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Mathematics

Introduction

Everybody can tell you about their experience of Mathematics from their school days, our aim is that pupils at Sutton Valence School, no matter of their perceived ability level remember it as a positive experience.

The importance of Mathematics in day to day life should never be underestimated. A universal language spoken across the world, that shares in the responsibility of creating technology, founding scientific discoveries and at the center of many successful businesses, it really is a gateway subject.

Mathematics splits into four main branches: number, algebra, measure and statistics and in each element problem solving features heavily. The new GCSE syllabus is designed to not only assess whether a pupil can perform a skill but more importantly whether they can apply it to a real world scenario.

To succeed in this subject, especially to the highest level it is important that a pupil has:

  • A lively and enquiring mind;
  • An excellent work ethic and a desire to succeed;
  • A can do approach to their learning;
  • A desire to explore new ideas and communicate them effectively;
  • The resilience to keep going and asking for help when you get stuck

Junior Curriculum

The Mathematics programme at Sutton Valence School is designed to support and enrich learners’ mathematical ability so that all feel they can do Mathematics. The emphasis on our teaching in the Junior School is ensuring that any gaps in core knowledge are filled whilst looking at how Mathematics can be applied to real world problems. Whilst pupils are initially set by entrance results, they are continually assessed both via formal assessments and teacher assessments to ensure all individuals are set to maximise their mathematical knowledge.

Students receive four lessons a week with one of these being dedicated to problem solving. In the problem solving lessons, pupils are in mixed groups to allow them the opportunity to learn from others and realise that regardless of perceived mathematical ability, there is plenty of Mathematics that they do every day without realising. Whilst a key emphasis is placed on supporting our learners, the department firmly believes in stretching and challenging pupils giving all the chance to develop and engage with the subject.

Third Form Curriculum

Pupils in the Third Form receive three lessons of Mathematics each week. Our teaching emphasis in the Michaelmas Term centres on using and applying number skills, a key element of the new GCSE course. Pupils will then develop this knowledge into real world problems. The GCSE course will begin in earnest from January.

GCSE Mathematics

Board: Edexcel – International GCSE (ICGSE) syllabus followed.

Mathematics must be taken to at least GCSE standard by all pupils. The course is designed to test pupils understanding of mathematical skills in the four main elements. Problem solving is also a key component of the course which tests not only pupils general skills but their grasp of the functionality of Mathematics in the real world.

Assessment structure:

  • Two, 2-hour papers taken at the end of the course. Calculators are allowed for both papers.
  • The grade is determined on the average of the two papers.

Level 2 Further Mathematics

For the more able mathematical students (normally those in the A set) we also run the Level 2 Further Mathematics qualification. This involves pupils studying several number and algebra topics to a higher level to stimulate and engage their mathematical curiosity.

Assessment Structure:

  • One non-calculator paper and one calculator paper taken at the end of the course.

A Level

Edexcel is our chosen examining board for Mathematics A Level, Further Mathematics A Level and the Level 3 Mathematics in Context course. Students must have a grade 7 (A grade) or above in Mathematics at GCSE to take this A Level.

Units include Pure Mathematics 1, Pure Mathematics 2 and Applied Mathematics.

Pure Mathematics 1 and 2 the following topics are studied: Proof, algebra, functions, co-ordinate geometry, sequences and series, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integrations, numerical methods and vectors.

Applied Mathematics covers both a range of topics in statistics and mechanics including: statistical sampling, hypothesis testing, data presentation and interpretation, probability, statistical distributions, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws and moments.

Assessment Structure:

  • Three 2-hour examinations (Pure 1, Pure 2 and Applied) taken at the end of the course.
  • Each paper is worth one-third of the final grade.

Further Mathematics A Level

Pupils must have a level 8 or above (A* grade) at GCSE to take this option.

Pupils must take the following compulsory units: Core Pure Mathematics 1, Core Pure Mathematics 2, Further Pure Mathematics, Further Statistics, Further Mechanics and Decision Mathematics. Further information about each unit can be found here.

Assessment Structure:

  • Four 1.5 hour papers taken at the end of the course.
  • Each paper is worth 25% of the final grade.

Mathematics in Context

This is a suitable course for any pupil who either wants to further enhance their mathematical knowledge or those taking subjects that are mathematically based (eg Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE) but do not wish to take the full A Level course. Ideally pupils should have a minimum of a level 6 (B grade) at GCSE to undertake this course.

Content:

Pupils will look to enhance their skills and knowledge in the following topic areas: Application of Statistics, Probability, Linear programming, Sequences and Growth. These skills will then be applied to practical problems. Pupils will be given a source booklet prior to the examination where they are given data and a theme. Previous themes have included sport and space.

Assessment Structure:

Pupils take two written papers. The first is a comprehension paper worth 40% of the final grade and the second is an application paper worth 60% of the final grade.

 

Mathematics department staff

Mr Gary Wellings

Mr Francis Gregely

Mrs Christine Kitchen

Mr Tim Cope

Ms Sacha Morevak-Hurst

Mr Christopher Westlake 

Head of Department

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