Maths plays a vital role in modern life and is an important ‘life skill’ in itself. Many employer surveys highlight the shortage of job applicants with adequate maths skills and a significant number of careers now demand a proven, certificated ability in maths as a basic entry requirement.
Maths qualifications are increasingly needed for entry to academic, vocational and professional courses – ranging from the sciences to financial services, nursing and paramedical courses.
Whatever your study or career plans, a qualification in maths provides you with improved job prospects and will also develop a broad range of additional skills, such as problem solving, logical reasoning and flexible thinking.
In year 7 mathematics is taught in tiered ability groups. Topics covered follow the National Curriculum and include modules on Number, Algebra, Geometry and Data Handling. Pupils follow the KS3 Scheme of Work from Kangaroo Maths (www.kangaroomaths.com)
Setting for year 8 is based on measured progress through year 7. Movement between sets because of exceptional progress during the year is encouraged. Pupils progress onto the next ‘Stage’ in the Kangaroo Maths scheme of work, ensuring that learning in each of the key mathematical topic areas is progressive and appropriate.
Substantial material to support pupils learning in KS3 is available on the school’s Doddle learning site.
All students in KS4 follow the AQA GCSE (8300) Mathematics course which begins during Year 9. (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/mathematics/gcse/mathematics-8300/specification-at-a-glance)
There are two tiers of entry for the final exam — Foundation (Grades 1 to 5) and Higher (Grades 5 to 9). Students will receive four hours per week in Year 10 and five hours per week during Year 11, which should enable them to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics.
There is a strong emphasis on problem solving and in order to be successful on the course, students will have to demonstrate that they can select and use the appropriate mathematical methods needed in a range of situations. There will also be many questions based on using mathematics to solve ‘real-life’ problems in order to improve their functional skills.
Students are expected to have a scientific calculator, protractor and compasses for use in lessons and in the exams and suitable ones are available from the school e-Praise shop.
GCSE Mathematics is an important foundation for many of the courses you may take in employment or Further Education, and a requirement for many University courses. If you get a good grade at GCSE you may even decide to study the subject further on an A level Maths course.