'Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that mine are greater’
Albert Einstien (1879-1955)
The aims of the Maths Department
- To set challenging targets with high expectations for all pupils.
- To offer a variety of approaches to teaching and learning to engage and motivate pupils and demand their active participation.
- To smooth the transition for pupils between Key Stages and ensure progression in teaching and learning throughout their time at Woodbridge High School.
- To explore enrichment opportunities outside the curriculum to enhance pupils’ enjoyment of mathematics.
Why study Maths?
Mathematics is the means of looking at the patterns that make up our world and the intricate and beautiful ways in which they are constructed and realised. Numeracy is the means of making that knowledge useful.
Mathematics contributes to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ abilities to calculate; to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically; to solve problems and to handle data. Mathematics is important for pupils in many other areas of study, particularly Science and Technology. It is also important in everyday living, in many forms of employment, and in public decision-making. As a subject in its own right, Mathematics presents frequent opportunities for creativity, and can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a problem is solved for the first time, or a more elegant solution to a problem is discovered, or when hidden connections suddenly manifest.
It enables pupils to build a secure framework of mathematical reasoning, which they can use and apply with confidence. The power of mathematical reasoning lies in its use of precise and concise forms of language, symbolism and representation to reveal and explore general relationships. These mathematical forms are widely used for modelling situations; a trend accelerated by computational technologies.
In year 7 mathematics is initially taught in form groups. Setting takes place within the first 2 weeks based on both KS2 results and in-school assessment. Topics covered follow the National Curriculum and include modules on Number, Algebra, Shape, Space and Measure and Data Handling. Resetting for year 8 is based on measured progress through year 7. Movement between sets because of exceptional progress during the year is encouraged. Pupils access the National Curriculum by following the Scheme of Work devised by Oxford University Press and this provides a staged approach which allows for the different expected rates of progress. Pupils continue the KS3 curriculum into year 9.
KS4 – GCSE (Edexcel Linear)
Pupils start studying for their GCSE’s in year 10. The Maths GCSE is divided into three main areas: Number & Algebra, Shape & Space and Data Handling. This is the first year of the GCSE curriculum, which is studied over 2 years. Pupils are set according to their mathematical ability and this is regularly monitored through class work and half-termly assessments and set changes are made as appropriate. Pupils are regularly set home learning tasks. The GCSE course is assessed through two examinations, a calculator and a non-calculator paper. There is no coursework. All pupils sit their GCSE at the end of year 11.
KS5 – AS & A-Level (Edexcel)
The Maths A level comprises of six modules which cover…
- Pure Maths - Algebra, Differentiation, Integration, Coordinate Geometry, Binomial Series, Sequences and Series and Vectors.
- Mechanics - The mathematical rules behind the movement of particles, the forces acting on particles and particles in equilibrium.
- Statistics - Distributions, Probability, Correlation and Measures of Location and Spread.
For our most able students there is the option to study for an additional A level in Further Maths. The Further Maths A level comprises of six modules which cover…
- Further Pure (3 modules) - Complex Numbers, Numerical Methods, Coordinate Geometry, Hyperbolic functions, Differentiation, Integration, Series (including the Maclaurin and Taylor series), Polar coordinates and Vectors.
- Applied Units - There are also 3 more units covering Decision maths, Mechanics and Statistics.
Mathematics is a very useful and highly valued A-level. It is an essential or preferred subject for many degree courses, including Accounting, Architecture, Chemistry, Computing, Engineering, Natural Sciences and Physics. Mathematics has wide applications in industry, business, finance, science, technology and many other areas.
“Examining the jobs market and comparing earnings with subjects studied, it finds that Mathematics is the only A-level subject that adds to earnings - up to 10 per cent - even when the employer is unaware of the person's qualifications.
Graduates who have studied Mathematics earn more than those who have not, even when the job has nothing to do with Maths.”
Institute of Education University of London