Mathematics

Mathematical literacy is an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgements and to use and engage with mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen.  A numerate person is someone who can calculate accurately and effectively in a variety of contexts.  A numerate person can also solve problems using logic.

This definition allows us to focus on improving numeracy skills and life outcomes for many people. It implies the essential skills needed for solving problems, processing information, making decisions and interpreting data. Being numerate is about appreciating number relationships and interpreting answers, and not just about doing calculations.

So here are some examples of what we mean by numeracy:

  • being able to critically assess statistics used by advertisers or politicians;
  • being able to manage family budgets – credit cards, offers at supermarkets and so on;
  • being able to estimate – in all kinds of situations, e.g. journey speed, time and distance, roughly how much a bill will be or your expected bank balance at the end of the month.

The department is made up of four dedicated teaching rooms.

Curriculum Leader

Mrs K. Flanagan

Deputy Curriculum Leader

Mr P Mescall

Staff Members

  • Mr D. Wilde
  • Mr T. Idowu
  • Mrs J. Perrin

Key Stage 3:

At KS3, students study a wide range of topics which begin to prepare them for their GCSE journey.

As well as the dedicated mathematics lessons which cover the content and skills required, we also have numeracy lessons, which focus on real-life problem-solving skills, and analysing results to check if any hypotheses made were true.  These lessons enable us to bring together a wide variety of skills and use them in different contexts.

Key Stage 4:

Children follow the WJEC specification for both Mathematics and Mathematics Numeracy.  These are two separate qualifications, and at the end of Year 11 there will be a total of four examinations: one non-calculator paper and one calculator paper for both Mathematics and Mathematics Numeracy.  There are three tiers: Higher, Intermediate and Foundation.  The Mathematics questions are mainly skills-based questions, whilst the Numeracy questions are based on real life, problem solving skills where the question will need to be interpreted correctly.

The curriculum is designed to encourage greater understanding of the mathematics used in real life, and to appreciate in which situations the mathematics covered in school will be appropriate to everyday life.  They will have to employ a range of thinking skills as they learn to interpret the questions and apply their knowledge to different situations.

Key Stage 5:

WJEC GCE Mathematics

The KS5 course is taught via the consortium with St Brigid’s High School.

What does the course cover?

The course extends your knowledge of algebra and geometry from GCSE and explore the ways in which mathematics can be applied in the real world. Areas which you will cover include:

  • New topics such as coordinate geometry, series, differentiation and integration, all of which are highly algebraic and are an excellent introduction to maths at a higher level.
  • Branching further into pure maths with topics such as logarithms and exponentials, radian measures and higher level trigonometry.
  • More complex pure maths including trigonometric proofs, further differentiation and integration as well as numerical methods for finding solutions.
  • Mechanics and Statistics: this applied paper introduces students to mathematical modelling of everyday experiences like driving a car or balancing swings. In order to be successful in this area you need to be able to visualise a situation and simplify the forces acting on different parts of it. You will have a better understanding of how the physical world operates and how to use maths to predict what will happen next following this module. Using statistics, you will also get to interpret data and critique the ways data gets presented. You will also analyse different ways in which data can be distributed, looking at methods that use different distributions as models calculating probabilities and testing hypotheses.

What skills will the course help you develop?

  • Fluency in the key mathematics topics for science and engineering
  • Organising and presenting a structured and logical argument
  • Confidence in mastering challenging ideas and overcoming difficulties
  • Thinking in an abstract and symbolic way

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed through exams only with 2 exams taken at the end of year 12 and a further 2 at the end of year 13.

What do students who study this course go on to do?

Maths is essential for studying Maths, Physics or Engineering at University. Other courses which benefit from Maths A-Level are medicine, economics, accounting and other sciences such as sports science.