“Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics.”
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 – 1855)
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”
Einstein (1879- 1955)
Introduction to course
Mathematics is a compulsory core subject studied throughout Years 7-11. Classes are grouped by ability based on both prior knowledge, test scores and teacher assessment. These groups are fluid throughout the year and your daughter may be moved up or down to ensure we are meeting her needs by being in the best possible group to stretch or support her appropriately. All students follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics and are entered for the 9-1 GCSE Mathematics examination at the end of Year 11. The level of entry for GCSE, either Foundation (Grades 5-1) or Higher (Grades 9-4) is decided during Year 11.
Mathematics is important in everyday life; the skills learnt in your daughter's Maths lessons will aid her in understanding and application of Maths in life after Reading Girls' School, such as using a bank account, calculating value for money, exchange rates for foreign travel or checking accuracy of bills. Your daughter will find that many jobs require a good understanding of mathematical conceptws, as well as basic numeracy skills, and college places depend on good results.
Problem solving skills, logical reasoning and teamwork are fundamental to mathematics, through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas, students are always encouraged to develop their mathematical reasoning skills, communicating with others and explaining concepts to each other. Self and peer reviews are very important to enable students to have an accurate grasp of where they are and how they can improve. Mathematics is a universal language with a myriad of cultural inputs throughout the ages and students are encouraged to use various approaces to solve mathematical problems for example using the Chinese lattice method for multiplication Maths and numeracy topics also crop up in many subjects across the curricululm so a good understanding is really helpful across the school.
The Key Stage 3 Maths programme that is taught during Year 7 and Year 8 follows the National Curriculum and lays the building blocks for students to fully access the Mathematics GCSE syllabus. The KS3 syllabus is differentiated according to ability with higher, intermediate and support strands of learning to enable your daughter to progress most effectively and receive the best support for their learning.
During Year 7 and 8 they will build on knowledge gained at primary school and will learn how to understand:
- Number and Algebra - numbers and the number system, calcualtions, fractions, decimals and percentages and ways of problem solving and algebra, graphs and sequences, expressions and formula
- Shape and space - measure, shape and coordinates
- Handling data - collecting data, displaying and analysing it to better understand the world around them
- Using and apply mathematics - solving problems, including problems that call for them to think through several steps or apply numerous area of understanding in order to solve them.
For a more detailed breakdown of your daughter's learning please see the KS3 Curriculum Map here. Your daughter will be given a RAG sheet at the beginning of each term with a more detailed breakdown of the Key Learning Objectives within each unit of work to enable them to have a clear understanding of the topics they will be studying and allow them to track their progress through the term and aid them for revision when it comes to end of term tests and yearly exams.
Subject content KS4
Students begin studying the GCSE syllabus from Year 9 onwards. This allows more time for in depth teaching with the aim mof enabling students to gain greater understanding of each mathematical concept as well as allowing time for revision and recapping of prior knowledge throughout all three years The KS4 syllabus is differentiated according to ability with higher and foundation strands of learning to enable your daughter to progress most effectively and reeive the best support for her learning.
During Year 9-11 they will build on knowledge gained during previous years and will learn how to understand:
- Number - numbers and the number system, calculations, ratio and proportion, fractions, decimals and percentages.
- Algebra - graphs and sequences, linear and quadratic equations and inequalities.
- Shape and space - perimeter, area and volume, transformations, similarity and congruence, trigonometry, circle theorems, constructions, loci, bearings.
- Handling data - collecting data, displaying, interpreting and analysing data, averages and range, statistical analysis and probability.
- Using ad appying mathematics - ways of problem solving, solving increasingly demanding problems, including problems that call for them to think through several steps or apply numerous area of understanding in order to solve them.
For a more detailed breakdown of your daughter's learning please see the KS4 Curriculum Map here. Your daughter will be given a RAG sheet at the beginning of each term with a more detailed breakdown of the Key Learning Objectives within each unit of work to enable them to have a clear understanding of the topics they will be studying and allow them to track their progress through the term and aid them for revision when it comes to end of term tests and yearly eams.
Exam board KS4
All studets are entered for the Edexcel 9-1 GCSE Mathematics examination at the end of Year 11. Both the Higher (Grades 9-4) and Foundation (Grades 5-1) courses cover similar content up to Grade 5 and each allows for more in depth learning at the appropriate levels. The final decision on tier of entry is made during Year 11 prior to the final examination; this decision is based on prior attainment, mock examinations and general teacher assessment. The new 9-1 Mathematics GCSEs sat from une 2017 onwards have no formula sheets so students will need to learn certain formulae off by heart for use in formal assessments.
Both Higher and Foundation Mathematics 9-1 GCSE examinations consist of three (1 1/2 hour) written papers each contributing to one third of the final grade. Higher paper covers Grades 9-4 and Foundation Grades 5-1. Paper one is non calculator, papers two and three are calculator allowed and all papers are out of 80 marks. The functional elements of mathematics (applicatio of mathematics to practical and real life problems) are assessed on each paper.
Edexcel endorsed revision guides, revision workbooks and practice papers can be purchased from Pearson throuogh the school at various times throughout the year. They can also be found on Amazon and most book shops - ust search Pearson Edexcel Maths KS3 or you may wish to begin preparing for the GCSE course - in which case search Pearson Edexcel GCSE Mathematics 9-1, Higher or Foundation.
Typical lesson activities:
- Written exercises and practice questions
- Investigational and problem solving work
- Practical activities including using physical resources and card sorts etc
- Group, paired and individual work
- Discussion and questioning developing higher level thinking and promoting use of keywords and deeper understanding
- Mental/oral/aural practice
- Note making and taking
- Topic revision including practice exam questions
- Open book assessments and end of term testing leading to boost lessons to fill in gaps in learning and reviews of learning going over exam papers to discuss misconceptions and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Make sure your daughter is properly equipped for Maths - they should have a scientific calculator, pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, pair of compasses and their Maths books for every lesson! Equipment is available from school.
Websites to visit:
Google Classroom: All your daughters lesson materials will be uploaded to a google classroom for them to access and use for independent study, extra revision or if they miss a lesson.
Mymaths: www.mymaths.co.uk All RGS pupils have a login and password to complete weekly mymaths homework as well as access lesson resources and helpful revision activities.
Pixl Maths App: mathsapp.pixl.org.uk/PMA.html All RGS pupils have a login and password to enable them to access independent study materials, lesson resources and helpful revision activities.
Skoolbo: www.skoolbo.co.uk A free site (and app) to help practice mental maths skills
BBC Bitesize: www.bbc.co.uk/education Some great revision activities and games
Nrich: http://nrich.maths.org/secondary-upper Some great problem solving and challenging maths ideas
Contact details for any questions - please contact Mrs Hammond, Head of Mathematics firstname.lastname@example.org