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Mathematics is a popular subject at Highworth. Our department consists of a friendly and supportive team of teachers who are ably assisted by our Sixth Form Prefects and ambassadors.
Our aim for all of our students is to:
- enable them to become numerate in whatever context is appropriate for them.
- develop their problem solving skills.
- nurture an interest in Mathematics as a subject and a desire to study Mathematics at a high level.
- engender a sense of resilience in their learning and a knowledge that failure often leads to success.
- enable them to make links with Mathematics in their daily life.
- develop a sense of logic, accuracy and correctness to reflect the rules of Mathematics.
We want every student we teach to feel encouraged, supported and confident that they have made the best progress they are capable of.
Follow us on Twitter! @HighworthMaths
Please click here to visit our student website
Head of Department
Mr I Pickard
Mr D Brett - Acting Deputy Head
Mr J Dodd – Assistant Headteacher, SLE, Maths Hub Lead
Mrs M Briggs
Mrs A Cheesman
Mr G Ferris – KS5 Co-ordinator
Mr W Gray
Mrs J Lattimer
Mrs C Mishra
Miss E Pope
Mrs K Turley
Mr M Wibberley
Mr K Ward
Key Stage 3
Year 7 students are placed into 3 sets in each of the two half year groups (6 sets in total) upon arrival at the school based on their KS2 results. We use our setting and the results of this test to tailor our lessons to best fit the needs of the students. Students are given a note book and an exercise book for their work. Each student has access to a textbook in class and we recommend that CGP revision guides are purchased. These can be bought from the school at a reduced price and additional information is provided here.
Please click here for a letter to Year 7 parents and carers to provide information about how to support students in their studies.
The students remain in three sets for Year 8 and then go into four sets for Year 9 to Year 11. Regular assessments and homework means that students can be moved between groups if required.
We have written our own innovative and challenging scheme of work in light of the new National Curriculum, in which we aim to deepen and stretch the mathematical understanding of students whilst enabling them to become problem solvers who can confidently make links between seemingly separate topics. We place a high level of expectation on students’ basic number work and once a fortnight all year 7 students have a numeracy lesson in order to help support those basic skills.
Assessment and feedback
Three formal assessments take place throughout each year and include an end of year exam. Grades for internal examinations are awarded proportionally based on our historic GCSE results. Students are expected to spend a suitable amount of time revising and afterwards spend lessons and homework time reviewing and analysing their performance. As part of this, they will be given a gap analysis which they use to identify areas of strength and weakness and a parent/carer will be required to sign the sheet. Students are expected to work on the topics they find difficult independently and appropriate interventions are carried out as necessary.
Please click here for the Maths department feedback policy
Please click here for the Year 7 units of work
Please click here for the Year 8 units of work
Key Stage 4
Maths at Highworth is taught as a 5 year course and as such the content in Year 9 follows on from, and reinforces, the topics covered in Years 7 and 8. The curriculum is further differentiated as the students enter Year 9, with those in the Further sets taking AQA Further Maths GCSE alongside the Edexcel Higher GCSE paper. Those students in sets 1 to 3 sit the higher paper with the work in lessons pitched at an appropriate level to allow the students to maximise their potential.
We continue to work from our own scheme of work which is specifically tailored to the needs of our students, supporting those who find maths difficult and challenging those who have an aptitude towards the subject.
Please click here for the GCSE units of work
At all levels of ability, we endeavour to stretch the understanding of the students through problem solving and by drawing links between the various topics covered.
Students are expected to become more independent as they progress through Key Stage 4. Homework requires more independent study and students are required to spend time researching ideas for forthcoming topics and reviewing areas from recent tests and homework that they have found more challenging. Members of staff are available to give support to students who require it both within lessons and during lunchtimes. Students also have access to Maths Help one lunchtime a week where they can receive guidance from staff and Sixth Form Maths Prefects.
Assessment and feedback
Students are assessed three times throughout each year and are given detailed feedback to allow them to improve on any areas of weakness and celebrate their strengths. Revision techniques are a continued focus, building on the guidance given in Years 7 and 8. The information is also used to reset students when necessary, placing them in the group best suited to their needs. Homework is set and marked regularly with constructive feedback where required.
Please click here for the Maths department feedback policy
Please click here for the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (9 – 1) specification
A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics are popular choices in the Sixth Form and all students wishing to continue the study of Mathematics at Highworth must achieve a grade 7 at GCSE. From September 2017, Highworth will be following the new Edexcel specification for both courses and a Summary of Changes document can be found here.
A Level Mathematics
The course will consist of three compulsory units, these being: Pure Mathematics; Statistics; and Mechanics. The main examinations for this will take place at the end of Year 13 and will consist of three papers. Click here for more information in the Assessment at a Glance document.
A Level Further Mathematics
The course will consist of four units, these being: Core Pure Mathematics 1; Core Pure Mathematics 2; Decision Mathematics 1; and the fourth is still to be confirmed. The main examinations for this will take place at the end of Year 13 and will consist of four papers. Click here for more information in the Assessment at a Glance document.
Each student will be given access to Active teach. This is an online resource which consists of the course books for both A Level and Further Mathematics. Students will also have access to the Highworth Maths Department Google Drive which will contain material aimed at supporting them.
Students are expected to complete additional study at home and during study periods. We suggest for every one hour of teaching, students complete at least one hour of targeted study.
Students should expect to receive weekly homework as well as termly assessments which will be used to help track progress as well as identify areas which require development. Students will also receive weekly mini-tests which will be based on exam questions covering topics that have been covered throughout the year.
Assessment and feedback
Before starting/continuing the course in Years 12/13, each student is given the following Summer Task which needs to be completed before commencing the course in September. They are then tested on the contents of the Summer Task:
- Please click here for the Mathematics Summer Task
- Please click here for the Summer Task booklet part A
- Please click here for the Summer Task booklet part B
Additional support is provided to all students through a weekly Sixth Form only Maths Help session. These sessions are not compulsory to all students but will be to those who fail to reach a satisfactory result in the Summer Task Test.
A Level students should expect to be tested regularly in lessons on previous lessons’ work. Mock papers and PPEs will also be set according to the department’s assessment calendar.
Please click here for the Maths department feedback policy
Please click here for the Edexcel A Level Mathematics specification
The key to success in Mathematics is to practise the key topics constantly to ensure they are well learnt and understood. The fundamentals of Mathematics are the building blocks for all advanced topics. It is similar to playing a musical instrument really well. You often practise every day, similarly with Mathematics you have to practise often. “Use it or lose it”
Below are some strategies that you should adopt:
- Always ask for help whether inside or outside of the classroom. Problems or question unanswered will only develop over time and make harder topics more challenging.
- Don’t be afraid to ask older students in your Mentor Group who study Mathematics to help you.
- Listen and act on feedback. You will be given feedback in class and for formal assessments. Use these to help you tackle topics that you find difficult.
- Attend Maths Help – every Tuesday lunchtime where prefects will be keen to help you.
- Use online materials. Many of the websites below have video tutorials and worksheets that will help you.
- Make sure you have a suitable place to work without any distraction. Yes, sorry the phone will have to go away for a little while!
- Make sure your work is organised and neat as this will help you during revision time.
Talk to your parents and carers about your work so that they now how you are doing and ask them if you need help.
GCSE: Please click here for the GCSE Mathematics past papers
A Level: Please click here for the A Level Mathematics past papers
Useful external links
'Maths is good for pretty much any career and gives you bags of skills'. An A Level in Mathematics is highly regarded by the majority of employers and universities, precisely because of the demands it makes and the skills it develops. Maths is one of the best subjects to develop your analytical, research and problem-solving skills. These skills learned are highly transferable. Many A Level Maths students do not, of course, go on to use their qualification directly. Yet a recent survey found that an A Level in Mathematics in itself led to salaries 8% higher than those of young people with an otherwise similar background. Because the A Level is comparatively demanding, increasing numbers do go on to degree courses, some of which involve numerate disciplines.
Some of the potential career routes available with an A Level in Maths are:
- Investment /Financial Analyst
- Research Scientist (Maths)
- System Development
- Stock broker
Here are some of the exciting careers our Maths teachers have had:
- Mr Ferris earned a qualification in Advanced GMVQ and worked as a Project Engineer in a firm that worked on defence contracts for almost 8 years.
- Mrs Briggs earned a degree in Actuarial Science and worked as an Actuarial Assistant in a firm of Consulting Actuaries for nearly 10 years.
- Mr Wibberley worked in the British Army for nearly 24 years before transitioning into teaching.
- Mrs Mishra became an Accountant and had a career in Investment banking for nearly 10 years.
- Miss Pope had held various administrative roles with organisations ranging from solicitors to schools before beginning her career in teaching.
Mrs Turley, Mrs Cheesman, Mrs Lattimer, Mr Brett, Mr Pickard and Mr Dodd all obtained a degree in Mathematics and followed a career in teaching.
Connor Brown – Maths and Further Maths A Level, left in 2014.
I would highly recommend studying Maths at Highworth. The staff are always happy to help and there is a strong focus on `understanding’ the material, and not just `learning’ it. The department are also very accommodating to extra needs. I, for example, had to take the STEP examination for my University offer. Despite being the only student taking the paper, the staff still spent the time helping me to prepare for the exam with regular one-on-one sessions. As a Maths Prefect, I would help to run the weekly Maths Club with other Prefects/members of staff, where students of all ages would come and get help with their Maths; just another example of how prepared the department is to help students improve and succeed.
I was worried that I wasn’t good enough to take Further Maths, but if you have a good grade at GCSE and work hard then you’ll do well. Maths is one of the more flexible A Levels: if you’re thinking about studying Maths, Physics, Engineering etc. at University, then I would strongly recommend taking Further Maths.
On leaving Highworth, I studied for a BSc in Maths at Imperial College London. Living in London has been a great experience and a lot of fun. Next year I shall be studying for an MSc in Mathematical Finance at Oxford.
A Maths degree opens many many doors! It is a common misconception that the only thing you can do with a Maths degree is become a Maths teacher. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Here’s a list of just some of the jobs/degrees my friends are entering into after completing their Maths degree: Aerospace, Tech and Programming, Investment Banking, and an Economics degree!
Advice for success in Maths: work hard.
Year 13 university destinations
Mathematics has been expanding as an A Level option over the last few years. Mathematics is a very highly regarded A Level and has helped many of our students to gain places on many different University courses.
Our students have gone on to study the following:
Thomas Slater - ARCHITECTURE - Edinburgh
Emily Payne - MATHEMATICS - Durham
Rachel Faiers - CHEMISTRY - Durham
Reshma Reji - PHARMACY - East Anglia
Anju Shijo - PHARMACY - East Anglia
Ella Bradfield - ZOOLOGY - Sheffield
Wesley O’Callagham - COMPUTER SCIENCE -Brighton
Clins Cleetus - PHARMACY - Brighton
Ellie Smith - AERONAUTICS and ASTRONAUTICS - Southampton
Tyler Sullivan - COMPUTER SCIENCE - Southampton
Lily Zhang - CRIMINOLOGY - Southampton
Charlotte Corden - MATHEMATICAL STUDIES - Southampton
Emma Kingston - COMPUTER SCIENCE - Southampton
Kofi Niles - ECONOMICS - Portsmouth
Rachel Foreman - ARCHITECTURE - Bath
Rosa Gallop - NURSING - Leeds
Ivy Manning - PPE - Oxford
Oliver Bournes - CIVIL AND RAILWAY ENGINEERING - Birmingham
Keeley Taylor - PHYSICS and ASTROPHYSICS - Birmingham
Johanna Gosciniak - BIOCHEMISTRY - Birmingham
Tolani Latunji - MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES - Liverpool
Matt Trilsbach - MECHATRONIC ENGINEERING - Manchester
Khrys- Anne McBean - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - Lancaster
Adam Taylor - ENGINEERING - Oxford Brookes
Jack Pierce - ECONOMICS AND FINANCE - Exeter
Jasmine Thind - PHARMACY - Keele
Naomi Wilson - ECONOMICS - Cambridge
Alannah King - NATURAL SCIENCES - Cambridge
Merena Subba - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - Kent
Dikxita Sunwar - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - Kent
Deon Nzou - CHEMISTRY - Kent
Khalika Dodds - MEDICAL PHARMACOLOGY - Cardiff
Saskia Smith - NEUROSCIENCE - Nottingham
Amna Raza - ACCOUNTING - York
Michal Grela - MEDICINE - QUEEN MARY UNI of London
Jodie Graham - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - K.C.L.
Elliot Prestidge - PHYSICS - Imperial College
Ashly Johny - HEALTHCARE SCIENCES - Saint George’s UNI of London
Samantha Bagulay - Mathematics - Durham
Matthew Jenkins - GENETICS - Oxford
Nimai Jivan-Frier - CHEMISTRY - Bath
Emily Read - CHEMISTRY - Bath
Georgia Palmer - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - Durham
Dikxita Sunwar - MEDICAL SCIENCE - Kent
Edgar Romero - AEROSPACE ENG. - Surrey
Imaan Kayani - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE - Lancaster
David King - AEROSPACE ENG - Sheffield
Sophie Wicken - BIOCHEMISTRY - Oxford
Katie Watson - ACCOUNTING - Reading
Sarah Bate - VETERINARY MEDICINE - Cambridge
Joanne Sheppard - PHYSICS - Sussex
Peter Ogilvie - PHYSICS - Southampton
Keiran Clifford - PHYSICS - Sussex
Eleanor Pang - MEDICINE - Nottingham
Sophie Carr - MEDICAL SCIENCE - Exeter
Suruthi Shasheetharin - MEDICAL SCIENCE - Oxford
Danielle Parsons - FINANCE - Nottingham
Samantha Clark - CHEMISTRY - Southampton
Lucy Vinings - BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES - Bath
The Mathematics department runs this club at lunchtime from 12.40 – 13.20 on Tuesday for Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 and Thursday for Key Stage 5 only.
With the help of teachers, Prefects and ambassadors, the aim of this club is to give support and advice to students with their homework or specific topics where a student has a misconception or would like to practise topic questions. The Club has a variety of resources from workbooks, textbooks and past papers to the students using many internet resources that they have seen from the classroom activities either with laptops or their phones.
The Mathematics Challenges are multi-choice competitions aimed at: Year 7 and Year 8 (Junior); Years 9, 10 and 11 (Intermediate); and Years 12 and 13 (Senior). The competitions are given to the top sets (2) of each year, (due to cost) and focus on problem solving and mental maths. Only a pen/pencil and plain paper can be used just to make a little more challenging. These are annual competitions organised by United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) www.ukmt.org.uk and usually completed during lesson time (I hour).
Maths Team Challenges
These are external competitions organised by UKMT www.ukmt.org.uk with teams of four (2 students each from Years 8 and 9; the Senior Team Challenge has 2 students each from Years 12 and 13). These competitions promote mathematical dexterity, teamwork and communication skills to complete specific challenges – Group Round, Crossnumber, Shuttle and Relay.
Year 9 Maths Day
This is an annual event held after the GCSE/A Level exams. It is a competition with teams of four but the teams are made up from a spread of classes to get students to work with others of varying abilities, judicated by a Year 12 mathematician. It is aimed at solving mathematical puzzles within a time frame, intent on making the team work together, by delegating tasks to each other, to use the time most efficiently. For this we use – UKMT Group rounds (differentiated questions), Sudoku, Crossnumber, Countdown, logic puzzles and Dingbats.
An afterschool club for Year 10 students who are interested in STEM subjects. They are working towards a Silver Crest Award on a project of their choice which they will then present at the Big Bang Fair at the end of the academic year.
We run support sessions for any Year 12 or Year 13 interested in taking their Maths studies beyond A Level. In Year 12, students study additional topics. In Year 13, students are supported in university applications with mock interviews and preparation for additional papers such as STEP as AEA papers. Every year we have several students apply for Maths and Maths related subjects at university.
Trips and visits
Since 2009, we have also liaised with the University of Kent for a few Year 9 and Year 12 students to attend Maths masterclasses at the Canterbury campus. These enrichment sessions have been generally held on about six consecutive Saturdays and provide an opportunity for students to explore topics outside of the curriculum and to inspire their love of Mathematics. Students who attend most of the sessions get a certificate at the end and also an invitation to attend a Celebration Event at the Royal Institution in London.
Equipment and Revision Guides
All students are expected to have a scientific calculator. Those entering Year 7 in September can order one using the order form available in their pack and submit these on their Year 6 interview evening. For other students scientific calculators are available to purchase at any time from the Payment Office.
Students should also bring a pencil, ruler, protractor and pair of compasses to each lesson. These can be purchased from department stock or from local shops.
All students would find it useful to have a revision guide and/or a workbook for use in lessons and also to revise for tests and exams. These are offered to students to purchase at the appropriate times at very competitive prices compared with the normal retail price. Please click here for more information. If, however, parents wish to purchase these themselves, then useful links are as follows: