Mathematics

‘Mathematics is not just a collection of skills, it is a way of thinking. It lies at the core of scientific understanding, and of rational and logical argument.' — Dr Colin Sparrow, University of Cambridge

Introduction

Mathematics is a universal part of human culture. It is the tool and language of commerce, engineering and other sciences – physics, computing, biology etc. It helps us recognise patterns and to understand the world around us. Mathematics plays a vital, often unseen, role in many aspects of modern life, for example:

  • Space travel
  • Safeguarding credit card details on the internet
  • Modelling the spread of epidemics
  • Predicting stock market prices
  • Business decision making

The Mathematics Department at Teesside High aims to give all pupils confidence in the use of mathematics, problem solving skills, and the ability to think clearly and logically. Most pupils enjoy mathematics and experience success at all levels throughout the school. We are committed to assisting the pupils in achieving their potential and our aim in the Department is to make the study of mathematics stimulating, challenging and rewarding.

Key Stage Three Curriculum

Pupils follow a spiral curriculum where key topics are visited and re-visited at higher levels to build ability and confidence. Topics include Number/Algebra, Statistics and Geometry & Measures. There are half-termly assessments throughout each year which ensures each pupil is achieving according to their ability, and any problems are swiftly identified and appropriate support given.

Key Stage Four Curriculum

Currently there are three pathways pupils can follow to achieve a qualification in Mathematics.

Pathway 1

More able pupils study the Edexcel IGCSE Mathematics A course in one year and sit their examinations at the end of Year 10. They then study the AQA Further Mathematics GCSE and complete the course at the end of Year 11.

Pathway 2

Pupils study the new Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (9 – 1) course which will be completed over two years and the examinations taken at the end of Year 11. This new GCSE is more demanding and requires pupils to apply mathematical techniques to solve problems, reason mathematically, make decisions, draw conclusions and communicate information in a variety of forms.

Pathway 3

Pupils follow the Pathway 2 course but also have additional time allocated for functional skills and numeracy support. There is also the possibility for pupils to be entered for Level 1 and/or Level 2 Functional Skills examinations throughout the two year course.

A Level Curriculum

The students study the Edexcel AS and A2 level course.

The A level consists of a number of modules that can be combined to give A and AS levels at both Maths and Further Maths. These modules are divided into Pure Maths, Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Maths.

Pure Maths (C1…C4, FP1…FP3) Understanding of functions, extending into the new area of calculus. The course extends knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.

Statistics (S1, S2) The analysis and summary of data in order to arrive at conclusions and make predictions. You will learn about probability techniques.

Mechanics (M1, M2, M3) This looks at how mathematical models can be used to predict how objects move and respond to forces – e.g. a satellite in orbit around the earth.

Decision Maths (D1, D2) Decision Maths teaches systems to help make the best decisions. It has applications in business and real life to minimise and maximise variables such as time and money.

Digital Learning

As a department, we subscribe to the My Maths scheme of resources, which complements the full age and ability ranges at Teesside High.  It can be accessed at any time from school, home, or even when on holiday.   Interactive lessons, games, and worksheets are linked to a powerful Assessment Manager system that enhances the teaching, while tracking and monitoring progress effectively.

In lessons, we regularly use iPads to complete everyday classwork, and also for research and to interactively explore parts of the syllabus. 

Enrichment

There are weekly mathematics clinics to assist and stretch pupils in the subject. A large number of pupils are entered each year for the United Kingdom Mathematics Challenge (UKMC). The most successful of these students qualify and go on to compete in the British Mathematical Olympiads. Each year pupils are selected to join the various mathematics teams, competing against schools from across the UK. 

Where might the subject lead?

Mathematics is one of the best subjects to develop your analytical, research and problem solving skills. Not only will Mathematics give you the knowledge to tackle scientific, mechanical, coding and abstract problems, it will also help you develop logic to tackle everyday issues like planning projects, managing budgets and even debating effectively.

What careers is Maths good for?

Just about everything! People with Mathematics qualifications can go into: accounting, medicine, engineering, forensic pathology, finance, business, consultancy, teaching, ICT, games development, scientific research, programming, civil service, design, construction and astrophysics to name a few…

A spokesperson for the Institute of Mathematics says:  "A Level maths is tremendously important. It provides a firm foundation for all scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical careers and a flying start for many other types of career, such as those in finance, medicine, agriculture … etc.  The list is endless!"

What subjects does Mathematics go with?

According to the Russell Group informed choices guide, Mathematics is a ‘facilitating’ subject, which means that it will help you to study lots of other subjects and pursue lots of different careers.

Mathematics directly supports the study of subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, IT, Economics, Business and Biology which can also help with your Mathematics revision.  But studying Mathematics alongside an essay subjects like English or History can help keep your options open for more jobs and university courses.

Mathematics is recommended or sometimes required for: Computer Science, Accounting, Chemistry, Biology and Life Sciences, Medicine / Nursing, Dentistry, Business Studies, Management Studies, Finance, Architecture, Geology, Psychology, Surveying and even Philosophy.