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Maths Department Focus

September 2017

The department has five full time and two part time teachers. This year we are delighted to welcome Mrs Gigi who has just joined the department.

Over the summer the department celebrated another set of outstanding results at all levels.

The Year 11 pupils were the first cohort to take the new GCSE graded 9-1, the new exams are very challenging and teachers and pupils worked very hard to ensure that everyone was as well prepared as possible. 84% of pupils achieved grades 9 – 4, 7% achieved the new highest grade 9, double the national average.

This year mathematics is the most popular A level subject in Years 12 and 13, with further mathematics becoming an increasingly popular option. This year at A level mathematics 67% achieved A*/A, 94% achieved A*/B. At further mathematics 83% achieved A*/A and 100% achieved A*-B. A high proportion of our A-level students study mathematics related courses at university, this year a record number of Year 13s will be applying to study mathematics at university. The department provides advice and support throughout the process from choosing AS level subjects to helping with university applications. The department runs extension lessons in problem solving for the most able mathematicians preparing them for entrance to the most prestigious universities.

The current Year 12, having been the first cohort to take the new GCSE in mathematics are now also going to be the first cohort to take the new two-year A levels in mathematics and further mathematics.

There are a large number of opportunities for able mathematicians. The top two sets in every year and all AS and A2 mathematicians take part in the UKMT mathematics challenges every year. This year we are planning an inspirational speaker to visit the school to give a talk and run workshops for gifted mathematicians.

In the summer term, after a break of a few years, we reintroduced the maths “Theme Park Day” for Year 7. We hope to repeat this at the end of the year and also introduce a similar activity for Year 8. Below is a report on the day.

Year 7 Theme Park Day

The aim of the day is to help pupils develop skills in Organisation, Communication, Planning, Time Management, Detailed Design as well as a basic of understanding of cost and economics. The children are divided into groups of 10 to form a “Company” each company is then in competition with one another to design the perfect theme park within a budget of £1 Million.

Each company has to use their £1 Million to buy rides, expertise and equipment; then produce the following to show how they would build and advertise their final theme park.

  • A Logo for your theme park
  • A Poster advertising your theme park
  • Menus in different languages
  • A scale plan of your theme park
  • A costing sheet of how you spent your £1 million
  • A sheet showing how to make back your £1 million
  • A summary of your Theme Park design
  • A ride safety sign

Pupils also have disasters they need to overcome, these can include changes to their finances, number of rides the clients want as well as planning for special events. They have to comply with strict rules about the layout and presentation of their final design as well as deadlines for completion.

The Year 7’s really enjoyed the day and gained a lot of skills from it, a lot of them had no idea before the day that getting advice from expert’s costs; every question you ask has a financial implication that eats into your budget. They produced some fabulous work and the staff helping with the day were impressed with how engaged the pupils remained and the quality of the work they produced.

Maths Department Focus