"Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is -- oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate!"
(from ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll)
Within the mathematics curriculum there are six main topics:
• Ratio, proportion and rates of change
• Geometry and measure
These six topics are studied in every year group throughout KS3 and KS4, with the level of difficulty progressing each time. This is called the 'spiral curriculum' - going back around the same broad areas but getting more in-depth and complex each time. So, for example, a Year 7 might be able to solve a simple algebraic equation; a Year 8 might solve an equation with fractions, or unknowns on both sides, or brackets, or powers; a Year 9 could solve a pair of simultaneous equations; a Year 10 could manipulate algebraic fractions; and a Year 11 could solve simultaneous linear and quadratic equations. Each time we revisit each topic there is the opportunity to consolidate previous years' work and then add to it, and if a student is working above what we would expect of their year group then they are given extension work to broaden their knowledge and problem solving skills from the same or related topic area.
All pupils have access to MyMaths, an online mathematical resource and homework application to enhance their learning experience.
At present, setting occurs within two bands from the start of Year 7 and across the whole year group from Year 8. Students can move between sets, on academic grounds, at any time of year.
Formal graded assessments are set across all year groups four times per year as well as a synoptic summer examination.
Beyond the curriculum we run many enrichment opportunities, including:
• Junior (Year 7-8), Intermediate (Year 9-11) and Senior (6th form) UKMT Mathematical Challenges. There is one annual event for each age range, plus a fortnightly ‘Excellent’ challenge. Students may enter their own age range or higher. So, a Year 8 may enter the Junior, Intermediate and Senior challenges if they are really keen - and some do! Sixth form girls have the opportunity to be entered for the challenging Mathematical Olympiad for Girls
• We also run Team Challenges for the very best performers in the school challenges, where we travel with a SHS team and compete against other Lincolnshire schools.
• The students from all year groups enter themselves for the National Cipher Challenge, run by Southampton University, with a top prize of £1,000 from GCHQ and an awards ceremony at Bletchley Park. We will also be entering the Alan Turing Cipher Challenge in January 2016.
• Mathematics clinic takes place each Wednesday lunchtime, but all students are encouraged to seek help whenever necessary. Extra lessons take place during most lunchtimes.