Maths

Mathematics embraces a wide range of inter-related activities. It is concerned with the organisation, manipulation and communication of information according to well-defined rules and processes. Everyone will appreciate that these include an understanding of number and measurement and their use in many walks of life.

Why do we teach Mathematics?

1. It is an enjoyable intellectual activity
Mathematics can be a stimulating, challenging and enjoyable experience. It gives pupils the opportunity to “get the right answer” and such mastery of a subject results in enjoyment. If this reason for studying Mathematics is to be fulfilled, then the “can’t do” attitude to Mathematics must be challenged.

2. It makes a major contribution to other subjects
Work in many other subjects involves mathematical activities. Such activities include: number and algebra (science), measures (science and home economics), geometry (home economics, art and design, technology and geography) and statistics (geography, biology and history). If pupils can see why certain aspects of Mathematics should be learnt this will provide motivation and encouragement.

3. Its use in everyday life
A facility in Mathematics is necessary in managing budgets, DIY tasks, understanding statistical and graphical data and many other aspects of life in the home or in adulthood.

4. It can contribute significantly to the development of pupils’ general skills and qualities such as communication, reasoning, problem solving, perseverance and creativity. It is a vehicle for development of general “skills” and personal qualities.

How do we believe Mathematics should be taught?

The teaching/learning of Mathematics throughout the school should facilitate opportunities for:
• teacher exposition
• consolidation and practice of fundamental skills
• teacher/pupil and pupil/pupil discussions
• practical work
• investigation work
• development of mental fluency
• confidence in the use of current technology

Aims

To encourage:
• an enjoyment from doing Mathematics
• a sense of self-esteem
• all children to think clearly, creatively and critically
• pupils to work co-operatively and independently
• pupils to be tolerant of the opinions of their peers
• the development of the self-discipline to work at an appropriate task, in some depth, over a period of time
• pupils to communicate clearly their thinking
• an appreciation of the place of Mathematics in society including historical and cultural influences
• an appreciation of the interdependence of the different branches of Mathematics
• an awareness of the contribution Mathematics makes to other subjects

Department Objectives

To develop:
• Pupils’ confidence in their Mathematical abilities
• A positive attitude towards Mathematics
• The knowledge
• Skills and understanding needed to apply a range of mathematical concepts to situations which may arise in their lives
• An appreciation of patterns and relations in Mathematics
• Confidence in computation by mental, pencil and paper and calculator methods
• Skills associated with the investigation of Mathematical ideas such as testing and proving their own hypothesis
• A firm foundation for appropriate further study

Subject Leader – Mrs A O’Rourke
Subject Teachers –  Mrs J Allen, Miss R Ferres, Miss L Hall and Miss L McCourt

Overview
Mathematics embraces a wide range of inter-related activities. It is concerned with the organization, manipulation and communication of information according to well defined rules and processes.

All pupils will study the following aspects of Mathematics:
• Number and Algebra
• Geometry and Measures
• Statistics and Probability

Financial capability is now established within the curriculum. This enables pupils to make informed judgments which enable them to take effective decisions regarding the management of money in their present and adult life.

Assessment throughout the year
A test will be completed during every half-term, comprising of 3 or 4 topics.

Homework
A formal homework will be set and marked by the teacher in each fortnightly cycle. Other homework, including learning Mathematical facts, may be set when appropriate.

Notetaking
Each pupil will be issued with a red notebook for their class notes. Pupils should write all key words in red and underline titles. The rest of the notes should be recorded with blue or black pen and all diagrams should be completed neatly using a pencil and a ruler. The contents page which includes all the topics studied during the year should also be kept up-to-date. Where appropriate staff will provide students with handouts to supplement notes.

Equipment Required
Blue or Black Pen, Red pen, Pencil, Ruler, Protractor, Rubber, Compass, Scientific Calculator

Year 9 STEM Event
On the first day back to school Year 9 form classes took part in a STEM event. The aim was to inform students of the opportunities available through STEM, particularly in Engineering. Two STEM ambassadors visited the school – one a Mechanical Engineer the other a Civil Engineer. They spoke to the pupils for a short time about their jobs and the importance of STEM subjects. They showed the students some pictures of exciting projects they were involved in.

The pupils were then given the task of building an oil rig which could support a 200g weight. The only materials made available to the students were paper, straws and sellotape. The pupils really enjoyed this hands-on engineering experience. The ambassadors were impressed with the pupils’ different ideas and that many of the structures could support the weight.

Overview

GCSE Mathematics
• We follow the CCEA syllabus.
• At the end of Year 11 pupils will either sit the T2 (Foundation) or T3 (Higher) module, worth 45%.
• In January of Year 12 pupils will have an opportunity to sit a higher module if appropriate, either T3 or T4.
• At the end of Year 12 all pupils will either sit the T5 (Foundation) or T6 (Higher) module, worth 55%.

GCSE Further Mathematics
• In June 2016 the first 2 pupils sat Further Mathematics GCSE, 1 obtaining grade A, the other A*.
• There are currently 6 pupils in Year 12 and 14 in Year 11 studying Further Mathematics for GCSE.
• This GCSE will again be offered as an option to current Year 10 pupils.

Our GCSE Further Maths class – January 2017

A Level Mathematics
• In June 2016 the department obtained 100% grade C or above.
• With growing numbers studying GCSE Further Mathematics, A level Mathematics will again be offered as an option.

Announcement of Special event – Promotion of A’level Maths Event – Monday 30th January
Pupils from Year 11 and 12 Higher Maths classes, and a selection of Year 10 pupils will attend this event. The careers represented will include Finance, IT and Data Analysis. Visitors will inform students of some of the Mathematics involved in their jobs as well as the skills required in their field.