Mathematics

Key Stage 3

Year 7 Mathematics is taught in broadly-banded groups based on ability with differentiation within the group. In Years 8 and 9 the classes are set by ability. 

Aims

  • To secure and build on the pupil’s achievements at Primary School.

  • To encourage pupils to develop their thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

  • To enable pupils to use their mathematical knowledge across the whole curriculum with confidence.

  • To ensure that every pupil is given the opportunity to work to the limit of his or her potential.

 

Meeting Individual Needs

Before pupils arrive at Northgate, liaison work with the primary schools and transfer information gives us a clear indication of the potential of each pupil. We enjoy good support from the Learning Support Faculty so that those who are less able at Mathematics receive extra help with basic concepts. Equally we strive to promote the very best and each year some of our pupils are selected for able children workshops and national competitions.

 

Methods of Working

There are opportunities for a variety of learning styles. These include problem-solving; investigations; practical Mathematics; teacher exposition; routine practice; use of spreadsheet, database and dynamic geometry and graphing computer programs; strategy games and discussion. Homework will be regularly set in line with the school policy.

 

The Course

There are three main areas of Mathematics addressed:

  • Number and Algebra – this focuses on general calculations and introduces abstract reasoning and problem-solving

  • Shape, Space and Measures – this helps develop spatial awareness and also introduces various concepts of proof

  • Data Handling – in a world ruled more and more by data, this helps develop the representation and analysis of data whilst testing hypotheses.

 

Equipment

Part of the curriculum involves mathematical skills without the use of a calculator but for much of the time access to calculators will be actively encouraged. It would greatly help if every pupil has his or her own calculator – an excellent model is available for purchase through the school, priced currently at £5.50. In addition each pupil should bring a ruler, protractor and a pair of compasses to every Mathematics lesson.

For more detailed information about what is studied each term in Years 7 to 9, please see the Parents’ Curriculum Guides in the Learning/Curriculum section of the school website.

 

Key Stage 4

What will I learn?

You will develop the ability to

  • use and apply mathematics effectively in everyday situations

  • set out mathematical problems clearly using the appropriate symbols

  • think abstractly using algebra

  • organise and present information in a variety of forms (e.g. tabular or graphical)

  • perform calculations by suitable methods (including mental methods and the use of calculators)

  • work accurately

  • recognise patterns and structure

  • recognise and use spatial relationships in 2 and 3 dimensions

  • use mathematical instruments to draw to an acceptable degree of accuracy

  • carry out investigational work

  • discuss mathematical ideas.

 

How will I be assessed?

The course will be assessed through written examination papers only. 

Candidates are entered for their final examination papers at different levels, according to their individual progress and attainment:

  • Higher level will award grades 4-9 (with 9 being the highest)

  • Foundation level will award grades 1-5

GCSE examination papers are set with the expectation that pupils will have a scientific calculator. These are available from the school library at £5.00.

 

How will I be taught?

There are opportunities for a variety of learning styles. These include problem-solving; investigations; practical Mathematics; teacher exposition; routine practice; use of spreadsheet, database, dynamic geometry and graphing computer programs; strategy games and discussion. Homework will be regularly set in order to consolidate on previously learned concepts and to gauge understanding.

All specialist mathematics rooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards.

 

Progression

GCSE Grade 5 in Mathematics may be required for many post-16 courses and careers; Grade 6 will be needed for A Level Mathematics and Computing, and Grade 7 for Further Mathematics.

 

Examination Board

OCR