Curriculum Leader: Mr C Stephenson
The Mathematics Department at Fulford School is made up of enthusiastic mathematicians, eager to spread both their passion for and understanding of the discipline of Mathematics. We endeavour to develop pupils who are inquisitive and who accept and tackle the challenges put before them. We strive to establish the confidence and necessary mathematical skills to produce clear solutions to problems encountered both in the Mathematics classroom and also in real life.
Engaging and interactive lessons encourage students to discuss ideas and compare solutions. Kinaesthetic activities such as loop cards, jigsaws and treasure hunts ensure students are active participants in their own learning. We also encourage students to access online resources to further develop their understanding of mathematical concepts. Websites we encourage students to use are listed below and where passwords are required, these can be accessed from class teachers.
Through a carefully planned curriculum, with guidance and support, we hope that every student can find enjoyment on their way to the appropriate qualification for the next stage of their lives.
Group work and kinaesthetic activities are incorporated regularly into lessons in addition to a range of problem-solving activities. Resources and support material are available to teaching staff, students and parents through the VLE and online resources such as mymaths. In Year 7, students are grouped into sets based on their Key Stage 2 results and have eight one hour long Mathematics lessons across a fortnight. Year 8 students have 6 hours per fortnight and 7 hours per fortnight in Year 9.
To further enrich their understanding of mathematics students are given an opportunity to apply their subject knowledge to practical contexts through Alternative Curriculum Days. During this time students are able to apply their mathematical skills to a range of contexts such as estimation and product design.
At Key Stage 4 students follow the Edexcel Linear course in GCSE Mathematics and all pupils sit this exam at the end of year 11. Students who are in year 11 currently will continue to follow the existing GCSE and gain a qualification with a grade from A* to G. Those students who have just begun year 10 will be taking the new, reformed GCSE in Mathematics and will be awarded a grade between 9 and 1. New schemes of work are in place and are reviewed regularly in order to prepare students for the demands of the new GCSE from September 2015.
The department has ensured that plenty of support material is available to students through the VLE. We pride ourselves on being available to students at all times and through strategic and year-long initiatives we are able to offer workshops, group support and even one-to-one peer tutoring through the Numeracy Leaders scheme thanks to volunteer sixth formers.
Students at Fulford studying Mathematics or Further Mathematics play a key role in the Mathematics community of the school. Through various schemes and initiatives they are active role models for the earlier Key Stages. We know it is essential they are provided with the best support for the next stages in their careers. In the sixth form many of our students go onto study Mathematics degrees (or degrees with a significant mathematical content) at University.
Currently, students study the Edexcel AS/A2 programme and have to take three modules in each year; two Core modules and an applied module. The applied modules are studies in Mechanics, Statistics or Decision Mathematics. In the first year, all students will study Decision Mathematics. In the second year, students are generally able to choose Statistics or Mechanics for their applied module. Students will be taught by more than one teacher during the year.
For those students considering anything scientific or mathematical at university, it is strongly recommended that they also study Further Mathematics, for which we also follow the Edexcel specification. This is an additional full A-level, covering many more areas of both pure and applied Mathematics. For some universities it is essential, while nearly all universities prefer or recommend it, with many making no secret that lower offers may be given to students with Further Mathematics alongside Mathematics on their application. We are also often able to offer an AS Further Mathematics course in year 13; this is “half an A level” and supports many applications, particularly those for engineering courses.
To ensure progress is made by all students, and that every pupil maximises their potential, students will be assessed formally to Edexcel standards every half term. We have systems of support in place for all students that consist of a series of additional workshops and assessment opportunities, full details of which are given in student booklets at the start of each course.
Many sixth formers also volunteer to support lessons across other key stages as part of their enrichment activities and even have the opportunity to mentor to students at key stage 4, providing a valuable extra resource. Not only does this consolidate and help their mathematical communication, but provides a variety of other skills essential for their futures.
The department has a range of extra-curricular activities on offer. Every year a large number of students across all years are given the opportunity to take part in the UKMT National Maths Challenges and we also take part in the Team Challenge events. In six out of the last eight years our Junior team has succeeded in reaching the National finals of this event in London which has given them the chance to compete against the best mathematicians in the country.
Students also take part in the National Cipher Challenge competition each year with staff providing support for these at lunchtimes and after school.
Over the last few years the department has managed to involve students in a variety of fundraising activities. These have included Mathematical Treasure hunts in support of the NSPCC Number Day and Sponsored Sums for Comic Relief which have in total raised over £15000 in the last five years.
Chess club is well attended twice a week with students of all abilities; from absolute beginners wanting to learn, to those who enjoy variations like speed chess.