Mathematics

Fascinating in its own right, mathematics is a vital skill which helps not just with other subjects in the curriculum, but also with many aspects of adult life. Our obvious aim is to enable girls to attain their maximum potential in exams. But we also want to develop the pupils’ oral, written and practical skills to help boost their confidence.  We encourage students to apply their mathematical skills in a wide variety of situations – practical or theoretical, related to everyday life or other subjects. With us, girls should develop the invaluable ability to select suitable mathematical techniques to solve problems.

Years 7-9

Girls enter the main school with different levels of mathematical skills and different amounts of mathematical knowledge. The aim in Year 7 is to ensure that all students have a firm grounding in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, measures, statistics and probability. In Year 8 we continue to build on these areas, and in Year 9 we introduce trigonometry. The girls are taught in sets of different sizes depending on their ability and the speed at which they work. All sets in Years 7 to 9 follow the same programme of work, but extension work is provided for the pupils in higher sets. The year groups are reset at the end of years 7, 8 and 9.

GCSE

GCSE MATHEMATICS

WJEC Mathematics                                                                     Qualification Accreditation Number 500/8506/2

Course content

The five areas of mathematics studied are:

Number – e.g. Fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion, directed numbers, surds

Algebra – e.g. Expanding and factorising, forming and solving equations, indices, graphs

Shape and space – e.g. Areas and volumes, Pythagoras’ Theorem and trigonometry, transformations, geometry

Handling data – e.g. Probability, statistical diagrams and calculations, sampling and questionnaires

Using and applying mathematics – problems involving any of the above

These lists provide only a sample of what is included. The complete specification can be obtained from the WJEC website. (www.wjec.co.uk Select the options Mathematics/GCSE/Linear)

AS and A Level

We prepare candidates for the AQA examinations in AS Mathematics (5361), A-level Mathematics (6361), AS Further Mathematics (5371) and A-level Further Mathematics (6371).  Large numbers of girls choose Mathematics in Year 12 and many go on to use what they have learned with us in undergraduate courses as diverse as Engineering and Economics, Mathematics and Psychology.

Co-Curricular

In 2013-14 the mathematics department had another successful year in the individual UKMT Maths Challenge competitions at Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels. In particular, three pupils in Years 10 and 11, who took part in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge qualified for the next round,  the ‘Pink Kangaroo’, for which they received a Certificate of Participation. They are Amelia, Yimeng and Aleisha. We took part in the Senior Team Maths Challenge in November.  Our team of Seung, Tiffany, Liusheng and Elizabeth were placed third in the regional competition in Gloucester. 

This year, for the first time, girls entered the University of Southampton Mathematics Challenge, in which Stephanie,  Year 7, won a Certificate of Merit.

The organisers said: “There were nearly 1,000 entries to the competition from 38 schools, ranging from Birmingham to Surrey to Jersey, as well as in Hampshire.  The challenge was extremely competitive and the winning pupils should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

In the Lent term four of our Years 9 and 10 pupils committed themselves to a programme of Saturday morning Mathematics Master Classes.  This is provided by the Royal Institution at the University of South Wales and offers a great opportunity to explore areas of Mathematics outside the curriculum with other like-minded students.  They each received a certificate on completion of their course. The girls are Eleanor and Amelia, of Year 10, and  Hiranmayi and Gabriella of Year 9.

Hiranmayi wrote this about her experience: “The Royal Institution’s Maths Masterclass series was a programme which had classes that varied from juggling to medical mathematics.  I found these classes interesting because there was a variety and I not only learnt about the different areas that maths is used in but also some general knowledge about different topics.  It was also particularly interesting because each class was given by someone new, who was a professional in that area.  Finally, it was also a great way to socialise and meet new people.”

The current academic year has started well also. For the second year running, Susan, who is our current mathematics prefect, has been awarded a Distinction in the prestigious British Mathematical Olympiad for Girls competition.