Mathematics

“To most outsiders, modern mathematics is unknown territory.  Its borders are protected by dense thickets of technical terms; its landscapes are a mass of indecipherable equations and incomprehensible concepts.  Few realize that the world of modern mathematics is rich with vivid images and provocative ideas.”  Ivars Peterson

At Fearnhill, we expect you to: 

  • Be able to recall your times tables (up to 12). 
  • Come to school prepared with your maths equipment with you for every maths lesson (pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, compass, and calculator).
  • Attempt to use mathematical vocabulary during your maths lessons. 
  • Follow the maths department expectations when presenting your work.
  • Work collaboratively with peers and have mathematical discussions. 
  • Regularly use online resources for independent learning. 
  • Engage fully in your homework, completing it to the best of your ability. 

KEY STAGE 3 (KS3) – YEARS 7, 8 & 9

Over the first three years of secondary education we focus on developing students’ ability to solve problems in a range of contexts and become independent learners.  Our aim is to prepare all students adequately for the expected skill levels required at KS4.  This we achieve by enabling previously high attaining students from KS2 to be challenged through the skills they learn as well as the context they see them in.  We also build on the level of arithmetic ability and consolidate the basic skills learned at KS2. Our scheme of learning is also built to develop all students to spot correct skills from language in problems.  We achieve this in part by structuring units of learning into tasks that can be built from a single concept.  Given that the key stage 3 national curriculum lays most of the basic skill work required for KS4, learning is geared towards understanding why something works as well as application of rules and skills.  Teachers use a variety of approaches to achieve this.

Each year, the students study five blocks which build upon each other throughout the course of the key stage.

KEY STAGE 4 (KS4) – YEARS 10 & 11

Students will follow the Edexcel exam board for their GCSE and cover a range of mathematical topics under the following headings: number, algebra, ratio, proportion & rates of change, geometry & measures, probability and statistics.

The GCSE qualification consists of three equally weight written examination papers at either Foundation or Higher tier.  The maths GCSE supports students in developing their resilience by them having to unpick complex problems and learn how to apply their maths skills to multi-step problems.

KEY STAGE 5 (KS5) – YEARS 12 & 13

A Level Mathematics taught at Fearnhill follows the Edexcel specification.

The curriculum consists of three main strands: pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics.  In pure mathematics, students start by developing their skills in topics familiar to them at GCSE but are soon introduced to new techniques such as differentiation and integration, logarithms and exponentials.

The statistics content introduces models and methods that enable students to interpret and conduct sophisticated statistical studies, perform hypothesis tests and solve more complex problems involving probability.

Mechanics is the field of applied mathematics that models how objects behave when moving or acted on by a combination of forces.  Students undertake a more mathematical problem-solving approach than what is covered in A Level physics but students taking both subjects will benefit from overlap between the two courses.

In summary, the A Level in mathematics provides students with a comprehensive and powerful set of tools which can be employed in other subjects as diverse as economics, chemistry and the humanities.  Students with A Level mathematics are also in demand by employers as success on the course demonstrates commitment and an ability to solve problems in creative and structured ways.

ASSESSMENT

Students have regular in class assessments every half term to check their progress.  Following every assessment, students are provided with a personal learning checklist which guides them on their next steps to make further progress.

More details can be found below.

EXAM BOARD LINKS

RESOURCES

There are a variety of online resources available to students at all key stages, including My Maths, MathsWatch, Seneca Learning and Integral Maths.  We also use Oak Academy lessons for our virtual curriculum.  These online platforms have interactive lessons, walkthroughs, practice questions and exam style questions for the students to use.  MathsWatch also has tutorial videos on every topic that is on the syllabus so students can use this to self-study/revise topics in their own time.

In Year 11 and at Key Stage 5, we provide all students with a ‘Maths Bible’ which consists of a large bank of practice exam papers.  This helps build their confidence with exam style questions and prepare them for their external examinations.

CLUBS & ACTIVITIES

Maths Support club runs every lunch time in the computer rooms in the maths block.  There is always a member of the maths team available to help the students with any problems the students may have.

Mr Philpot also runs a Board Game Club for the students.  This is a good chance for the students to game socially but also build their problem solving and logical skills as they tackle different strategic games each week.

We will give all students the following opportunities:

  • Represent your house in a Fearnhill Mathalon.
  • Regularly participate in times tables challenges.
  • Raise money for the NSPCC on National Number Day.  Participate in a maths puzzle during form time.
  • Become ‘Maths Student of the Half Term’.
  • Attend Homework Club to receive support or challenge yourself further.
  • KS3 students have the opportunity to assist with the running of the Primary Mathalon.
  • KS4 students have the opportunity to coach KS3 students by assisting with homework club.
  • KS5 students have the opportunity to coach KS4 students by running intervention sessions.
  • Participate in our annual numeracy fair
  • Participate in national ‘Pi Day.’

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

There are plenty of opportunities for high performing students in the maths department at Fearnhill.  We provide the opportunity to participate in the annual UK Maths Challenges at the Junior, Intermediate and Senior level. This can lead to recognised awards and possible entry into subsequent rounds which test the best students in the country.  We are also building our presence in team challenges in the area such as attending the advanced maths support programme’s Year 10 Maths Feast.  As well as this, students can get stuck into the department’s super curriculum which enables them to qualify for the ‘Fearnhill Flyers’ programme.  At Fearnhill, we are fortunate to be in partnership with Balliol College, part of the Oxford University, who run maths specific enrichment sessions for our highest attaining students.

FAQs

  • Do we need to buy text books?
    No, we provide all text books that students need however optional revision resources are offered at discounted prices to students.  Letters are sent home about these resources at the relevant time.
  • Do we need a calculator?
    Yes though they are not used every lesson, students should have their own scientific calculator.  Throughout their time at Fearnhill, we will teach them how to use it effectively in preparation for their GCSE exams.
  • What other equipment will they need?
    Pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, protractor and a pair of compasses.

USEFUL WEBSITES

  • MyMaths
    Initial login: Fearnhill – Initial password pyramid
  • MathsWatch
    Login: Surname followed by first initial @fearnhill
    e.g. williamse@fearnhill Password: password (unless the student has changed it)
  • Integralmaths
    Used for A Level – students are given individual log ins.
  • Senecalearning