Mathematics is woven into the fabric of everyday life – indeed, according to Galileo, it is “the language in which God has written the universe”. A thorough grounding in numerical competence is essential for everyone who wrestles with domestic budgets and taxes, special offers in the supermarket that are anything but special, or those who want to understand their pay-packet. A deeper mathematical understanding is needed by those whose job necessitates making sense of numerical information – company cash flow and turnover, economic trends, results from research. However, the joys of Mathematics are not limited simply to the utilitarian aspects: there is a real pleasure to be gained from seeking the patterns inherent in structures both created by Nature or by Man, and a joy unequalled anywhere in the “eureka!” moment when a particularly challenging problem suddenly yields an elegant solution.
The study of Mathematics is compulsory up to (I)GCSE level, but many choose to continue beyond the point at which it becomes voluntary.
Departmental aims include:
- Fostering a positive attitude towards, and enjoyment of the subject
- Developing understanding of the basic properties and deep structures of numbers
- Building confidence in the handling of the tools of mathematics to solve problems
- Building the skills necessary to produce a clearly reasoned response to problems that uses accepted mathematical notation with precision
- Encouraging creative thinking so that pupils can deal with unusual as well as standard problems
- Maximising the mathematical understanding and achievement of every pupil
The Department follows the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus for examination classes, teaching pupils in sets determined by the speed at which they are comfortable for material to be covered. The most able pupils are encouraged in optional enrichment programmes, whilst those who find the subject difficult are supported in smaller teaching sets that allow a lot of personal attention, as well as being offered easy access to extra help outside of timetabled classes.
The Department is staffed by extremely well-qualified specialist Mathematics graduates, and its results in recent years rank among the best of all the school’s departments, despite the subject’s compulsory status.
Further details about the IGCSE course offered can be found in The Right Course.