Welcome to Princes Risborough School Mathematics Department
The Mathematics Department will provide students with exciting, relevant and challenging Mathematics, delivered by dedicated staff.
Students will understand the underlying principles of the mathematics they learn, making links and developing reasoning skills and logical thinking.
They will progress towards being independent mathematicians who can identify correct and incorrect work for themselves.
Students will have their confidence encouraged and their complacency challenged in order to maximise potential.
To achieve this, staff will design and develop simple and effective systems and interesting and effective teaching ideas and resources to enable classroom delivery and promote mathematics across the school.
The Maths team are a dedicated, hard-working and committed team of 7 full-time and 1 part-time staff teaching across the full age and ability range. The department is also supported by 2 colleagues in the "Communications Base", a department that caters for students on the Autistic Spectrum.
In Year 7 pupils are initially taught in house groups and later grouped into 3 sets on each year half based on ability. In Years 8 - 11 students are grouped into 6 sets based on ability across their year group. All students have 4 lessons of Maths a week.
All students cover the following areas of Mathematics.
Using and applying Mathematics to solve problems
- problem solving and applications in a variety of contexts to develop reasoning, thinking and communication skills
Number and the number system
- place value, ordering and rounding
- integers, powers and roots
- fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion
- number operations and the relationship between them
- mental methods and rapid recall of number facts
- written methods
- calculator methods
- checking results
- equations, formulae and identities
- sequences, functions and graphs
Shape, space and measures
- geometrical reasoning: lines, angles and shapes
- constructions and loci
- measures and mensuration
Handling data: specifying a problem, planning and collecting data
- processing and representing data
- interpreting and discussing results
The GCSE specification builds on the content, knowledge and skills developed at Key Stage 3. During Key Stage 4 pupils are encouraged to take an increased responsibility for their work. They will become fluent in making connections between the different areas of Mathematics and its application in the world around them. Pupils will learn the importance of precision and rigour. The school offers a condensed Key Stage 3 and a 3-year GCSE with a potential fast-track option to high achievers and intervention support for C/D borderline students.
During Key Stage 3 students learning is supplemented by a wide variety of resources and specific themed unites or 'mini-projects'.
At GCSE pupils sit a modular course. They sit 2 exams during Year 10 & 11 and one at the end of Year 11. The exams are:
- Unit 1 (10 %) - Handling Data (One Calculator Paper & One Non-Calculator Paper)
This unit is taught as a serious of projects aimed at giving students an insight into how statistics are usedin the "real-world"
- Unit 2 (20%) - Number & Algebra/Shape, Space & Measure (One Written Paper & One Multiple Choice Paper)
- Unit 3 (50%) - Final Paper Number & Algebra/Shape, Space & Measure (One Calculator Paper & One Non-Calculator Paper)
Throughout the course we use "really Useful Maths Activities" to encourage our students to become more "functional" in their Mathematics. Peer assessment is used regularly to help students "learn how to learn"
Pupils are entered at either the Higher or Foundation tier, where grades are available as follows;
Higher A* - D
Foundation C - G
The level of entry for each pupil is made following Year 11 trial exams and based on the individual pupils' attainment and efforts.
We also have a successful A-Level course of study. We teach A/S and A-Level Mathematics, currently covering Core 1 - 4 and Mechanics 1 - 2 modules. We also teach Further Mathematics A/S and A-Level and are hoping to offer Statistics as part of A-level in the future.
Accommodation & Resources
The Maths department is accommodated in the Main block in M13, M14, M15, M16, M17 and M23. We also teach some lessons in other parts of the school. We have a suite of computers in M17 which can be made available for use by the whole department.
We have access to a number of resources including MyMaths.co.uk, Achieve (KS3 Online Assessment) and Collins Online (KS4 Online Assessment) and the department has invested in many interactive resources to maximise planning without being time-consuming. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and every teacher has a laptop. We also have access to laptops for pupils to use in lessons.