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A High Performing Specialist Academy for Technology & Applied Learning

Courses Offered

The Team 

Mrs J Walker (Head of Department), Ms N Akbar (Assistant Principal), Mrs D Crawford, Miss S Gould, Mrs K Howell, Mrs B Jackson, Mrs D Klusch, Miss N Loversidge, Mr D Mangan, Mrs V Murphy, Miss C Taylor, Mrs S Vassallo, Miss K Watling (Head of Upper School), Mrs S Wilkins and Mrs K Wood

The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all students:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that students develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, the Mathematics programmes of study are centred around the five main areas of Mathematics:

Algebra (20%), Number (25%), Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change (25%), Geometry (15%) and Probability and Statistics (15%).  

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, the department aims to focus on developing skills that students have gained in Key Stages 1 and 2 and improving the students' thinking and problem-solving skills by integrating activities and investigations with real life problems.  Students are given opportunities to work collaboratively in pairs and as members of a team, where it is hoped they will gain confidence in setting their own challenges, posing their own questions and thus extend themselves as fully as possible.  Problem-solving is integrated into everything they do.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students continue to develop and build upon their mathematical knowledge gained at Key Stage 3, where all students are entered for the Edexcel GCSE examination, at the end of Year 11.  

With the introduction of the new, more rigorous and demanding GCSE in Mathematics, the department has reflected on the approach taken with our most able mathematicians.  In previous years we have offered GCSE Statistics which has been examined at the end of Year 10 and Additional Mathematics examined at the end of Year 11 alongside GCSE Mathematics.  The new style GCSE specification now covers the vast majority of both the GCSE Statistics and Additional Mathematics qualifications, ensuring stretch and challenge for our most able mathematicians and providing an excellent grounding for A Level Mathematics.

The assessment of Mathematics at GCSE involves three examinations (one non-calculator and two calculator papers) which are sat at the end of the course.  The department also offers revision workshops after College on Monday for Year 11 students only and on Thursday afternoons which are available to all Key Stage 4 students.  

Intervention

Using assessment data, we identify students that have fallen behind their expected levels of progress, and we provide support.  One of the ways is small group intervention where students are removed from lessons in groups of 3-5 and given specialist support, thereby allowing more focussed attention.  Another way that support is given is during registration.  Students go to intervention during the registration period and work on improving number skills.  The targeted students are monitored regularly and the list is updated according to need.

Key Stage 5

For those students who wish to further develop their skills in a demanding yet rewarding and highly respected discipline, A Level Mathematics at Collingwood College is the perfect choice.  For gifted mathematicians there is an opportunity to gain a double award at A Level in both Mathematics and Further Mathematics.  As well as making many aspects of 21st Century life possible, the study of Mathematics also underpins many other subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Economics and degree courses such as Engineering and Finance.

The course is an exciting one with students exploring many aspects of Mathematics.  Problem-solving skills are enhanced in the Pure Mathematics units and practical applications of Mathematics are examined in the Mechanics and Statistics options.  The course involves the use of technology in the form of graphical calculators and computers, investigations and practical work in addition to excellent traditional classroom teaching.  This is now a linear course.

Students taking Mathematics often progress on to university courses in medicine, dentistry, science or financial disciplines, and also degrees in Mathematics itself.  Mathematics is often an essential A Level requirement for these courses.  It also prepares students for the world of work.

The new A Level specification requires the use of a Scientific calculator that can perform certain tasks.  This is the calculator we recommend - Casio FX-991EX ClassWiz Advanced Scientific Calculator.

Enrichment

The Mathematics Department is committed to providing as many enrichment opportunities as it can to extend our most able students.  Despite the restrictions and challenges that the pandemic has presented us this academic year, Collingwood has continued to provide a wide variety of enrichment activities.  The Collingwood team encourages our students to participate in as many extra-curricular explorative lessons as possible, to promote their interest in Mathematics, develop their problem-solving and logistic reasoning skills, as well as establish their ability to work as a member of a team. 

The pandemic has not prevented the Mathematics Department from excelling in the Masterclass workshops that we have been able to provide for all year groups.  Collingwood has utilised both internal and external visitors to run specialist Masterclasses.  This year Key Stage 3 enrichment workshops have included: Ciphers and Coding, Pythagorean Triples, Mathematics in TV and Film, Binary Code and Game Theory.  These workshops have shown an overwhelming popularity due to students' knowledge of the enthusiasm and effort committed by our staff in delivering these lessons.  Students who have attended these workshops have gone on to achieve excellent scores in both the UKMT Junior Maths challenge and subsequently their Mastery Assessments.

Key Stage 4 students have also had the opportunity to attend Masterclasses on Code Breaking, Bridges and Projectiles, Maths into the Unknown (Proof) and Decision Maths.  As a direct result, these students have expressed explicit interest in continuing their studies of Mathematics into A Level here at Collingwood.

As a College we are proud to enter our students into the UKMT Junior, Intermediate and Senior Maths Challenges, allowing students across all year groups to compete.  With over 150 entries this academic year, we have had more than 60% of students achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.  These challenges are a national competition aimed at the most elite Mathematicians in the country.  Several students have also qualified and participated in the prestigious follow-on rounds, reserved for the top few percent of Mathematics students.

Each of these enrichment opportunities are a reflection of the Collingwood ethos: Believe, Succeed.  We as a Maths Department endeavour to provide as many opportunities to enrich the education of our more able learners, to inspire their love of Mathematics and encourage them to study the subject beyond GCSE.

Curriculum Information