Plymstock School Mathematics Department

The Mathematics Department is one of the largest in the School, housed on the ground floor of a purpose-built block, opened in 2004.  We have 11 teaching rooms, all of which are equipped with a projector, an ICT suite, almost exclusively for our own use, and a staff workroom.

The Mathematics Department is committed to providing excellent teaching and endeavours to ensure that all students of varying abilities and interests should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential in Mathematics at all levels.

At Plymstock, we believe that Mathematics provides opportunities for students to be both creative and independent, but it also allows for co-operation and debate to take place through logical thinking.  It enables communication to be precise, elegant and informed.

All students follow the National Curriculum requirements to ensure progress and prepare them for the demands of the 9 – 1 GCSE.  Students in Years 7 to 11 currently receive 8 hours of lessons over a two-week timetable.  Students studying A Level Mathematics receive 10 hours of lessons over a two-week timetable and students studying Core Mathematics receive 4 hours over the two-week timetable.

In all years students are taught in sets according to their pathways and Key Stage 4 target grades.  Year 7 setting is based on Key Stage 2 attainment in the SAT examinations and initial assessments.  Year 8 and 9 setting is based on Key Stage 2 scores, Mathematics Department test scores and teacher assessment.  In Years 10 and 11 setting is based on their Key Stage 2 and 3 attainment levels and target grades that are based on prior data.  Student progress is tracked internally throughout the students’ careers at Plymstock.

At GCSE students follow the EDEXCEL GCSE (9 – 1) specifications either studying the higher or foundation courses.

Core Maths is a relatively new option.  It has been introduced to provide students with an alternative to A Level Mathematics and is available to any student who has gained a grade 5 or higher in their GCSE Mathematics.  Although much of the content of the course is also on the GCSE Higher Tier syllabus, students will learn how to use mathematics to solve contextualised problems, explore new ways to use technology with mathematics and develop their ability to assimilate and use information presented in a variety of forms.  Core Maths is a two year course.  It leads to an AS equivalent qualification and is assessed at the end of the two years.  Core Maths is worth the same number of UCAS points as any other AS qualification.

At present Key Stage 5 students follow the AQA linear specifications and can study Mathematics and Further Mathematics with the opportunity to study modules in Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Mathematics.

As a Department we believe that there is true value in understanding Mathematics and being able to apply Mathematics as opposed to simply learning how to answer exam questions.  Above all Mathematics should be enjoyed.

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