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A High Performing Specialist Academy for Technology & Applied Learning

Courses Offered

The Team 

Mrs J Walker (Head of Department), Mrs N Akbar-Phillips (Assistant Principal), Mrs D Crawford, Mrs K Howell,  Miss N Loversidge, Mr D Mangan, Mrs E Phillips, Mrs S Vassallo, Miss E Waters, 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 have 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 in groups of 3-5 from lessons 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 opportunities as it can to enrich the education of our most able students in all year groups.  The different activities that we encourage our students to participate in are designed to promote their interest in Mathematics, to enhance their problem-solving abilities and to develop their ability to work as part of a team.

For several years the Mathematics Department have invited Key Stage 3 students to attend Masterclass sessions after College in a variety of topics from Fibonacci to Fractals.  These always prove very popular.  In the Spring term the most able Year 8 students are invited to attend 8 weeks of Saturday sessions at Surrey University where they learn about topics such as code breaking and curves.   

Teams from Years 12 and 13 and Years 8 and 9 took part in the UKMT Senior and Junior Team Maths Challenges.  They were impressed by the standard of the competition and especially enjoyed the problem-solving and the teamwork aspect of the events.  We entered over 200 students for the UKMT Individual Maths Challenges, significant numbers of students achieved Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates and several students qualified for and participated in the prestigious follow on rounds, reserved for the top few percent of mathematicians in the country. 

In January we took a group of Year 8 students to a SATRO event at The University of Surrey in Guildford where they had the opportunity to learn about the role of Maths in Technology.  They took part in designing a futuristic appliance and had the opportunity to do several practical challenges.

In March a group of our most able Year 10 students visited Wellington College.  They were given a glimpse into the types of Mathematics they would meet at A level and an insight into the careers that A level Maths could lead to.

These events enable students to see beyond classroom Mathematics and encourage them to study Mathematics at A Level and beyond.

Curriculum Information