Maths in Years 7-11

The department’s aim is to promote the feeling by all students that:

“They can do Maths”

All students are encouraged to:

  • Feel confident in their work
  • Achieve their full potential
  • Gain satisfaction and enjoyment from their work

The scheme of work is a 5 year scheme and runs from Year 7 to Year 11. Each set works through topics at an appropriate pace, enabling students to build on skills and understanding gained previously and reinforcing areas that they find difficult.

Students study topics from following areas:

  • Number: calculate with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percentages, written and mental calculations, indices, surds and standard form.
  • Algebra: equations, formulae, expressions, graphs, sequences, numerical solutions, algebraic proof.
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change: growth and decay, gradients, direct and inverse proportion, scale drawings
  • Geometry and measures: angles, perimeter, area, volume, properties of 2D and 3D shapes, transformations, trigonometry, Pythagoras’ Theorem, vectors, constructions and loci, congruence and similarity.
  • Probability: probability of events, experimental probability, sample space diagrams, sets and combinations, mutually exclusive events.
  • Statistics: statistical diagrams, data collecting and sampling, averages and spread.

In Years 7 – 11, Maths classes are taught in ability sets. KS3 have 4 sets & KS4 have 5 bands. Setting means that the work is clearly directed at the appropriate level of ability for each student. This maximises for each student the understanding and the feeling that they “can do Maths”. Thus the enjoyment, competence and confidence of students are increased.

On arrival in Year 7, students are placed into Maths sets using their Key Stage 2 Maths score. New students arriving at other times are placed in appropriate sets using information received from previous schools.

Movement between sets is encouraged at all times but is always considered after internal examinations. The Subject Leader coordinates the changes with discussion between teachers and consideration is taken of classwork, homework and general attitude as well as examination result.

Equipment needed
All students are required to have pens, pencils, a ruler (a short 15cm one is adequate), eraser and a scientific calculator for every Maths lesson. The recommended calculator is the Casio fx85. A protractor and pair of compasses will be regularly needed throughout the year and students are advised to always have these items with them too.

Written work
In Maths the following points are important:
All working should be neatly shown in exercise books. Even when using a calculator the calculation carried out should be shown.
All diagrams should be drawn with a ruler and pencil.

Exercise Books
Students have an exercise book for their classwork and an exercise book for their homework.

Students in Year 7-11 are set Hegarty Maths homework. This will be based on work covered in the previous half term. Each Hegarty Maths work has a video clip with an accompanying quiz. Students are expected to copy notes from the video clip and show all working on the quiz.

Internal Examinations
Internal examinations are set once a year. In addition, class teachers set tests at appropriate times in the year. Students are always be given notice of these exams and tests together with details of what is being tested. Revision lists are produced for each assessment with key topics listed, alongside the corresponding Hegarty Maths clips. They are an important and useful indicator of a student’s progress and should be taken seriously.

All students in year 11 take the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics Linear examination 1MA1. This will be at Higher (grades 9-4) or Foundation (grades 5-1) level. The examinations consist of 3 papers, two with and one without a calculator.

More details are available from the Edexcel Website.

Maths in the 6th form

A level Maths and Further Maths are taught in the department. The specifications used are the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Mathematics (9MA0) and the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Further Mathematics (9FM0).

A Level Mathematics

Students will need a grade 6 or above at GCSE.

Year 1/AS Pure Mathematics

Proof, algebra and functions, coordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane, sequences and series, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integration, vectors

Year 1/AS Applications

Section A: Statistics

Statistical sampling, data presentation and interpretation, probability, statistical distributions, statistical hypothesis testing

Section B: Mechanics

Quantities and units in mechanics, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws

Year 2 Pure Mathematics

Extend the methods of year 1, with the addition of numerical methods, modulus functions, inverse and composite functions, parametric equations, arithmetic and geometric sequences, advanced trigonometry, advanced calculus, vectors in three-dimensions.

Year 2 Applications

Section A: Statistics

Extension of year 1 methods, with the addition of conditional probability, normal distribution, non-linear regression and further hypothesis testing.

Section B: Mechanics

Extension of year 1 methods, with the addition of projectiles, friction and moments.

Three exams at the end of Year 13 each 2 hours long. Two papers will cover the pure maths content and the third paper will cover the applications.

A Level Further Mathematics

Students will need a grade 8 or above at GCSE. They also need to take A Level Mathematics.

Students should only take Further Maths if they feel that they may want to study Maths, Engineering, Computer Science or Physics at university.

Year 1/AS Core Pure Mathematics 1

Proof by induction, complex numbers, matrices, series, further calculus, vectors and planes.

Year 1/AS Optional modules

There are a number of optional modules in A level further maths. At St Nicholas’ we study the following:

Decision 1 – Algorithms and graph theory, algorithms on graphs, critical path analysis, linear programming

Further Pure 1 – Vector products, conic sections, t-formulae, numerical methods for differential equations

Year 2 Core Pure Mathematics 2

Further complex numbers, method of differences, further calculus, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions, differential equations

Year 2 Options

Decision 1 – The planarity algorithm, the travelling salesman problem, the simplex algorithm, further critical path analysis.

Further Pure 1 – Further conic sections, Taylor series, further methods in calculus and limits, numerical integration, reducible differential equations.

Four exams at the end of Year 13 each 90 minutes long. Two papers will cover the Core Pure maths content and there is one paper for each of the optional modules.

St Nicholas’ Extra

Students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities. These include UKMT Senior Challenge, UKMT Senior Team Challenge and University of Southampton Cipher Challenge. Lunchtime clubs are available for Problem Solving and there is a comprehensive program of support for students sitting MAT or Step exams for Oxford or Cambridge entrance.