Maths

Staffing of the department

Mr O’Brien - Head of Department
Ms McDonald – Teacher of Mathematics and Numeracy Co-ordinator
Mr Fapetu -Teacher of Maths
Miss Lui -Teacher of Maths
Ms P Madadeniya - Teacher of Maths


Educational philosophy/Aims of the curriculum

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history's most intriguing problems.

It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


KS4 Curriculum

The main changes to the curriculum are as follows:

  • The volume of the subject content has increased.
  • The demand of that content has increased too with harder topics being introduced at both the Foundation Tier and the Higher Tier.
  • There are fewer marks at the lower grades and more marks at the higher grades for both the Foundation Tier and the Higher Tier.
  • The exams will have a greater emphasis on problem solving and mathematical reasoning with more marks being awarded to these higher-order skills. There will now also be a much-reduced formula sheet so students will need to memorise many of the formulae currently given in the exam papers. For example, for the new GCSE in Mathematics (Grade 9-1) – first exam in Summer 2017 – students will now be required to memorise many formulae which were previously given in the exam eg, the quadratic formula, and the sine and cosine rules.

 


KS4 Programme of study

 

Foundation tier (Grades 1-5)

  1. Number
    • Structure and calculation
    • Fractions, decimals and percentages
    • Measures and accuracy
  2. Algebra
    • Notation, vocabulary and manipulation
    • Graphs
    • Solving equations and inequalities
    • Sequences
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and sequences
    • Properties and constructions
    • Mensuration and calculation
    • Vectors
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

The following topics are new to Foundation tier (previously Higher tier only):

  • Index laws, zero and negative powers (numeric and algebraic)
  • Standard form
  • Compound interest and reverse percentages
  • Direct and indirect proportion (numeric and algebraic)
  • Expand the product of two linear expressions
  • Factorise quadratic expressions in the form x² + bx + c
  • Solve linear and linear simultaneous equations
  • Solve quadratic equations by factorisation
  • Plot cubic and reciprocal graphs, recognise quadratic and cubic graphs
  • Trigonometric ratios in 2D right-angled triangles
  • Fractional scale enlargements in transformations
  • Lengths of arcs and areas of sectors of circles
  • Mensuration problems
  • Vectors (except geometric problems / proofs)
  • Density
  • Probability tree diagrams

Higher tier (Grades 4-9)

  1. Number
    • Structure and calculation
    • Fractions, decimals and percentages
    • Measures and accuracy
  2. Algebra
    • Notation, vocabulary and manipulation
    • Graphs
    • Solving equations and inequalities
    • Sequences
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and sequences
    • Properties and constructions
    • Mensuration and calculation
    • Vectors
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

The following topics are new to Higher tier :

  • Expand the products of more than two binomials
  • Interpret the reverse process as the "inverse function", interpret the succession of two functions as a "composite function" (using formal function notation)
  • Deduce turning points by completing the square
  • Calculate or estimate gradients of graphs and areas under graphs, and interpret results in real-life cases
  • Simple geometric progressions including surds and other sequences
  • Deduce expressions to calculate the nth term of quadratic sequences
  • Calculate and interpret conditional probabilities through Venn diagrams.

 


KS4 Exam overview

The new Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics (Grade 9-1) will be assessed through three equally-weighted written examination papers at either Foundation tier* or Higher tier†.

Paper 1 is a non-calculator paper and Papers 2 & 3 are both calculator papers. Each paper will be worth 80 marks.

* Foundation tier: Grades 1 – 5
† Higher tier: Grades 4 – 9


KS4 Exam results & targets

2014 98% A*-C 30% A*/A
2013 97% A*-C 36% A*/A
2012 97% A*-C 43% A*/A

Special requirements

Students will be required to have their own calculator and geometry set (ruler, protractor and compasses) from the start of Year 7 as there is now a much greater emphasis on the use of a calculator.


Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public

Edexcel Math Guide
Edexcel GCSE Maths