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The Marlborough Science Academy

Mathematics

Mathematics is an exciting and ever changing discipline, which impacts and feeds into so many aspects of life. We strive to excite and enthuse students about mathematics, and to encourage a love of the subject. Our aims are to:

  • Ensure students are encouraged to challenge themselves at all key stages
  • Support students who struggle with their basic numeracy skills
  • Enable students to have a suitable level of mathematical competency to equip them for life
  • Inspire students to aim high from year 7 and support our most able mathematicians to develop their aptitude and curiosity
  • To equip students with the confidence to perform at their best throughout their school life

Mathematics is everywhere around us and it is essential that our students are able not only to answer questions in a range of contexts, but to be confident when applying this to real life situations. We want our students to have the mathematical fluency to understand how the skills they have developed with us can help them to problem solve and be applied to a range of different situations.

Lessons are taught in ability groups to ensure students are able to make rapid and sustained progress throughout all key stages and flexibility between groups throughout the school. Students who struggle with basic mathematics and literacy receive extra support in years 7 and 8, with a curriculum designed to focus on the skills required to build upon in GCSE Mathematics. We have a “fast track” curriculum for more confident students focusing on more complex material in years 7 and 8.

At KS4 we follow the Edexcel specification, and students who need more support to reach their potential have extra maths lessons focusing on how to apply the mathematics learnt in lessons. We also enter students where appropriate for Entry level Mathematics in addition to the GCSE course. To inspire students to aim higher we also teach the AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics qualification to our most able students in year 11. This feeds in to the A level and A level Further Mathematics courses on offer.

We promote links with primary schools and have a strong drive for student leadership with sixth form students tutoring year 11 pupils on the lead up to their exams for an 8 week programme, and year 10 students mentoring younger children as they prepare to start their GCSE courses.

Key Stage 3 Mathematics

At Key Stage 3 all students follow the National Curriculum. We aim to provide students with a well-rounded confidence in mathematics, coupled with a love for learning. Students of all abilities will study algebra, number, shape and space, ratio and proportion and data handling.

Gifted and Talented Mathematicians at Key Stage 3 can join our “Fast Track” group which adds further stretch and challenge to the students.  Similarly, students who need more help with maths are provided with extra support.

We offer opportunities to participate in the UKMT Maths challenges, as well as helping to organise and run quizzes for local primary schools.

In Year 7 we cover the following:

  • Number: Decimals, percentages, fractions, calculations with powers of 10, negative numbers, worded problems, ordering numbers, powers and roots.
  • Algebra: Simplifying, expanding brackets, factorising, algebraic manipulation, solving equations, writing expressions.
  • Ratio/proportion: Simplifying ratios, using ratios to solve simple problems, finding quantities using the concept of proportion.
  • Shape/space: Finding area and perimeter, converting units of length, measuring and drawing angles, calculating angles.
  • Data/probability: Finding probabilities, sample space, calculating averages, drawing bar charts, pictograms, pie charts, theoretical probability and relative frequency.

In Year 8 we build on Year 7 and cover the following:

  • Number: Decimals, percentages, fractions, calculations with powers of 10, negative numbers, worded problems, ordering numbers, powers and roots, standard form, index laws to include fractions and negative numbers.
  • Algebra: Simplifying, expanding brackets, factorising, algebraic manipulation, solving equations, writing expressions, solving equations with brackets and unknowns on both sides, expanding and factorising quadratics, straight line graphs.
  • Shape/space: Finding area and perimeter, converting units of length, measuring and drawing angles, calculating angles, using Pythagoras and Trigonometry, finding interior and exterior angles, bearings, volume and surface area of cuboids and prisms, area and circumference of circles and parts of circles.
  • Data/probability: Finding probabilities, sample space, calculating averages, drawing bar charts, pictograms, pie charts, theoretical probability and relative frequency, tree diagrams and frequency trees, scatter graphs and frequency polygons.
Mathematics Key Stage 4 

At Key Stage 4 students will follow the Edexcel Mathematics (9 – 1) Mathematics course.

The areas covered in the course include:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Geometry and measure
  • Probability and statistics

During the course students will:

  • Be challenged with a variety of problem solving activities
  • Improve their reasoning skills
  • Develop confidence when answering mathematical style questions, both algebraically and numerically

The course is assessed through three, 1 hour 30 minute equally weighted examination papers:

  • Paper 1 is non-calculator
  • Paper’s 2 and 3 allow for a calculator to be used
  • All students follow a linear course which means all of the assessment is taken at the end of the course

Most careers will require you to have a qualification in mathematics, as will Post 16 and college courses, especially the following:

Economics                  Information and Communication Technology

Medicine                     Banking

Architecture               Insurance

Engineering                Marketing

Accountancy              Business Management

Psychology                 Pharmacy

Computing                 Sciences

Mathematics Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Mathematics at Key Stage 5 follow the OCR Mathematics A level course.

Mathematics students are taught by 3 specialist teachers, who offer support throughout the duration of the course. Results over the past few years have been excellent.

Course Content:

Students cover pure, statistics and mechanics. The course is designed to build upon the higher level material covered at GCSE, with students looking at more complex sequences, index laws, trigonometric graphs, simultaneous equations and algebraic functions. The course also looks at differentiation and integration within pure mathematics.

The Statistics component looks at hypothesis testing, probability and the normal distribution and is a follow on from the statistics covered at GCSE. The Mechanics component links to the material covered in Physics A level and looks at vectors, kinematics, Newton’s laws and friction.

Assessment:

There are three 2 hour written papers (all equal weighting) completed at the end of the course:

  • Paper 1: Core
  • Paper 2: Core and Statistics
  • Paper 3: Core and Mechanics

Mathematics is relevant to many other fields of study such as the Sciences, Geography, Economics and Business Studies. If you are considering university courses, A level Mathematics is essential for some degree options such as Physics, Computing and Engineering as well as being of benefit in Chemistry, Biology, Business and Social Sciences. Its value beyond A level is also recognised.

For other career paths A level Mathematics opens opportunities in the world of commerce and business including accounting and banking. Recent research suggests that people with A level Mathematics earn approximately £3,000 per year more than those without Mathematics.

Further Mathematics Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study Further Mathematics at Key Stage 5 follow the OCR Further Mathematics A level course.

Students are taught by specialist teachers, who offer support throughout the duration of the course. This is a new course running at The Marlborough Science Academy.

Course Content:

A level Further Mathematics is a qualification that provides students with a coherent course of study to develop mathematical understanding, encouraging them to think, act and communicate mathematically. Designed for students who wish to study beyond Mathematics A level, it provides a solid foundation for further study in mathematics and other disciplines that make extensive use of mathematical skills.

Assessment:

The course is assessed by four 1 hour 30 minute examinations each worth 25% of the final grade, made up of a combination of core, mechanics and statistics. Students must take both mandatory pure core papers and any two optional papers to be awarded the A Level.

Students may take more than two optional papers to increase the breadth of their course. The combination of papers that results in the best grade will be used.

Mathematics is relevant to many other fields of study such as the Sciences, Geography, Economics and Business Studies. If you are considering university courses, A level Mathematics is essential for some degree options such as Physics, Computing and Engineering as well as being of benefit in Chemistry, Biology, Business and Social Sciences.

Its value beyond A level is also recognised and for other career paths A level Mathematics opens opportunities in the world of commerce and business including accounting and banking. Recent research suggests that people with A level Mathematics earn approximately £3,000 per year more than those without Mathematics.