Aims of the Department
We use Maths every day in all kinds of ways; the aim of the Maths department is to prepare pupils to be able to use Maths in all areas of life with ease and confidence. We endeavour to teach Maths with rigour but also keep lessons fun and enjoyable so that students find the subject accessible at whatever level suits them.
For some this will mean leaving school being able to read a bus timetable, check their change when they’re shopping and weigh out ingredients accurately. For others it may be also achieving the Band 5 at GCSE which will gain them access to many jobs and courses at college. Those who excel at Maths may go on to achieve one of the top Bands at GCSE and then study Maths and even Further Maths at A level, perhaps leading to further qualifications with a mathematical basis at university.
We treat Years 7 and 8 as KS3 in Maths. Both years follow the same pattern, studying Number intensively in the time from September to December, then Algebra from January to April and the summer is spent on Shape and Data Handling. At the end of the summer term pupils sit exams which cover all areas of the syllabus, while there are assessments regularly through the year on the topic areas which have been covered recently. The scheme of work allows us to build on the National Curriculum at primary level and dovetails into the specification for the AQA GCSE specification which we study at KS4.
Pupils at BGN School follow the three year AQA GCSE Scheme of Work, with regular assessments at termly intervals using the AQA Topic Tests so that we prepare students for the type of GCSE questions they are likely to face. Typically sets 1, 2 and 3 follow the Higher syllabus allowing access to GCSE Bands 9 to 5 and sets 4, 5 and 6 follow the Foundation syllabus which is graded from 1 to 5.
Statistics GCSE is taught as an optional subject in Years 10 and 11 using the Edexcel syllabus.
Exceptionally able mathematicians are encouraged to take the initial A level paper, Core 1 (and if they study Statistics, the S1 module) during the summer of Year 11. This allows us to stretch the most able candidates and makes their university entrance qualifications stand out from the crowd.
Occasionally we have pupils who are unlikely to achieve a grade at GCSE; those pupils will be entered for the AQA Entry Level Mathematics Certificate, which is a practical maths qualification which can be taught alongside the GCSE and is assessed differently. In this way, every pupil at BGN School should leave with a Maths qualification.
We want to encourage as many pupils as possible to learn Mathematics post-16.
All pupils who have not achieved Band 4 need to resit their GCSE by re-joining the Year 11 classes and taking the GCSE exams again in the summer of Year 12.
Pupils who achieved a Band 4 and who would like to are encouraged to take up Core Maths, which is a Level 3 qualification equivalent to AS Maths for university or college entrance. This helps pupils who are studying mathematical subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Business Studies and Geography, as well as BTec subjects, giving the Maths support they need to be successful at A level. We follow the OCR Quantitative Reasoning course for Core Maths.
Pupils who have achieved Band 7 GCSE are welcome to study A level Maths and those with Band 8 can study Further Maths at A level. We follow the OCR courses for these at present; new A level courses are due to be announced in the near future and we will evaluate which is the most suitable.
Our very talented staff are able to support pupils who want to study for Oxford Entrance exams in the December of Year 13 as well as STEP papers in the June of Year 13 for prestigious universities with these as entrance requirements.