Mathematics at IGCSE is a core subject; students are supported in this by a Department boasting a team of eight highly qualified mathematicians.
Our objective is to enable each pupil to succeed in Mathematics through enjoyment and application. During this process, we aim to open their eyes to the hidden beauty behind Mathematics and enthuse them to look beyond the curriculum. Pupils will learn to use numerical skills in a purely mathematical way as well as in real life situations.
The College’s success in Mathematics comes as a result of a team of committed teachers who support pupils through inspirational lessons and additional clinics, as well as the provision of a wide range of opportunities for enrichment led by the College and also by the pupils themselves.
Mr John Bullen
Head of Mathematics
About the Curriculum
From the Third to the Fifth Form, our students complete the Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics - Higher Tier course. The course includes three main components: Algebra, Geometry and Statistics. In Algebra, pupils learn to use letters equivalently to numbers and as variables; to understand the distinction between expressions, equations and formulae; to set up and solve problems; to demonstrate manipulative skills, and construct and use graphs. Studies in Geometry require that pupils use properties of angles; understand a range of transformations; work within the metric system; understand ideas of space and shape and use ruler, compasses and protractor appropriately. Statistics comprises basic ideas of statistical averages, as well as the use of a range of statistical techniques and basic ideas of probability.
Pupils are divided into subject sets, broadly by ability, which enables them to learn at a suitable pace, and with the lower sets considerable smaller than the top sets.
In class, a variety of learning activities are employed to ensure students develop a wide range of skills such as computational skills, mental calculations, using a calculator and developing confidence in using and manipulating algebraic expressions. Students will also complete a number of investigations to develop problem solving and communication skills. Teaching is supported by out-of-class learning in subject clinics, as well as by individual study and practise. Pupils at all levels are given the opportunity to practise techniques they are learning, and receive regular feedback in class and through marked work. We also use MyMaths to support our students’ learning and ensure they are able.
“I think the teachers are very supportive, they’re always there in the clinics if we need any help for anything and their emails are always open and you can always come along and ask for any help you need.”
Amelia D, Fourth Form
Outside of the curriculum we have a history of huge success in the national UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) competitions, with many students qualifying for the British Mathematical Olympiad rounds and beyond. Every week we offer a new and devious Problem of the Week, challenging students to think outside the box and use their problem-solving skills to answer the question. Students also have the opportunity to work as a team by competing in local and national Maths competitions as well as taking part in the National Cipher challenge, which involves breaking a set code each week.
Mathematics is one of the best subjects to develop analytical, research and problem-solving skills. Studying Mathematics helps develop the knowledge to tackle scientific, mechanical, coding and abstract problems; it will also help improve the logic to tackle everyday issues like planning projects, managing budgets and even debating effectively. It helps find patterns and structure in our lives. Practically, Mathematics helps put a price on things, create graphics, build websites, build skyscrapers and, more generally, understand how things work or predict how they might change over time and under different conditions.