Pupils enter the Senior School in Year 7 having had different experiences with Maths at their various primary schools so our aims are simple:
- review the basics such as number work (4 operations, decimals, fractions, patterns etc.) and shape
- introduce and/or expand upon topics such as algebra and probability
- instigate, investigate and solve problems
- develop self-confidence in the pupils and confidence in their teachers
- get the pupils into the routine of setting out work clearly, showing working out and handing homeworks in on time
- make maths enjoyable as well as challenging.
The pupils will usually be put into sets in September based on the entrance exam. These sets are fluid until Christmas when a longer test will help to ensure that pupils are put into the right group. All pupils will be working through the Collins Frameworking Scheme which ties in directly to the GCSE course that we currently study.
Pupils will be in sets according to the ability that they have shown in class and in exams during Year 7. There will be movement between sets during the year as we are well aware that children switch on (or off) as they mature and/or put in the effort. The progress of the pupils in all sets will be regularly monitored with half-termly tests, reviews of class and homework and subject teacher assessment and discussion. Set 1 will use the Collins Frameworking Book 3 which is designed to stretch and challenge the more able yet introduce new topics in language appropriate to their age. Set 2 will use the Book 2 and Set 3 will use Book 1, both of which work through similar topics but using smaller steps.
By the time pupils reach Year 9 we should have a pretty good idea of their ability so there is little movement between sets. If Set 1 demonstrate that they’re up to the challenge, we may start the Higher Level GCSE course a year early and aim to do the external exam at the end of Year 10. The opportunities this will give pupils for Year 11 and beyond will be made clear to both pupils and parents nearer the time. Again the Collins Frameworking series of books will be used. Topics such as Trigonometry and Simultaneous Equations rear their heads this year so the pupils will be getting down to some serious maths. This helps us to sort out their level of entry and, therefore, which set each pupil should be in at the start of their GCSE course proper in Year 10.
Throughout Key Stage 3 and beyond, the Maths Department operate a clinic at lunchtime to sort out individual problems.
Key Stage 4
Mathematics is compulsory at GCSE. There is no aspect of life or a worthwhile job that doesn‘t involve Maths in some form or other. GCSE is the current measure of a pupil‘s mathematical ability and will be examined at two levels:
Basic Maths involving mostly number work, with some simple algebra and geometry. A grade 5 is available at this level.
For those who enjoy the challenge of applying Maths to solve more complex problems and who, by and large, intend to study Science or Maths beyond GCSE. At this level a 9 is the highest grade.
At Hull Collegiate School, we enter the lower groups for the Foundation GCSE at the end of Year 10. This (hopefully) allows pupils to get a grade 5 under their belt before embarking on the Higher course in Year 11 in which they can attain a higher grade. Every pupil is capable of a grade 5 in Maths if they are prepared to work hard, follow the teacher’s lead and seek assistance when unsure. This is available during lessons or at break or lunchtime when we offer individual help to those who feel that they need it, no appointment necessary.
Those pupils who we don’t feel are being stretched enough, even at Higher level, will be encouraged to go beyond GCSE. They will take the GCSE at the end of Year 10 and then study the GCSE Further Maths in Year 11, helping them to bridge the gap should they want to go on and take A Level Maths.
We will be working through the Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics A syllabus.
Both the Foundation and Higher level pupils will have the appropriate text and the corresponding practice book for homework. These are large volumes, which cover the whole syllabus and consequently take two years to work through properly.
The final assessment is based on two equally weighted examinations at the end of Year 11, both of which allow the use of a calculator.
Those studying Maths at Higher level will be encouraged to consider Maths (and Further Maths) at AS level. An 8 or a 9 would be ideal but a grade 7 has, in the past, led to A Level success, although the work ethic has to match the determination to succeed.
It is expected that every pupil is properly equipped for lessons, the essentials being a pen (preferably not fountain), pencil, ruler, calculator, protractor and a pair of compasses.