Mathematics

Introduction

Mathematics forms an integral part of everyday life.  All things we take for granted rely on Mathematics to some extent, from mobile telephones to air travel.  It is also vital for many other subjects studied at Kirkham Grammar School.  For this reason, a strong foundation in this subject is essential.

Our approach to the teaching of Mathematics is primarily traditional with the use of investigations where appropriate, giving the pupils a firm grounding in the subject whilst also developing their problem solving skills and ability for logical thought.

First - Second Year

In the First and Second Years, pupils study according to the six main areas of the national curriculum: Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Probability and Statistics.

As a department we recognise that not all pupils have the same needs and aptitude, but strive to help all pupils achieve their greatest potential.  To this end, we use setting from Second Year upwards (and limited setting in the First Year) in order to place individuals with their mathematical peers.  

We also provide extra support in the form of lunchtime workshops.  The "open door" attitude of all the departmental staff means that pupils can always approach them for help when required.

Third - Fifth Year

GCSE Mathematics
Exam Board: Edexcel

The six main areas of the National Curriculum are continued in the Third to Fifth Years at a more advanced level.  The pupils are set according to ability with most pupils studying GCSE Mathematics at the Higher tier, and some pupils follow the Foundation tier course. More able pupils in the Fifth Year are also given the opportunity to study the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics.

Senior School (Sixth Form)

A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics.
Exam Board: Edexcel

The new reformed Mathematics A Level taught from September 2017 is 100% prescribed and is made up of three externally assessed 2 hour papers, each being equally weighted and with no coursework. The pupils are allowed to use a calculator on all three papers:

  • Paper 1 – Pure Mathematics 1
  • Paper 2 – Pure Mathematics 2
  • Paper 3 – Statistics and Mechanics

The new reformed Further Mathematics A Level taught from September 2017 is made up of four externally assessed papers 1 hour 30 minutes long, each being equally weighted and with no coursework:

  • Papers 1 and 2 are prescribed and made up of Pure Mathematical content. 
  • Papers 3 and 4 may be taken from Further Pure Mathematics, Further Mechanics, Further Statistics or Decision Mathematics modules.

Co-Curricular

  • Mathematics support is available at lunchtime for pupils to ask questions and receive extra help where required.
  • UKMT National Mathematics Challenges (external competitions for Second Year, Fourth Year and Sixth Form pupils).
  • Team Mathematics Challenges (external competitions for both Second Year and Sixth Form pupils).
  • Further Mathematics (AQA Level 2 Certificate in Mathematics for more able Fifth Year pupils).
  • Mathematics Master Classes at Lancaster University Mathematics Department (for selected Fourth and Fifth Year pupils).
  • House Mathematics (internal competitions for First Year, Second Year and Sixth Form pupils).

Sixth Form

Mathematics is one of the most popular A Level subjects at Kirkham Grammar School, with nearly half of each Lower Sixth choosing to study Mathematics at A Level.  

It is a highly regarded qualification for university entrance in many courses. By studying Mathematics at A Level, pupils therefore give themselves the option of a wide variety of courses, at the best universities nationally. 

Almost all successful A Level Mathematics pupils will have achieved grades of 9-7 at GCSE. Although it is possible for pupils with grade 6 at GCSE to take Mathematics at A Level, the intellectual demand and quantity of work load make the course very challenging.

The Course

Since September 2017, the new reformed Mathematics A Level has been studied by Lower Sixth pupils.  The content studied over the two year course is 100% prescribed, consisting of three externally assessed 2 hour papers, each being equally weighted, with no coursework.  Edexcel is the examination board used for A Level Mathematics.  The pupils are allowed to use a calculator on all 3 externally assessed papers.

  •     Paper 1:  Pure Mathematics 1 (exam code 9MA0/01)
  •     Paper 2:  Pure Mathematics 2 (exam code 9MA0/02)
  •     Paper 3:  Statistics and Mechanics (exam code 9MA0/03)

Pure Mathematics 1

The following Mathematical topics are studied on this Pure Mathematics course:
Algebra and Functions, Coordinate Geometry, Sequence and Series, Trigonometry, Exponentials and Logarithms, Differentiation, Integration, Vectors, and finally Proof Techniques.

Pure Mathematics 2

The following Mathematical topics studied on this Pure Mathematics course build on the foundation of the Pure Mathematics 1 course:
Algebra and Functions, Coordinate Geometry, Sequence and Series, Trigonometry, Differentiation, Integration, Numerical Methods, and finally Proof Techniques.

Statistics and Mechanics

Statistics topics studied include:
Statistical Sampling, Data Presentation and Interpretation, Probability, Statistical Distributions, and Statistical Hypothesis Testing.  The Statistics section will also use a large data set (provided by the exam board) for pupils to analyse as part of the course.

Mechanics topics studied include:
Quantities and Units in Mechanics, Kinematics, Forces and Newton's Laws, and Moments.

Careers

Having an A Level in Mathematics is viewed very favourably by universities since the high level of numeracy and logical thought it implies is seen as an extremely valuable qualification.  It is also a subject which opens a vast array of doors for potential future careers, and achieving a high grade in the subject is highly valued.  Any pupil wishing to take Mathematics at one of the top universities will be able to access some assistance (both within and outside school) with preparation for taking the MAT/STEP examinations.

Mathematics A Level will be essential for anyone wishing to study Physics or Engineering for example, but it is also readily accepted for many other courses. For example, those wishing to study Medicine at university may well take an A Level in Mathematics. Chemistry, Biology and Economics also contain plenty of Mathematical content.

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is taken nationally by only a small proportion of those taking Mathematics at A Level. However, it is seen by universities as a 'prestige' qualification. Pupils applying for top universities will be greatly advantaged if they have Further Mathematics in their selection of A Level subjects. Certainly any pupil thinking about studying Mathematics at university should consider choosing this subject.  It is also an advantage for future study in subjects such as Natural Sciences.

The Course

Students opting for Further Mathematics will leave Kirkham Grammar School with two A Levels in Mathematics.

Since September 2017, the new reformed Further Mathematics A Level has been studied by Lower Sixth pupils. The content studied over the two year course can contain a proportion of optional sections, taken from Further Pure Mathematics, Further Mechanics, Further Statistics and Decision Mathematics.  There will be four externally assessed 1 hour 30 minute papers, each being equally weighted. Edexcel is the examination board used for A Level Further Mathematics and there is no coursework. 

  • Paper 1:  Further Pure Mathematics 1 (9FM/01)
  • Paper 2:  Further Pure Mathematics 2 (9FM/02)
  • Paper 3: (9FM0/03) and Paper 4 (9FM0/04) may be taken from Further Pure Mathematics, Further Mechanics, Further Statistics or Decision Mathematics.

Pupils taking Further Mathematics will develop greater depth to their understanding of Pure Mathematics, as well as broadening their interest in Mathematics by studying more advanced Mechanics, Statistics or Decision Mathematics.