“One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.”Sophocles
In the Maths Department, we aim to provide girls with a solid grounding in basic mathematical skills; to help them make sense of mathematical patterns and rules; to be able to communicate using mathematical language; to build and develop their problem-solving skills and to foster in them an enjoyment of Mathematics and an appreciation of its useful and beauty in the world.
Studying Mathematics helps to develop skills of analysis, logical argument, problem solving, mathematical modelling and communication and it is also very enjoyable for its own sake. Students learn by doing and they develop a determination not to be beaten by a problem.
We strive to give students the necessary knowledge and skills to achieve academic excellence but also the enthusiasm to take their learning further.
Pure Mathematics is a continuation and extension of the GCSE topics of algebra, trigonometry, graphs, calculus and vectors and includes new topics such as exponentials and logarithms. Mechanics applies mathematical ideas to practical problems involving force and motion. Topics include kinematics, Newton’s Laws and moments. Statistics builds on GCSE knowledge of probability. Students encounter a variety of statistical distributions, learn how to carry out hypothesis testing and how to interpret and test data. This part of the course also involves interrogating a “Big Data Set” and being able to answer questions about the (real) data.
Studying some statistics is recommended for subjects such as Biology, Geography, Economics, Psychology and the Humanities and studying some mechanics is recommended for Physics students. However, all students studying A level Mathematics now cover the same core content (irrespective of the Examination Board) and all students studying Mathematics will study both statistics and mechanics as part of the course.
There are many opportunities to use mathematics beyond the classroom and we encourage girls to discover and enjoy this.
The Maths Department has a programme of extra-curricular activities with clubs available including Puzzlemania, the Maths Craft Club and the Chess Club. Year 7 also take part in the Maths Christmas Quiz and the Maths Easter Egg Hunt (for famous mathematicians and a chocolate reward!). We support the NSPCC through Number Day and also celebrate Pi Day with additional activities in school.
Many girls are entered for the UKMT Maths Challenge and every year several achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze certificates. Some girls may qualify for further Kangaroo or Olympiad follow-on rounds.
The Department arranges for occasional guest speakers to talk about the mathematics that they are studying post-16 or that they are using in their careers. Some Year 9 girls are given the opportunity to take part in Bromley Maths Master Classes and there are other mathematical visits and lectures organised, including attending the Maths in Action lectures held in London.