and apply their mathematical skills to real-life contexts.
The six available units are:
- Unit T1: Foundation Tier
- Unit T2: Foundation Tier
- Unit T5: Foundation Tier Completion Test
- Unit T3: Higher Tier
- Unit T4: Higher Tier
- Unit T6: Higher Tier Completion Test.
The grades that students can achieve depend on the units that they sit for assessment.
- Foundation Tier candidates (targeting grades C–G) normally enter for T1 or T2 and T5.
- Higher Tier candidates (targeting grades A*–D) normally enter for T3 or T4 and T6.
The grades available for each unit are as follows:
The duration and percentage weighting of each exam paper are as follows:
|Unit T1||1 hour 30 mins||45%|
|Unit T2||1 hour 30 mins||45%|
|Unit T5: Completion Test||Paper 1: 1 hour*
Paper 2: 1 hour
|Unit T3||2 hours||45%|
|Unit T4||2 hours||45%|
|Unit T6: Completion Test||Paper 1: 1 hour 15 mins*
Paper 2: 1 hour 15 mins
Students must use a calculator for all exams except those marked with an asterisk (*). Calculators are not allowed in Paper 1 of either completion test.
It is important to recognise the necessity of a good mathematical education and its relevance to all aspects of modern day life. It is essential for success in many fields such as Business, Commerce, Science and Technology. Further studies can be undertaken in Years 13 and 14 at AS/A2.
Accountancy, Actuarial, Banking, Brokerage, Financial Analysis, IT, Logistics, Management Consultancy, Medical Research, Pharmaceuticals, Statistician, Systems Analysis, Tax, Teaching.
Additional information can be found at
A breakfast class is provided for pupils the morning of the GCSE exam running from 07:30 to 09:00.
Further Mathematics (GCSE)
Specification/Exam Board: CCEA
Pupils who choose this option must also be also be taking the higher Level GCSE Mathematics Course. Further maths pupils will sit the GCSE exam in Year 11 and complete the further maths module in year 12. Pupils have ten periods of maths per week.
The study of Further Mathematics will extend the Mathematical knowledge of pupils beyond that of the Higher Level GCSE and should prove most useful to those pupils who plan to take courses at AS/A Level and beyond, that have a Mathematical content. While not a prerequisite for Mathematics courses at AS/A Level anyone completing the course would be well placed to continue their Mathematical studies at AS/A Level.
There is no coursework and the assessment will comprise of two written papers each of 2 hours duration.
Assessment scheme is as follows:
Further Mathematics is advantageous, though not essential, for A-Level study in Mathematics.
Accountancy, Actuarial, Aircraft Design, Banking, Brokerage, Crime Analysis, Computer Game Design, Financial Analysis, Fusion Research, IT, Logistics, Management Consultancy, Marketing, Medical Research, Merchant Banking, Meterology, Oceanography, Oil Industry, Pharmaceuticals, Security Service, Simulation, Statistician, Systems Analysis, Tax, Teaching, Transport Planner.
MATHEMATICS – AS and A2
Specification/Exam Board: CCEA
Criteria for Entry for AS Mathematics: Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics
The AS Mathematics is studied in Year 13 and the A2 Mathematics in Year 14. These are demanding courses in the amount of effort and time required but the department is well resourced in terms of professional expertise, textbooks and electronic material. The course includes modules in pure mathematics, mechanics and statistics. Students must complete 3 units to gain an AS level and 6 units to gain an A level.
Many other subjects require knowledge of Mathematics in order to explain ideas and theories that would otherwise be difficult to comprehend. At University many subjects, such as Biology, Business Studies, Geography and Accounts, require the study of Mathematical Methods Modules, which can prove difficult if Mathematics has not been taken to at least AS Level.
Summary of Subject Content
Unit 1 C1 – Pure Mathematics
Unit 2 C2 – Pure Mathematics
Unit 3 M1 – Mechanics or S1 – Statistics
Successful completion of Year 13 Modules can lead to further courses in Mathematics in Year 14 in preparation for the full A Level qualification.
Unit 1 C3 – Pure Mathematics
Unit 2 C4 – Pure Mathematics
Unit 3 S1 – Statistics or M1 – Mechanics
Summary of the structures of AS and A2
|Unit||Assessment Format||Weightings % of A level|
|AS 1||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
|AS 2||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
|AS 3||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
|A2 1||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
|A2 2||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
|A2 3||Written exam – 1h 30 min||16.66%|
The AS and A2 level courses provide a very solid foundation for study at a higher level in a range of mathematical areas of practice and/or to careers in the following areas:
- The Physical Sciences – Engineering, Chemistry and Physics;
- The Life and Health Sciences – Biology, Psychology, Pharmacy, Nursing and Optometry;
- The Social Sciences – Communications, Economics, Linguistics, Education and Geography;
- Technology – Computer Science and Software Development;
- Business and Commerce;
- Actuarial Science (used by insurance companies);