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The Mathematics department is the largest single subject department at Monmouth School with nine teachers led by Head of Department, Dr Huw Evans.
All boys in Forms I – V study Mathematics and prepare for the Edexcel IGCSE. In the last five years over 70% of pupils have achieved an A or an A* in the subject and more than 99% of pupils have achieved A* – C. For boys who are struggling with their Mathematics, there is numeracy support available within the department and we also run Mathematics “surgeries” most lunchtimes and before school every week for any boys who are having difficulty with any aspect of their Mathematics or who have missed work due to absence.
Almost half of the pupils continue their mathematical studies into the Sixth Form where pupils work for the OCR AS and A2 qualifications in Mathematics. The department also offers Further Mathematics as an AS and an A2 subject for mathematically gifted students. During the last five years there has been a 100% pass rate in A2 Mathematics and Further Mathematics and almost 90% of the candidates have gained A* – B grades. Since the introduction of the A* for A2, just over one third of the candidates have achieved this top grade for Mathematics and Further Mathematics.
A good proportion of pupils studying Mathematics in the Sixth Form go on to university to read a degree subject with a high mathematical content, including a number of pupils who go on to Oxford or Cambridge to read Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.
The department has itself produced a large part of its teaching materials and believes that this enables us to produce programmes of work using examples and contexts appropriate to Monmouth students.
Curriculum Overview KS3
In Form I the boys are taught Mathematics in their Forms and thereafter they are taught in sets. The setting is decided on the basis of performance during the previous year for existing pupils and the entrance exam for new pupils. The department feels strongly that the progress of each pupil is maximised by working in a class of pupils of similar ability. The setting is constantly reviewed and set changes are made at various stages of the year to ensure that each pupil is in a group moving at an appropriate pace for his own ability.
The Curriculum: Form I
Each week, Form I pupils have five periods of Mathematics and two short homework assignments.
The programme of study aims to provide all the boys with a common foundation on which to base their work in subsequent years.
Arithmetic processes first encountered in Primary or Prep schools are reinforced; arithmetic techniques for fractions and decimals are developed; algebra, including the solving of simple equations and the (x,y) co-ordinate system are introduced; statistical charts, simple probabilities, angle properties of polygons and the calculation of areas and volumes of simple shapes are amongst the topics studied.
The Curriculum: Form II
Each week, Form II pupils have five periods of Mathematics and two short homework assignments.
Extending the number system to include negative numbers; the use of ratio and percentages in practical contexts; reviewing and extending the basic concepts of algebra; simple number sequences, transformations of shapes and further geometry are amongst the topics studied.
The Curriculum: Form III
Form III pupils are taught in sets covering the different ability levels. Each week, Form III pupils have four periods of Mathematics and two homework assignments.
The IGCSE syllabus is started with a particular emphasis on algebra and number. Solving simultaneous equations, quadratic equations and inequalities; the trigonometry of right angled triangles; applying percentages to a widening range of problems such as compound interest and growth problems and an introduction to set theory are amongst the topics studied.
The Curriculum: Forms IV & V
Form IV and V pupils are taught in sets covering the different ability levels. The setting is decided to ensure that pupils are in a group working at a pace that will both develop confidence and target an appropriate IGCSE grade. Each week pupils have five periods of Mathematics and up to three homeworks.
The boys are prepared for the Edexcel (Higher Tier) IGCSE specification, which has no coursework. Grades A*-G will be awarded for the final time in August 2017 on the 4Ma0 specification. Thereafter, grades 9-1 will be awarded on the 4Ma1 specification.
The Curriculum: Forms VI.1 and VI.2
Mathematics is a very popular choice for Sixth Form study at Monmouth for many different reasons: some study it simply because they enjoy tackling problems of a numerical or logical nature whilst others study it because it provides an important means for describing Scientific, Economic or Geographic phenomena.
The successful Sixth Form student of Mathematics will show a genuine interest in mathematical processes. He will have the ability to cope with abstract ideas and the determination necessary to practise techniques and master concepts. He will gain a real sense of achievement when worthwhile results to difficult problems are achieved.
The department prepares students for the AS and A2 examinations of the OCR Mathematics specifications (OCR codes 3890, 3892, 7890, 7892). Full details of the specifications can be found on the board website.
It is possible for Sixth Form students to study Mathematics to four different levels:
- AS Mathematics
- A2 Mathematics
- A2 Mathematics and AS Further Mathematics
- A2 Mathematics and A2 Further Mathematics
In most years, over 60 students study Mathematics in VI.1. About 20% of these finish at AS level; about 40% will continue their studies through to A2 and about 40% will also opt to study Further Mathematics to AS or A2 level.
Students working towards either AS Mathematics or A2 Mathematics will have eight periods a week of Mathematics and will be taught by two members of the department. Students working towards Further Mathematics as well as A2 Mathematics will have twelve periods a week and will be taught by two teachers.
The AS Mathematics course is usually studied in VI.1. Students work on two Pure Mathematics modules (C1 and C2) and either a Mechanics (M1) or a Statistics (S1) module.
A2 Mathematics requires students to study two more Pure Mathematics modules (C3 and C4) together with another Applied Mathematics module. Students who have studied M1 will usually choose either the second Mechanics module (M2) or the Discrete Mathematics module (D1); those who have studied S1 will usually choose the second Statistics module (S2) or the Discrete Mathematics module (D1).
AS Further Mathematics requires three more modules in addition to the six required for A2 Mathematics, so nine altogether. One of these must be Further Pure Mathematics 1 (FP1) and the other two will be Applied Mathematics modules, which means that AS Further Mathematicians will usually study a total of four modules chosen from M1, M2, S1, S2 and D1.
A2 Further Mathematics requires another three modules, so twelve altogether. These are usually two more Further Pure modules (FP2 and FP3) and one additional Applied Mathematics module.