Mathematics is essentially a wonderfully creative subject as well as having functional and practical applications. We aim to teach in a meaningful context whilst providing opportunities for students to use their skills thoughtfully through problem solving and investigation. We all provide a variety of experiences and activities for the students to learn though: practical work, observation, talking and listening, reflection, puzzles, and much more. We help students to work to their full potential and to experience a real sense of achievement.
The National Curriculum is naturally incorporated into our provision, which is wide and varied. We encourage students to recall and apply their knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar situations and become accurate in interpreting the essence of a question or problem. We do not accelerate. Instead, we broaden their understanding by increasing the complexity of the material and ensuring that they have identified how the different aspects that they have covered interlink. We believe that we help them to develop as independent thinkers and learners, with curiosity and self-belief.
We set in Year 8 and regularly check that all students are in the best class for their needs. At A level we generally have over fifty per cent of students choosing Mathematics. It is a very popular subject here. Further Mathematics is also well represented. We have a history of outstanding results.
As a department, we work closely together, sharing ideas and working to our individual strengths. We love our subject and hope to inspire that joy in those we teach.
|Rachel Burton||Head of Department|
|Jonathan Nicholl||Also Teacher in charge of Critical Thinking|
|Peter Secker||Director of Studies|
Year 8 Connected Curriculum D-Day
I am speaking to you from S3 in the maths block. This morning Mr Nicholl handed Year 8 the final note stating that unless he heard from them by registration this morning, that they were prepared at once to join him in his code breaking quest, a state of war would exist between the houses. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking was received and that consequently this year group is at war.
Tension was high as Year 8 battled ferociously with encryptions. Houses clashed as rivals attempted to gain entrance to our secret lairs where mathematicians worked furiously, solving complicated Python problems. We plotted and planned and double bluffed, reliving the dilemmas that Britain would have faced when deciding where to invade occupied France. We endeavoured to produce fully functioning radios, with some people claiming to have succeeded in hearing Hitler’s broadcasts…
As D-Day loomed, we furiously crammed our brains with the knowledge we would need for the ultimate test. The test of all the skills we had amassed on this intensive training course. We could almost hear the bombs ringing out as we tramped back inside, our brains aching. Our suffering was insignificant in comparison to what the Allies would have endured when crossing the channel, knowing full well that they might never return.
Line upon line of soldiers dressed in real RAF suits, headscarves and bomber jackets marched proudly into the Lecture theatre for a speech from our General, Chris. He was very impressed with our war efforts and told us all about what it’s like to be more involved in code breaking at a higher level of expertise.
We fought valiantly and were victorious, a state of peace has now returned to Year 8. Never was so much owed by so many to so few, so thank you to all the teachers involved for making it such a memorable day!
Maths Workshop with Professor Ulrike Tillman
In September 2011, Professor Ulrike Tillman led a fascinating introductory workshop for Years 11, 12 and 13, taking us from the roots of early topology in Euler’s Bridges of Konigsberg problem (see on Wikipedia), to a more modern way of looking at this kind of problem and how topology can be used in everyday situations. The students were encouraged to work through some basic ideas for themselves, and by the end of the presentation they had arrived at one of the most fundamental theorems of topology – the Euler Characteristic.
The Mathematics of Auctions with Professor Paul Klemperer
In May 2011 year 8 delighted in a talk by Professor Paul Klemperer on ‘The Mathematics of Auctions’. This explored different methods of exploring an auction and involved using smarties as the currency. The students enjoyed this hugely, as well as learning some sophisticated economics.
Every year we pitch our wits against the UKMT Mathematics challenges. These are multiple choice papers with inventive problems which are not syllabus driven. Whilst we spend time looking at questions from past papers to familiarise the students with them and develop thinking skills, to be successful requires real mental agility. We look forward to taking part again this year.
Junior Mathematics Challenge
Taken by all Year 8 students in the Summer Term.
Intermediate Mathematics Challenge
Our Year 10 students take this paper in February with a few Year 11s also choosing to take part.
Senior Mathematics Challenge
This is taken by all Year 12 Mathematics A level students and Year 13 Further Mathematicians in November.
Puzzle of the Month
Each month there are puzzles in four different categories:
Junior: Aimed at years 7-8. These puzzles will help you get ready for the Junior Maths Challenge and Olympiad.
Intermediate: Aimed at years 9-11. These puzzles will help you get ready for the Intermediate Maths Challenge and Olympiad.
Senior: Aimed at years 12-13. These puzzles will help you get ready for the Senior Maths Challenge and British Mathematics Olympiad.
Open: These puzzles are just for fun! Anybody can enter.
All correctly explained solutions to Junior, Intermediate or Senior puzzles from students in the relevant years will be awarded a Gold Slip and a chocolate bar.
Correctly explained entries for a puzzle not designed for your year will still be awarded a gold slip – but no chocolate!
All correct entries for Open puzzles will be awarded a Gold Slip. One entry for each puzzle will be awarded a bar of chocolate.
Current Puzzle of the Month: March 2012
The deadline for these puzzles is Wednesday 25th April.
Puzzle of the Month 2010-2011
Puzzle of the Month 2009-2010
Puzzle of the Month 2008-2009
For Puzzle of the Month going back to September 2004 click here.