‘'Mathematics has beauty and romanance. It's not a boring place to be, the mathematical world. It's an extraordinary place: it's worth spending time there’ - Marcys du Sautoy.
Here at Sutton Valence, we realise that it may take some of our learners a little longer to see the beauty in Mathematics, but our aim is to ensure all pupils are provided with a supportive environment to develop their mathematical skills. Our ethos is one of enjoyment and success for all, whether you are studying to GCSE level or right through to the more challenging A Levels.
With nearly a century of cumulative experience teaching Mathematics, the department contains a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Mrs Lindsay Mitchell-Nanson leads the department and brings her experience of Head of Academic Scholars to the team, as well as a passion for investigation. She is ably supported by Mr Gary Harris, Assistant Head of Mathematics, who came to the School having studied for a degree in Philosophy and whose specialty lies in decoding proofs and STEP preparation.
Other staff members within the Mathematics team include Mrs Christine Kitchen, who also works as the School’s Timetabling Manager, and Mr Chris Westlake (a former Head of Mathematics at his previous school) who also works as a boarding tutor in Westminster and as a coach for the school’s very successful shooting team. Mr Tim Cope brings a wealth of experience to the team, and when not in the classroom can be found coaching the Senior Boy’s Tennis Team or on duty as a commander of the RAF section of the CCF. Our newest recruit to the department is Mrs Sacha Hurst whose creative skill makes Mathematics comes alive. When she is not teaching Mathematics she can be found teaching Business and Economics to the Sixth Form.
Our curriculum has been designed to engage our learners throughout their mathematical journey.
The First and Second Forms study the subject for four hours each week. The emphasis in our teaching is in understanding and the practical application of mathematics. We encourage the exploration of mathematical ideas through investigations and puzzles, so that pupils feel more comfortable with the subject, and gain the confidence to try their ideas and discuss their problems.
In the Third Form we continue with the ethos set out in the first two years, but now our focus is in encouraging pupils to prepare them for the rigours of the IGCSE examinations at the end of the Fifth Form.
All pupils sit the Edexcel IGCSE examinations in the Fifth Form. This comprises of two papers, each of two hours duration. A calculator can be used in both papers. The content covers number work, algebra, data handling and geometry, with some function work and differentiation included. For those in the top set they will sit the examination in January and then complete the AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics IGCSE. This consists of two papers, a non-calculator paper of 90 minutes and a calculator paper of two hours. The content is much the same as the IGCSE but with more rigour. Extra topics include matrices and further algebra and geometry.
Those who choose to study Mathematics beyond GCSE will cover the content in the Edexcel specification. This consists for four core units C1, C2, C3 and C4. The content of these is algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus. In addition pupils will study the Statistics module S1, whose content is data handling, probability, discrete random variables, correlation and regression and the normal distribution; and the Mechanics module M1, whose content is kinematics, vectors in mechanics, statics and dynamics and centres of mass and collisions.
For those who are likely to want to enter careers in Mathematics, the Sciences and Engineering, A Level Further Mathematics is a useful addition. We cover the Further Pure modules FP1, FP2 and FP3 covering complex numbers, hyperbolics, series, mathematical induction further geometry, calculus, vectors and matrices. In addition pupils need to choose three other units, the choices in the past have been from M2, M3, D1, D2 and S2.
Mrs Lindsay Mitchell-Nanson
Head of Mathematics