The aim of the Mathematics Department at Great Baddow High School is to realise the full mathematical potential of each individual learner. Our professional, dedicated and fully qualified team believe that creating an enjoyment of mathematics is crucial to enable all learners to improve their mathematical ability regardless of background, prior attainment and knowledge. We strongly believe in challenging all students and encouraging progress through independence and resilience throughout the year groups. The varied professional background of members of the department leads to realistic and relevant connections between mathematics, everyday life, work and other academic disciplines.
The courses we run
Key Stage 3
From Year 7 to 9, students follow the Maths Frameworking scheme of work. Problem solving is taught alongside the core maths skills in all year groups and year 7 have an extra, discrete problem solving lesson where they learn to apply their mathematical skills to contextual problems. Students are set by ability within two-cohorts in each year group and are taught at a level to challenge them individually. Regular evaluation of progress is made and both the teaching/learning and the setting is adjusted according to this. Key Stage 3 culminates in an examination in the January of Year 9, students begin their GCSE course after this.
Key Stage 4
Students are following the Edexcel Specification for GCSE mathematics (code 1MA1).
Students either sit Higher Tier exams, where they can achieve grades 9 to 4, or Foundation Tier exams, where they can achieve Grades 5 to 1. Each course is assessed via three terminal examinations each 1 hour and 30 minutes in length. This new GCSE contains a lot more real-life content and starting the course in year 9 allows the teaching and practice of this application of skills.
Students are continually encouraged to achieve to their full potential and through regular monitoring, intervention for those not making at least their expected level of progress is put in place.
Key Stage 5
Mathematics A-level is a very highly valued qualification. It is held in high esteem by industry, commerce and higher education. Mathematics is rightly regarded as a demanding subject, and those who study it develop thinking and problem solving skills applicable in all fields.
Students who have gained at least a grade 7 at GCSE will have a good basis for studying A-level. Hard work, determination to succeed and a certain level of independence is essential for success at A-Level mathematics. All students must be prepared to experience difficulties and face-up to the challenge that these present! Success is much more likely if the student enjoys and is interested in the subject.
Sixth formers taking mathematics follow the new “decoupled” Edexcel specification. The course is split into Pure mathematics (making up 62.5% of the assessment) and Applied mathematics in the form of Mechanics and Statistics (the remaining 37.5% of the assessment). The course is examined at the end of year 13 by way of three papers.
We also offer the opportunity to study Further Mathematics to either AS or A2 level. The content of this course is a little more flexible; students can have some input into the areas of maths studied. In addition to further pure mathematics, students can choose to study further mechanics, further statistics or decision mathematics.
For those wishing to continue studying mathematics but don’t want to commit to a full A-level, we offer a level 3 course in Core Mathematics. This course is designed for those possibly wishing to study a degree course with mathematical content (such as geography, science, psychology, economics etc) who want to keep their skills sharp throughout the sixth form. It is worth the same as an AS level (in terms of UCAS points) and is looked favourably upon for university entrance for those courses which contain some element of maths.
Homework is set on a regular basis. All homework is recorded on Show My Homework. Homework tasks in all Key Stages take varied formats from worksheets, through on-line homework (via the school’s subscriptions to mymaths and mathswatch) to research and examination questions.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development within Mathematics
Understanding of the world around us forms a basis of everything we do in mathematics. We endeavour to relate all topics studied to real-life situations, from investigating the ethical and moral issues posed by the fair trade industry to looking at the way in which ours and others societies are funded. In key stage 4 we study the ways in which wealth is distributed within our economy as well as personal finances, in preparation for life in the big world.
Developing deep thinking and questioning the way in which the world works promotes the spiritual growth of students. In maths lessons pupils are always encouraged to delve deeper into their understanding of Mathematics and how it relates to the world around them. Analysing data skills are taught throughout enabling students to make sense of vast amounts of data available in the modern world.
KS3 pupils are also tasked with a variety of projects that require moral decisions to be made. Students work in teams to think creatively, discuss and formulate ideas to solve problems and then present their ideas to their peers. These projects include dealing with natural disasters and funding schemes to reduce road traffic accidents in a small town where decisions concerning safety have to be made with a financial context.
Problem solving skills 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.
Mathematics is an international language with inputs from different cultures throughout time. Students learn to use exchange rates for foreign travel and speed limit conversions (miles to kilometres for driving abroad!) We also explore how Mathematics appears in different cultures such as Rangoli patterns, symmetry, tessellations and Islamic geometric patterns.