Mathematics

"If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realise how complicated life is."  -  John Louis von Neumann, 20th Century Mathematician(b. 28 Dec 1903 Budapest, Hungary – d. 8 Feb 1957, Washington, USA) 

The Mathematics Department aims to provide all MGSG’s students with a high degree of confidence and competence in the subject, by understanding the curriculum, making connections that enable progress in other subject areas and developing skills that will be useful in life beyond the school.  The Department has supported students to achieve some very pleasing external examination results in recent years.

Lower School

Students in Years 7 and 8 are taught using the Collins National Mathematics Frameworking 3rd Edition textbooks.  All students in Year 7 have seven 1 hour lessons per fortnight which reduces to six 1 hour lessons in Year 8.  In Year 7, students are taught in their tutor groups.  Assessments at the end of every topic are undertaken throughout the two years.  During this time, students are taught work up to GCSE Grade 6 but including opportunities for mental arithmetic and functional mathematics practice.  At every fixed assessment point, the results from the assessments completed since the last assessment point are collated into one overall grade so that students’ progress can be regularly monitored by parents.  The Department also uses MyMaths, MathsWatch and various PowerPoint presentations to help with students’ learning.

The topics covered across the two years are categorised as:

  • Decimals, Fractions and Percentages
  • Shape, including area and volume, geometry
  • Calculating with Numbers
  • Algebra
  • Co-ordinates, Graphs and Mapping
  • Handling Data
  • Units of measure, ratios and proportion
  • Probability
  • Ratios and Proportion
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Plotting Graphs

Upper School

For Years 9-11, students are set based largely on their end-of-Year 8 examinations.  Students are taught using the Collins Edexcel GCSE Maths Higher Student Book.  All students in Year 9 have seven 1 hour lessons per fortnight but students in Years 10 and 11 have six 1 hour lessons per fortnight. Sets for students are always informally reviewed but more formally at the end of Year 9, end of Year 10 and Year 11 mock examinations.

The topics covered across the three years are categorised as:

  • Trigonometry & Pythagoras
  • Leftover Mensuration Topics
  • Similar Triangles & Rates of Change
  • Calculations
  • Measures and accuracy
  • Factors, powers and roots
  • Expressions
  • Equations and inequalities
  • Circles and constructions
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Units and proportionality
  • Sequences
  • Graphs
  • Handling data
  • Working in 2D and 3D
  • Angles and polygons
  • Formulae and functions
  • Probability
  • Combined events

Students are also able to choose Further Mathematics as an option subject for Years 10-11.  This is a separate qualification, so students would be awarded GCSE Mathematics and Level 2 Further Mathematics at the end of Year 11.  As with all option subjects, students have five 1 hour lessons per fortnight.  Students are taught using the Hodder AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics textbook.

Sixth Form

AS Mathematics is a popular option for students.  Those who wish to study the subject have to sit a Fundamentals Test, largely based upon their algebraic knowledge from GCSE Mathematics, at the beginning of Year 12, for which they are expected to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of key topics.  All students in Year 12 study Edexcel’s compulsory Pure, Statistics and Mechanics elements.  Students regularly complete assessments within all modules and are expected to show that they have reached a sufficient standard.

In Year 13, the majority of students continue with their A Level studies in the subject, studying Edexcel’s compulsory Pure, Statistics and Mechanics.

Further Mathematics is also offered as an option for the most able Mathematicians.  Students who wish to study both Mathematics and Further Mathematics complete the entire A Level Mathematics course in Year 12 before embarking upon either AS or the entire A Level Further Mathematics course in Year 13.  Students have to study two Core Further Pure elements but the other half of the subject is made up of two further elements chosen by the class collectively.

Students who may not wish to continue with their mathematical studies to AS standard are able to study Level 3 Mathematics in Context.  This is a one-year course completed entirely in Year 12 and the examinations sat at the end of that year.  The rationale for studying this course is to support students with their other subjects that require some mathematical input such as Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Physics and Psychology.  Part of the course involves some pre-release material that is released about one month before the examination, for which students are expected to be very familiar with before the examinations – this familiarisation takes place during lessons to a great extent.