The Mathematics department at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls has a reputation for providing students with excellent access to the mathematics curriculum at every Key Stage.
There are nine full time members of the Maths department, all are subject maths specialists who also have specific areas of specialisms in the post GCSE curriculum at KS5. They not only enjoy considerable success with their teaching groups but also enjoy extending the curriculum by investigating mathematics in a variety of contexts.
As well as offering core curriculum courses at Key Stages 3 and 4, the department also offers a variety of options for students at Key Stage 5.
There is considerable extra curriculum work with other subject areas and the department has developed links and partnerships with several Universities, mathematical institutions and practising mathematicians.
?Extra Curricular Activities
Various clubs run at different times of the year for all year groups, particularly to support preparation for the UKMT Team Challenges.
- Puzzle of the month appears regularly in the bulletin.
- Extra support groups are offered to all year groups at different times of the year.
- Entry to the individual UKMT Challenge is offered to all year groups.
Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9
In Year 7 and 8 pupils are taught Mathematics in form groups and cover a range of topics across the four attainment areas, (Number, Algebra, Shape & Space and Handling Data). Pupils will build on skills previously learnt in Y6 and develop their understanding further into more complex areas. All groups cover the same core topics across the four attainment areas in order to ensure they are fully prepared when they begin studying the GCSE course at the start of Year 9. Throughout the 2 years there is a particular emphasis on pupils using and applying their mathematical skills in real-life situations. This allows them to see the relevance of mathematics to everyday life.
Key Stage 4 – GCSE
GCSE mathematics is tested after completing a three year course, at the end of Year 11. Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups; mixed from across the year group (where timetabling allows). All pupils follow the same syllabus. AGGS have always used the linear scheme. This provides the students with a holistic approach enabling the cross subject knowledge required for further mathematical development, whether this is at Key Stage 5, AS & A2, or in further studies at a tertiary level. Through our department’s vast experience of outreach work with schools in the Greater Manchester Area, we are maximising the attainment of our students. There has been a significant improvement in results over the last few years by analysing the needs of our students through teaching and learning, personalised learning and using a variety of teaching resources as well as the use of the variety of examination boards with their differing emphasis on language and style of questions. Currently we use the Examination Board OCR Linear Specification B GCSE to compliment using OCR at AS and A2 examination. It is important to mention that all examination boards follow the same scheme of work, so there is parity amongst all GCSE exam grades.
There will be the opportunity for some students to select a further mathematics qualification, OCR Free Standing Maths Qualification, which is also examined in the summer term of Year 11. ?The majority of pupils will cover the full syllabus for this examination as part of enrichment work, the department will advise students on whether or not to sit the examination. The FSMQ is a foundation course for AS and A2 mathematics. Not only will it help students who wish to select the Key Stage 5 course to enhance their skills, but also allow insight into the various applied modules available.
The above description is a brief outline of the mathematics department’s strategy at Key Stage 4. It is important that at all times the individual student’s success is paramount and if any of these decisions did not lead to successful attainment of our students, then we as professionals will adapt and change to suit the current needs. If further information is required please do not hesitate to contact the department for clarity.
Key Stage 5 – A2 Level
Mathematics in the 6th form
Mathematics is an increasingly popular subject at AS and A-Level and numbers have risen steadily in recent years. We have also had an increase in the number of students who are taking Further Mathematics.
We follow the OCR course which consists of 3 modules taken at the end of Year 12 to attain AS level and a further 3 modules taken in Year 13 to attain the full A-Level.
The modules in Year 12 are Core 1 and Core 2 and an applied module which may be based on Statistics or Mechanics Mathematics.
The modules in Year 13 are Core 3 and Core 4 and an applied module which may be based on Statistics, Mechanics or Decision Mathematics.
Core modules consist of topics such as Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus.
Statistics covers topics such as representation of data, probability, binomial and geometric distributions and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
Mechanics covers topics such as Newton’s laws of motion, motion in a straight line and momentum.
The modules taken in year 13 build upon the concepts covered in year 12.
A-Level Further Mathematics
Further Mathematics is offered as a full A Level starting in Y12. This is a full A-level subject which requires a total of 6 modules to be taken over two years. It runs alongside the normal A-level course. Three of the modules taken will normally be Further Pure 1, 2 and 3. These extend the concepts covered in the A-level core modules. The other three modules will be applied modules.
There is an added possibility of taking the AS Level in Further Mathematics in Y13.
For a degrees in maths, statistics, physics, engineering or actuarial science etc. it is almost certainly necessary to have a good maths A level and possibly a further maths A level. However, there are many degrees which do not specify any particular subjects and, for many of these, maths will be an excellent choice.
There is always a demand for employees who can think logically and process information accurately – skills which an A level in maths teaches.