‘Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms: it is about understanding’. – William Paul Thurston.
Just as languages provide the building blocks and rules we need to communicate, maths uses its own language, made up of numbers, symbols and formulas, to explore the rules we need to measure or identify essential problems like distance, speed, time, space, change, force and quantities.
Studying Maths helps us find patterns and structure in our lives. Practically, Maths helps us put a price on things, create graphics, build websites, build skyscrapers and generally understand how things work or predict how they might change over time and under different conditions.
For example, if I want to throw a custard pie so it lands on top of your head on a very windy day, studying the maths can help me work out the speed, force and angle I need to throw it to hit just the right spot. Or, more helpfully, maths helps me work out how long it will take me to get somewhere if I know the distance I have to travel and the speed I’m going.
Emilio Y12 presenting at this years’ Maths Fest
It’s a very exciting time to be involved in mathematics teaching, with new curricula across all key stages providing opportunities to create inspiring schemes of learning that meet the needs of all learners.
In key stage 3 we are working with a new mastery style curriculum, where depth of understanding of topics is prioritised and where the mathematical thinking involved in solving a problem is at least as important as the final answer.
Our key stage 4 students are working towards the challenges of the new specification GCSE where problem solving is seen as a key skill, and really that is what mathematics is really all about.
A-level mathematics has continued to be the most popular subject in the sixth form, and the competition to be part of the further mathematics A-level program is stronger than ever. Support for students applying for university courses that require entrance exams, such as the BMAT and UKCAT for medicine, STEP/AEA/MAT exams needed to study mathematics at Cambridge/Oxford etc., and SATs if students are applying to study in the U.S.A. is also provided through the maths department.
Years 8 and 9
Note that year 7 information for each subject is available here.
In year 8 we will be continuing with the mastery curriculum; this ensures depth of understanding and excellent mathematical communication skills are developed. We will cover ratio, proportion and sequences in term 1 followed by algebraic graphs in term 2. We will explore area, circles and 3D shapes in term 3 and develop this with construction and transformation in term 4. In term 5 we will deepen our knowledge of fractions and percentages including their use in probability. Finally, in term 6 we will look at data representation including scatter graphs.
Each term students will take a test at the start to enable teachers to identify areas to focus on in lessons and hence develop the best in every student. The students will then sit a similar test at the end of the term so we will be able to reliably present the progress students have made each term as well as identifying key elements students can work on at home to boost their end of year result.
In Year 9 we follow the new GCSE.
Enrichment and extra curricular
As stated above, support is provided for our highest achieving students to give them all the very best chance to fulfil their academic goals when they leave QK through preparation for entrance exams. We also have close links with several universities outreach programs who offer us places for both term time masterclasses, such as the problem solving masterclasses at King’s College, and summer schools, like the UCL curve sketching summer school as well as opportunities provided by Oxford University through their UNIQ program and the Nuffield trust for more summer schools.
We take part in both the individual and team UKMT maths challenges from year 7 up to year 13 and have clubs dedicated to preparing the students for these events, and our students always enjoy trips to the maths inspiration events where they have even had the opportunity to present on stage.