A variety of teaching and learning styles is used in Mathematics lessons. We recognise the fact that children differ in mathematical ability and we therefore employ a range of strategies to help each girl to attain her full potential.

Our pupils receive a mathematical education that is increasingly linked to their own needs and those of society.

We help them to: understand the capabilities and limitations of Mathematics and the implications and the consequences of its use; make effective use of Mathematics in a wide range of activities within school and as preparation for adult life as responsible citizens; develop an awareness of the fascination of Mathematics as a subject in its own right; work in a systematic manner, thereby developing the ability to reason logically, classify, generalise and prove; work in an independent manner; develop an imaginative and creative mind arising from mathematical ideas; derive pleasure and enjoyment from Mathematics.

Preps and Juniors
In the Prep and Junior Departments, the girls are taught Mathematics through the Abacus scheme. Abacus is a unique maths toolkit written for the new primary maths curriculum, and it has been carefully crafted on a robust approach to creating inspired and confident young mathematicians. The scheme develops the children’s mental mathematics, problem solving and investigative skills. A range of resources is used to support the teaching and learning of Mathematics, including interactive programs, practical activities, games and written work. Children also have access to a variety of digital content, which is highly motivating whilst developing their ICT skills.

Our aim is to encourage all our children to enjoy the many different aspects of Mathematics, to be prepared to take risks, not to be afraid of making mistakes and to achieve their potential in this exciting and multi-faceted subject. The children are encouraged to develop their mental arithmetic skills and to use the correct mathematical vocabulary, and we find that they quickly gain the confidence to talk about their work and methods at quite a sophisticated level. Programmes of work for each term are designed to cover different strands of Mathematics in line with the new Primary Curriculum.

A variety of teaching methods and activities is used to suit different learning styles, with children working as a whole class, individually and in pairs or groups as appropriate. The children have enjoyed participating in ‘No Pen Wednesday’, ‘Puzzle Challenge Day’, and we have a whole week dedicated to Mathematics which includes lots of activities to develop the girls’ problem-solving skills. We also offer a variety of clubs where children can develop their interest in Mathematics outside of the classroom.

Form III to Upper IV (Key Stage 3) and Lower V to Upper V (Key Stage 4)
In Forms III to Upper V of the Senior School the girls are taught in three sets, based on ability. The schemes of work are structured in such a way as to allow for movement between sets.

In Forms III to Upper IV, we follow the Mathematics Enhancement Programme devised by CIMT at the University of Plymouth. Broadly speaking, the material covered is a preparation for the GCSE syllabus.

In the summer term of Upper IV, the girls start the GCSE syllabus. All our girls sit the Edexcel GCSE examination at the end of Upper V. We believe that the non-calculator element of this exam is important in encouraging the continued use of mental arithmetic. Almost all our girls sit the Higher Level exam.

Exam Board: Edexcel
Syllabus: 1MA1 (Linear)
All the Exam boards have a two-tier structure for the Mathematics GCSE: Foundation and Higher.
The final decision about the tier of entry for each girl will be made after the mock exams during the Upper V year. We expect the vast majority of girls to sit the Higher Level exam.

Scheme of Assessment

Written Exams Weighting Foundation Higher
Paper 1 (Non-calculator) 33⅓% 1 hour 30 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
Paper 2 (Calculator) 33⅓% 1 hour 30 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
Paper 3 (Calculator) 33⅓% 1 hour 30 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes

Grade Structure

Foundation Higher
Grades 5 – 1 9 – 4

Comparison (old grades and new grades):

New Grade (Higher) 9 8 7 6 5 4
New Grade (Foundation) 5 4 3 2 1
Old Grade A* A*/A A B C C D E/F F/G

OCR Additional Mathematics (Free Standing Maths Qualification ‘FSMQ’)
At the start of the Summer Term of Lower V, high achievers in Set 1 who are considering taking A level  Mathematics in the future are given the opportunity to study for this extra qualification.  This is by invitation only and will require attendance at after school  lessons until the syllabus is completed at the end of the Upper V year.

The examination reference is 6993 and assessment is in the form of one two hour paper.  The highest grade available is  A;  there is no A*.

This qualification is a great opportunity to narrow the gap between the GCSE and A level courses.

Lower VI to Upper VI (Key Stage 5)

The specifications for A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics change with effect for first teaching September 2017. The subject content for both these qualifications has been released (April 2016) by the government and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gce-as-and-a-level-mathematics https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gce-as-and-a-level-further-mathematics

At the moment, examination boards are in the process of applying for accreditation for their proposed specifications. The choice of exam board will be made by the School once there are approved specifications to choose from.

For pupils starting A level Mathematics in September 2016, the two year course followed is Edexcel 9371. In Lower VI the modules studies are C1, C2 and S1. In Upper VI the modules studies are C3, C4 and M1. With the exception of S1, all exams are taken at the end of the two year course; S1 is taken at the end of the first year.

Each year several girls from Upper IV attend a series of Mathematics Masterclasses at the Royal Institution. The participants are introduced to topics which are beyond the scope of the normal school syllabus, thereby giving them an opportunity to broaden their mathematical experience.

UKMT Maths Challenges

Pupils in Set 1 of each year group are given the opportunity to take the UKMT Maths Challenge.  This is a national competition at three levels:  Junior (Form III and Lower IV), Intermediate (Upper IV to Upper V) and Senior (Lower VI and Upper VI).  Success in this competition can lead to qualification for further European rounds or the Maths Olympiad.