In mathematics the course content and the teaching methods are designed to enable students to acquire mathematical skills and use them with confidence; this includes applying mathematics in everyday situations and in other school subjects, such as the sciences and the humanities. An important aim is to use mathematics clearly and concisely as a language. Students will be encouraged to reason logically, to generalise, to solve problems and to communicate their solutions effectively. A good GCSE grade in Mathematics is likely to be required for most careers and courses of further education, including those with little or no direct mathematical content.
Students are taught in tutor groups in years 7 and 8, but at the start of year 10 they are re-grouped into 6 sets (labelled 1,2,3.1,3.2,3.3 and 4). Sets 1 and 2 are for the more able, with the most able in set 1. These are normally groups of 30 each. Set 4 is for those students who we feel would benefit from more attention in lessons. Where possible, set 4 lessons are supported by a teaching assistant and the group is kept to a maximum of 16. All other students are divided between sets 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 in such a way as to keep the ability level in these three groups the same.
The decisions about which set individual students should be placed in are informed by their performance throughout year 9, looking at both test and exam results, and their teacher’s assessment of how they might respond to a change of pace, which other students they work well with (or not!) etc. We review these decisions regularly, and adjustments are made when we feel it is appropriate.
All students, no matter which group they are in, will study the same mathematics curriculum and they will all be entered for the higher tier of the GCSE at the end of year 11. We use the Edexcel linear course, which is assessed by 3 terminal examinations, one if which is non-calculator.
GCSE Mathematics Edexcel There is no acceleration as such, but because students in the top sets will work faster through curriculum topics, they will have time to look at enrichment material which is not part of the GCSE (or A level) course. Looking ahead, this means that no-one is denied the opportunity to study mathematics or further mathematics at AS or A2 level, simply by virtue of their maths set.
Students continue to be tested regularly and in year 11 they will sit a mock GCSE exam before Christmas.
Click here for proposed test dates.