• To provide students with the mathematical skills needed in everyday life and to understand the contexts in which these skills are used.
• To enable students to develop confidence in the use of Mathematics and thus to achieve their full Mathematical potential.
Students should also develop technical skills that they can apply to a range of familiar and unfamiliar problems, and acquire the technical knowledge that may be needed for their study of other subjects. Above all, students should develop an attitude to the study of Mathematics as a valuable, worthwhile and useful subject and develop an enjoyment of Mathematics.
The department is now based in a new development in Ormerod House. Seven classrooms are exclusively used for the teaching of Mathematics, each with data projection and DVD playback. One smaller room is used only for Sixth Form teaching. Every class up to the Year 13 has regular lessons in the ICT suite in Ormerod House. This facility consists of 28 new computers that offer the same software as available in the rest of the department, including Autograph, Cabri and Derive.
In Years 7-9, all pupils are taught the same course, although the higher the set the greater the difficulty and depth in each topic. Maths sets are put in place early in Year 7 before students are banded across maths, science, English and languages in Year 8. The sets decrease in size, so that the lower sets have fewer pupils.
In Year 10 pupils follow the new 9-1 Mathematics GCSE that has been introduced for first teaching in 2015. The current Year 11 will be the final year to study the OCR three-unit syllabus neither of which contain coursework or controlled assessment. Top sets also take GCSEs an additional GCSE in Statistics and the AQA level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics.
In Sixth Form, (AS/A2 Level) OCR syllabus A is studied, with examinations taken on a modular basis. The department has a wide subject knowledge and so students can opt for Mathematics with Statistics, Mathematics with Mechanics or Further Mathematics, in which both of the applications, as well as Decision Mathematics, are studied.
A variety of methods is employed – exposition with class discussions, group- and pair-work, individual practice on curriculum problem material and on competition questions, investigation via computer software, extracting information from CD-Rom, practical sessions and a range of different activities in Mathematics Weeks.
LINKS WITH OTHER SCHOOLS
The department played a central role in the 2008-11 Independent State School Partnership scheme for Blackburn with Darwen, which received funding of over £260,000 over three years. This allowed our pupils to take part in residential weekends, video conferences, borough revision meetings, Gifted and Talented sessions and puzzle days.