Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 Mathematics students will learn how to solve numerical problems and carry out calculations with and without the aid of a calculator. They will progress to forming and solving algebraic equations, dealing with formulae and plotting graphs. Students will explore the geometrical properties of 2D and 3D shapes and learn how to calculate their areas or volumes. They will collect and interpret statistical data and gain the skills required to calculate the probability of a situation in a real-life context occurring.
Students will learn that Mathematics is about more than all of the above; it is about thinking logically and being able to apply the principles they learn to everyday situations.
The Key Stage 3 Mathematics course at Foyle College begins by giving students the opportunity to review mathematical facts and techniques learnt in Primary School before expanding on these to begin the students’ preparation for GCSE Mathematics.
Students often find learning mathematics intimidating, but our aim is to guide them through the subject in easy steps, building both their understanding and their confidence.
Students will be taught using a combination of traditional methods, bespoke PowerPoint presentations with accompanying notes, ICT-based activities and practical investigations. This will cater for a range of different learning styles. Practice of the required mathematical techniques will be gained through a variety of written, oral and practical work, including the use of ICT. Students will work independently or in groups.
GCSE Mathematics at Foyle College builds upon the foundations laid at Key Stage 3. Concepts first met in Years 8 -10 are revised and then expanded upon to meet the
requirements of the GCSE specification.
Mathematics is a compulsory subject at GCSE level. Our aims are to enable students to achieve the maximum grade of which they are capable whilst at the same time creating an interest in the subject so that all students will ultimately find it rewarding. Students will consolidate their understanding using a combination of traditional textbook exercises, active learning and ICT activities.
The CCEA GCSE Mathematics course is studied. The course is divided into three sections:
• Number and Algebra
• Geometry and Measures
• Handling Data
Students have two options for completing this course:
Students study GCSE Mathematics over 2 years. This allows the course to be covered at a slower pace, with modules of varying levels of difficulty to cater for different levels of mathematical ability. Students have the opportunity to re-sit modules to increase scores. This is the most sensible option for a student who finds Mathematics quite challenging.
Students study the complete GCSE Mathematics course in Year 11. This is the most sensible option for a student with above average mathematical ability.
Approximately 50% of the year-group will choose each option.
GCSE Further Mathematics
Students who have completed the GCSE Mathematics course in Year 11 will study CCEA GCSE Further Mathematics in Year 12.
Further Mathematics is an optional GCSE subject designed to broaden the mathematical experience of high attaining students beyond the limits of GCSE Mathematics. GCSE Further Mathematics is highly regarded by employers. A recent study has shown that students who have gained a qualification in this subject are twice as likely to gain an A* grade in A-Level Mathematics or any of the A-Level Sciences.
The course is divided into three units:
• Unit 1: Pure Mathematics
• Unit 2: Mechanics
• Unit 3: Statistics
Further Mathematics provides students with a highly regarded extra GCSE
mathematical qualification that will enhance their career prospects. Highly numerate
students are eagerly sought in all areas of employment.
Further Mathematics bridges the gap between GCSE and A-level by allowing students to study much of the AS Mathematics course in Year 12. Most students who choose this option continue to study Mathematics at A-level.
A-Level Mathematics is an intensive and demanding post-16 option, highly regarded by both universities and employers. It is one of the most popular A-Level choices for students in Northern Ireland.
The CCEA A-Level Mathematics course is studied, with students taking two modules in Pure Mathematics and two modules in Applied Mathematics. The Applied modules contain equal weightings of Mechanics and Statistics.
AS Year 13
Module AS 1: Pure Mathematics
Module AS 2: Applied Mathematics
A2 Year 14
Module A2 1: Pure Mathematics
Module A2 2: Applied Mathematics
The course content is as follows:
Algebra and Functions
Sequences and Series
Exponentials and Logarithms
Forces and Newton’s Laws
Impulse and Momentum
Data Presentation and Interpretation
Statistical Hypothesis Testing
MathsBase is a weekly after-school support session where students can seek support for areas of Mathematics with which they are having difficulty. Mathematics teachers and A-Level mathematicians give up their time to help students, on a one-to-one basis where possible. Numerical difficulties in other subjects are also addressed.
There are a range of ways in which effort and ability in Mathematics are rewarded in Foyle College:
· Year 8 students can become ‘Geek of the Week’ and Year 9 and Year 10 students can be awarded ‘Mathematician of the Month’ for making a notable effort in Mathematics class. Students of all abilities are enthusiastic when they receive these awards.
· Students in all Key Stages are awarded ‘Mathlete’ status for top performance in Progress Tests and examinations. Those who have shown most improvement are also rewarded.
· ‘Pi Day’ is an annual event held on March 14th (3.14). A series of activities take place in Foyle, including a design competition for Year 8, a ‘Pi-Dingbats’ competition for Year 10 and a Year 9 challenge involving learning as many digits of pi as possible. The current school record stands at over 100 digits!
· Students can compete against their friends in the Numeracy Brainteaser, hoping to win cinema tickets.
· Students are entered for the UK Mathematics Trust Maths Challenge competitions at Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels, competing to win Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.
Where to next?
Students will be aware of the vast array of career opportunities available from the study of Mathematics. Some of these possible careers are listed below.
• Aerospace Engineer
• Business Analyst
• Insurance Underwriter
• Investment Banker
• Operational Researcher
• Quantity Surveyor
• Research Scientist
• Software Tester
Most jobs require the application of some aspect of Mathematics. A grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics is an essential requirement for entry to any course in third level education and more often than not is one of the essential criteria for a job application.
A-Level Mathematics is an essential requirement for entry to courses in higher education that have a high degree of mathematical content. The subject also provides students with general skills that would be useful in other areas of study, such as understanding and analysing problems, thinking through solutions and communicating results.
A-Level Mathematics is highly regarded in many areas of employment where mathematical expertise is in great demand. This gives students the freedom to choose a career that suits them. Opportunities exist in the fields of finance, commerce, industry, engineering, education, medicine … there really are few limits to the type of career that they could pursue!