“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.”
Aims and Philosophies
We believe that Mathematics is an essential and inevitable part of our everyday lives; it is a subject that should not be restricted to the confines of a classroom. Therefore it is our goal to show the real world applications of the subject throughout our curriculum from Form I up to and including A Level Further Mathematics. Not only do we want our students to see the value of Mathematics, we also want them to enjoy it and achieve their full potential in the subject. We encourage every girl to take an active and enthusiastic role in their lessons, learning through a variety of different teaching styles and using a mixture of guided discovery, ICT and traditional methods. We aim to develop each girl’s problem solving skills and ability to think and work independently.
Key Stage 3
We follow the National Curriculum for the teaching of Mathematics in Forms I and II, which is supported by the use of the MyMaths textbooks and online resource. It provides an excellent foundation for studying IGCSE Mathematics while being varied, interesting and emphasising the real world applications of this fascinating subject. The course is split into three broad areas: Numbers and Algebra; Shape, Space and Measures; Handling Data. These areas are revisited in each Form allowing for clear progression over the two years. By the end of Form II students should be able to draw connections between these three areas and communicate their ideas and reasoning in a clear and mathematical way. In Form III our students begin to study topics from the IGCSE Mathematics course.
We are following the Edexcel 2016 specification for IGCSE Mathematics A, which emphasises the importance of making connections between mathematical concepts and applying the functional elements of Mathematics to real life situations. The topics covered in the course build upon the topics that have been taught in Forms I and II, with the introduction of new topics that the girls haven’t seen before. The course is examined in Form V through two papers, each worth 50% of the course and a calculator is permitted for both papers. We aim for all students to study the Higher Tier course, which will eventually allow them to access the grades 9 to 4.
A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics are fascinating courses that can provide a great challenge and sense of achievement for students who have a passion and interest in the subject.
By its nature, Mathematics often has clear real world applications and at other times can appear quite abstract. The A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics courses that we offer, provided by Edexcel, reflect these two qualities. A Level Mathematics consists of 4 pure modules, involving abstract topics, and two applied modules, which focus on the application of Mathematics in the real world. Three modules are examined at the end of LVI Form (AS) and three at the end of UVI Form (A2). Each module is worth an equal proportion of the overall qualification.
A Level Further Mathematics is structured and examined in the same way; the only difference is that there are three applied modules and three pure modules. A Level Further Mathematics is a very challenging qualification, but is excellent preparation for students who are considering studying Mathematics, Statistics, Physics or Engineering at university.
Currently, exam results gained at the end of LVI Form will contribute to a student’s final grade at the end of UVI Form. However, when the subject in reformed in September 2017, all examinations for the A Level qualifications will need to be taken at the end of UVI Form.
Beyond the Classroom
We encourage our students to enjoy Mathematics and the challenges that a subject like this can offer. We are always looking for opportunities to extend our girls; it is not unusual to see our teachers covering topics outside of the curriculum and delivering personalised lessons in line with our students’ talents; we have girls in Form I who have learnt to factorise quadratics! We also enjoy taking Mathematics outside of the classroom. Last year our girls made proposals to redesign the outdoor courtyard, with scale drawings and budgets that they presented to our bursar. Recently, we took all of Forms I and II to Ascot Racecourse to discover how Mathematics has influenced the sport.
We encourage students to continue their studies of Mathematics in LVI and UVI Form by offering A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. We are delighted when students decide to continue studying Mathematics at University. We have a PhD Mathematics student from Oxford University who provides mock Oxbridge interviews to our students and visits the school to encourage younger students to set their sights on studying in the UK’s top universities. We are also able to offer private tours of Oxford University colleges and the beautiful Mathematical Institute. The Mathematics department regularly supports students as they prepare for entrance examinations, such as the MAT or STEP papers, as well as SAT examinations for those students who wish to apply to American universities.
Last year over 25% of our girls took part in an external Mathematics competition. Every year we offer our students the opportunity to take part in a national Maths Challenge at either Junior, Intermediate or Senior level. Our A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics students take part in the UKMT Senior Team Challenge every year and our younger students take part in the UKMT Team Challenge. Both competitions are hosted at nearby universities. We also run an annual Interhouse Mathematics Competition, where students from every Form compete to win valuable points for their House.
In addition to offering many opportunities for our students to challenge themselves, we also provide support three times a week for students who wish to consolidate or extend their learning from their normal Mathematics lessons.