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.
The programme of study for Key Stage 3 is organised into distinct domains of Number, Algebra, Shape and Space and Data Handling, but pupils build on their Key Stage 2 knowledge and ability to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They are also encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge in science, geography, computing and other subjects.
From year 7, girls are taught in sets as we find that girls who find mathematics more difficult appreciate the extra support provided in smaller groups and this increases their confidence. More able girls are given additional appropriate challenges and extension material. The department reviews sets at the end of each year, based on internal assessments and the input of individual class teachers. Set changes may take place at other times in exceptional circumstances. In Year 9, pupils begin studying the 3-year course which leads to the iGCSE examination in Year 11.
In the continued study of Mathematics, girls develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts and techniques; acquire a foundation of mathematical skills for further study in the subject or related areas; enjoy using and applying mathematical techniques and concepts; become confident to use Mathematics to solve problems and appreciate the importance of Mathematics in society, employment and study.
Pupils will study topics in the broad areas of number, algebra, geometry, and statistics. Numerical topics build on learning from earlier years. In algebra, girls will learn how to manipulate algebraic expressions and to set up and solve problems using algebraic techniques. In geometry, girls will expand their knowledge of transformations and shape and space. In statistics, girls will learn how to use different statistical measures and diagrams to represent a set of data.
All pupils will take the Higher Tier IGCSE examination at the end of Year 11. Set 5 pupils will take the Foundation Tier IGCSE at the end of Year 10. They will then progress to take the Higher IGCSE at the end of Year 11.
Depending on the need, classes may be provided in Year 11 for some girls to study for an additional Mathematics qualification (currently IGCSE Further Mathematics).
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.