Mathematics

Members of Staff and Responsibilities

Mrs Andrea Perks        –    Director of Mathematics Faculty;

Mrs Pip Caunt               –    Joint Second in Mathematics Faculty & Responsible for Key Stage 4;

Mr Ken Pyper               –    Joint Second in Mathematics Faculty & Responsible for Key Stage 4;

Mrs Heather Brooks     –    Responsible for Key Stage 3;

Mr Charlie Wigmore     –    Responsible for Key Stage 5;

Mr Mike Hunt                –    Teacher of Mathematics & Mentor to Mathematics Trainee Teachers;

Mrs Elizabeth Addison  –    Head of Year 7 & Teacher of Mathematics;

Mrs Jan Robertson       –    Teacher of Mathematics;

Mr Jordan Mockett       –    Teacher of Mathematics & P.E.;

Mrs Tracy Rae              –    Higher Level Teaching Assistant in Mathematics.

Key Stage 3 Mathematics:

We have introduced a focus on Mastery, which is taught throughout years 7 and 8.  Mastery in maths aims to give all students a deep, long term, secure and adaptable understanding of the topics.

For this, we will be teaching pupils to allow for:

  • fluency (rapid recall of facts and concepts learned);
  • mathematical reasoning;
  • application of maths to solve problems and give conjectures.

As the name suggests, Mastery is mastering the basics.  Having a strong platform for the future and increase students’ confidence, whilst experiencing fun and challenge.  This entails ensuring every student has the key skills, whilst challenging those secure procedurally, with challenging activities and investigations; looking to extend their understanding through the application of these skills, rather than teach new topics.

Within Mastery, students will be learning by the process of consolidation and accumulation.  This includes frequent, smaller assessments, to ensure progress and that students are ready to use the required deeper understanding and problem solving skills required at GCSE.

All students sit a baseline test when they join the school.  We use the results of this test, along with students’ Key Stage 2 maths standardised score, to determine their initial maths set and target grades.  The maths faculty is the only department in the school that sets students from the start of year 7.  Confidence plays an important part in students’ developing understanding in maths, and we believe that having students in an ability appropriate set, where they do not feel they are struggling relative to their peers is essential.  We regularly analyse students’ progress to ensure that they are in the most appropriate set.

Maths challenges, activities, investigations and individualise tasks are used to extend, enrich and engage students.  Annually, we enter 100 year 7 and 8 students into the national ‘UKMT Maths Challenge’ and send a team to the South West regional UKMT Team Challenge.

In addition to having two Teaching Assistants based within the maths faculty, we are very lucky to have a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, who provides intervention to students in small groups.  The purpose of this intervention and support is to enable students to gain a deeper understanding, to correct mis-conceptions, give greater confidence and hence facilitate further progress.

Key Stage 4 Mathematics:

The GCSE Mathematics course is Linear and 100% examined.  This means that students sit all of the exams at the end of year 11 and there is not any coursework, ISAs or controlled assessment, which contribute to the qualification.  Students start studying GCSE Mathematics at the beginning of year 9.

GCSE maths, irrespective of exam board or tier of entry, consists of three papers, sat in May and June of year 11:

  • Paper 1 – 1 ½ hrs – Non-Calculator;
  • Paper 2 – 1 ½ hrs – Calculator;
  • Paper 3 – 1 ½ hrs – Calculator.

We enter students for the Edexcel GCSE Maths exam, code 1MA1, where each paper is worth 80 marks.

Students who are tracking at grades from 1 to 5, will be entered for the Foundation tier exam.  Those tracking at 6 to 9 will be entered for Higher tier.

Both tiers and exams cover topics on:

  • Number;
  • Algebra;
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of change;
  • Geometry and Measures;
  • Statistics and Probability.

From the start of year 11, students are encouraged to attend weekly revision sessions.  We offer:

  • Foundation Revision of a Specific Topic;
  • Higher Revision of a Specific Topic;
  • Revision support on Students’ Maths Problems;
  • Revision on the “Level 2 Further Maths Qualification”.

The latter is an additional qualification for students’ targeting a grade 7 to 9 at GCSE.

In addition to after school revision lessons to support students in their studies, we also offer an Intensive Revision Day in the holidays prior to their exams.

To incentivise students to maintain their best effort in maths, we invite students who have worked consistently well, irrespective of their ability, to attend the “Maths Reward Trip” to Thorpe Park at the end of year 9.  Where, as well as enjoying the rides, they get to explore how mathematics is used to in the design of the rides and the day-to-day running of the park.  We repeat the trip at the end of year 10, to acknowledge and encourage this effort.

Key Stage 5 Mathematics:

We are delighted to be able to offer both A-Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics in the sixth form.  Both are popular options and the numbers of students pursuing degrees in mathematics and related fields (such as engineering, physics and computing) also rising.  Students applying for Universities who excel in mathematics, such as Oxford and Warwick, are required to take the “Sixth Term Examination Paper” (STEP). Other students opt to sit “Advanced Extension Award”.  We support and prepare students for both of these examinations.

To support the students’ studies, enrichment opportunities and mathematical challenges are utilised.  We enter all students studying maths in the sixth form for the “UKMT” individual senior maths challenge, and others additionally take part in the “UKMT” team challenge, the “British Maths Olympiad” and the “British Maths Olympiad for Girls”. In recent years, a number have chosen to go on a week’s residential course at Villier’s Park in Cambridge and which is associated with the University of Cambridge, for either mathematics or engineering.

To aid students in their studies, we have invested in the latest textbooks for A-Level Maths and Further Maths, as well as ensuring that students have individual access to the “Pearson” interactive digital resource.  In addition, students have logins to the “Maths Net” A-Level website and “My Maths”.  We also run weekly revision sessions, for students, as well as being available at other times.

We follow the Edexcel syllabus for both Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

There is also the opportunity for sixth formers to attend lessons, exclusively for sixth formers, to re-take GCSE maths, targeting a higher grade.  We currently have students who achieved grades 5 and 6 in Year 11, aiming for a 6 and 7 respectively to gain access to their preferred degree course post-sixth form.

See our Sixth Form A-Level Mathematics / Further Mathematics pages for further details.

Enrichment Opportunities in Mathematics:

We offer a wide variety of Enrichment in Mathematics.  As well as the revision sessions and rewards trips mentioned already, able mathematicians compete in the National UK Mathematics Trust Challenges; both for individual students and teams.  When it is held, we also compete in the South West Mathematics Challenge.

As a Mathematics Specialist School, we offer in-house enrichment to our students and attend other suitable events.  These include events organised by The University of Bath, The University of Bristol, The Institute of Mathematics, The Further Mathematics Network and The Russell Group Universities.  Each year, a University Lecturer of Mathematics visits to speak to students contemplating taking mathematics in the Sixth Form.

The John of Gaunt School is also involved in and a supporter of the “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network” (STEM-net).  The Mathematics Faculty works closely with the Science and Technology Departments, to provide relevant and cross-curricular enrichment

Where appropriate, students also go on residential courses.  At Key Stage 3 these are usually held at Klive Court in Somerset, whilst in the Sixth Form these are at Villier’s Park in Cambridge.

 

Essential Equipment:

The equipment required by students in maths is:

  • BLACK pen;
  • Pencil;
  • Ruler;
  • Compasses;
  • Protractor;
  • Rubber;
  • SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR.

Also recommended:

  • Sharpener;
  • Spare pen;

Exam boards ask that we do not loan equipment out in exams.  This is because not all equipment works in the same way.  Scientific calculators are the best example of this, where different makes and models may not have keys in the same positions and can offer different functions, although 180 degree and 360 degree protractors also require students to read answers differently too and rulers may have various units of measure.  It is therefore essential that students have the equipment listed above for exams and all lessons.  This will ensure that students can use their calculator to its maximum advantage.

All of this equipment is available from the “Maths Shop” or from local stationers and supermarkets.  The “Maths Shop” which is in the maths office, is open at break and lunchtime, and sells the calculators and stationery.  The latter is available both individually and in an exam-friendly pencil case.

 

Revision Tips:

Maths Revision must involve the completion of questions, not just reading over previous work or notes.

This can involve:

  • Completion of Past Exam Papers;
  • Use of a Revision Workbook;
  • Questions from a maths specific website, such as:
    • Mymaths.co.uk;
    • corbettmaths.com/5-a-day/gcse;
    • https://mathsapp.pixl.org.uk/.

All students are given access to the “My Maths” website, and those in Key Stage 4 are also given logins to “Pixl”.  In addition, all students studying maths in the Sixth Form have logins for the “Maths Net” A-Level website and the “Pearson” interactive digital A-Level resource.

If unsure, students should then use one of the following to check:

  • Their class notes;
  • A Revision Guide;
  • The “Mymaths.co.uk” website;
  • Asking their/any maths teacher.

Revision guides and workbook at the appropriate tier for GCSE, can be purchased via ‘Parent Pay’ or from the maths shop.  Those for A-Level are also available through the maths shop.

The key thing with revision is that it should be regular and sustainable.  We would therefore advise students in Key Stage 4 to start their revision earlier, aiming to do 20-30 minutes a couple of times a week.

 

Contact Details for Mathematics:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Andrea Perks – Director of Learning of the Mathematics Faculty:

E-mail:        aperks@jogschool.org

Telephone: 01225 – 762637 ext 241