Mathematics is an amazing subject that encompasses more than just numbers, it involves pattern and structure; it is about logical analysis, deduction and calculation within these patterns and structures.
Learning mathematics is more than just following a method or process, it is key within everyday life, from journey planning, to many decisions made in the world of business and in the creation of the remarkable structures and buildings we view today. Mathematics underpins the world around us, in the workplace using maths is unavoidable, it is both fundamental and functional!
Mathematics at Prince William School aims to develop a growing confidence and overall enjoyment of each student’s pathway, running parallel to this we aim to ensure students reach their full potential and to be successful in their careers.
The Mathematics Department are a dedicated and hardworking team, who really enjoy mathematics and really enjoy teaching. Our fundamental beliefs are that with hard work, resilience and a healthy sense of humour, everyone can succeed!
In Years 7 and 8, students are taught the mathematics Key Stage 3 curriculum which is designed to provide all students with a firm foundation for their success and future mathematical studies throughout Key Stage 4. Key areas of mathematics include: number, algebra, geometry and measures, ratio and proportion as well as statistics and probability. Students are taught in sets according to their ability (use of prior attainment and internal information/data) and develop their understanding of the fundamental mathematical concepts and are given the opportunity to apply their skills to a range of problems designed to improve fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills.
In Year 9 students begin their GCSE course in Mathematics which encompasses three years.
There has been a recent change to GCSE Mathematics, some of the changes include:
- changes to the content – what is studied
- changes to the assessment – how questions are asked
- changes to the marking system – how grades are reported
Changes to the content
The GCSE is being “strengthened”, in that there is more content being added in at both the Higher and Foundation level. For instance, trigonometry which was previously only a Higher level topic and is now being assessed at Foundation level.
This additional content will build on the key concepts covered in Key Stage 3 along with cross-curricular initiatives on thinking skills and independent working. Work will include using and applying mathematics, problem solving and preparing to function mathematically.
Changes to the assessment
The formal assessment at the end of Year 11 will include questions that allow students to draw on elements from within and across the different topic areas, and questions that allow students to provide extended responses. There will be an emphasis on fluency in mathematics and mathematical reasoning.
The course will be taught using a variety of approaches. Emphasis is placed on understanding, enjoying and making progress in mathematics. Students can experience extra-curricular mathematics through enrichment activities, challenges and clubs.
Changes to the marking system
GCSE grades are reported as numbers from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) rather than letters (G to A*). As before, there are two tiers of assessment, Foundation (grades 1 – 5) and Higher (grades 4 – 9). To ensure parity between the old and new system, the government has decided that the same percentage of students will gain:
- a grade 1 and above - as gained a grade G and above.
- a grade 4 and above - as gained a grade C and above.
- a grade 7 and above - as gained a grade A and above.
AQA Specification 8300: First teaching 2015
All assessment is by terminal exams at end of Year 11 and there is no coursework.
Three exams of 90 minutes (80 marks) each.
All students are expected to have the correct equipment, namely; a pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, eraser and scientific calculator (Two of the three final assessments will require a scientific calculator).
Watch online video clips and use the follow on questions to check understanding
Practice exam style questions regularly, checking your answers against a mark scheme
Do little bits often to help you retain skills and knowledge
Take advantage of revision sessions on offer
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)
Mathematics is a versatile qualification that is highly valued by many employers as well as higher education establishments. Solving problems help to develop resilience and the ability to think creatively and strategically, whilst presenting structured solutions and justification of results develop an ability to formulate reasoned arguments. The mathematical skills covered are also beneficial to other subject areas, such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics and Psychology.
Structure of Course: A Level Maths and Further Maths
Mathematics follows the new reformed specification and as such, will be assessed as a full A Level at the end of Year 13. This assessment will take the form of three 2 hour papers, all equally weighted; there is no coursework. Two of the papers will be based on Pure Mathematical topics and the third will be on Applied Mathematical topics involving both Statistics and Mechanics concepts.
Students who wish to continue studying Mathematics to degree level, or indeed any degree involving a substantial amount of mathematical content, should also consider the A Level Further Mathematics course which is taught alongside the A Level Mathematics course. Under the new A Level reforms, the assessment will comprise 4 papers, 2 of which to be based on Further Pure Mathematical concepts, whilst the other 2 will be dependent on options chosen from more Further Pure Mathematics or other areas of mathematics: Statistics, Mechanics, Decision Maths. These papers are all 1½ hours long and equally weighted.
Mathematics at this level is very much dependent upon good algebraic skills and students enrolling on this course will be expected to do some preparation work during the summer. The entry requirement is a Grade 7 at GCSE and a Grade 8 for Further Mathematics. We expect all students to be hardworking and diligent, highly motivated and be able to work independently throughout the course.
An A Level Mathematics qualification is a valuable key to any scientific degree (Physics, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Economics and of course Mathematics) as successful students will have developed good powers of analysis, the capacity to think logically and the ability to solve problems. Mathematics plays a key role in many areas, for example, within science and industry, financial management, accountancy, construction, aviation, hospitals, marketing, meteorology, manufacturing and computer programming.
Year 12 Resit GCSE
Any student in year 12 who did not achieve a Grade 4 or above will need to take Mathematics resit classes on a Thursday in place of work experience.
We offer students a range of enrichment opportunities outside of lessons designed to ignite a passion for Mathematics.
Students can join our UKMT mentoring scheme from October to May where they are presented with problems on a monthly basis and can join other students to discuss solutions during lunchtime.
Students can participate in the UKMT individual and team challenges which are separated into junior, intermediate and senior divisions.
Opportunities to go to conferences.
STEM opportunities both in and out of school