The Maths Faculty

Head of Maths IJ Owen BSc
  • NC Blackburn BSc
  • Mrs C Forde-Halpin BA
  • M McMillan MEng (Hons)

The Mathematics Faculty is a single subject faculty with 4 full time teachers. Housed in the ground floor of the main classroom block, it occupies a suite of 4 classrooms, each with data projectors and most with interactive whiteboards.  Compulsory at Key Stages 3 and 4, it is the most popular subject choice in the Sixth Form with over half the Lower Sixth year opting for Mathematics and a significant number also studying Further Mathematics.  

Key Stage 3  

In Years 7 to 9 the main objective is to consolidate and build upon the basics of the subject already studied and to prepare the ground for the GCSE course with many GCSE topics being introduced at an early stage. There is a strong emphasis at this level on developing basic numeracy and problem solving skills. In Years 7 and 8, there are typically two classes per year group of about 14-16 and in Year 9, there is normally three groups of around the same size.  

KS4 – GCSE  

All pupils in the school take GCSE Mathematics following the EDUQAS 9-1 specification. It is the intention that all three sets at this level work towards Higher Tier examinations (Grades 9 to 4), though entry for Foundation Tier (up to Grade 5) is a route for those where it may be more appropriate. In 2017, the first year of the new system, 54% of pupils gained a Grade 7 or better (equivalent to the old A/A*)  

KS5 – AS/A-Level  

Maths is a very popular choice for those in Years 12 and 13 with over half of year 12 studying the subject.  We are placed in two option blocks so that there is a good deal of flexibility in terms of the other courses that it can sit with.  We have been one of the final few subjects to move to the new linear A-Levels and we offer the EDEXCEL course which, in common with all other Awarding Bodies, consists of Pure Maths (63% of the course) and a mix of Mechanics and Statistics (37% of the course).  We also offer a Further Maths course, which is of great benefit to those intending on pursuing a STEM course, and this is also EDEXCEL.  There is a core course of Pure Maths which accounts for 50% of the work and Further Statistics and Further Mechanics account for a further 25% each. Historically results have been very strong – in 2017 80% of pupils gained a B or better in Maths and the figure was 92% for Further Maths.  

There is a good support system in place to help those with particular difficulties and there are “drop-in” tutorial sessions for examination classes throughout the week which pupils are encouraged to attend. Throughout the school, there is the opportunity to participate in the national UK Maths Trust Challenges with many pupils gaining Bronze, Silver or Gold awards with some of the top performers going on to further stages; last year we had 3 Year 12 make it through to the final round of the Mathematical Olympiad.