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Curriculum Leader:

Mr R Brocklehurst

Department Introduction:

Mathematics is a challenging and exciting subject, often described as ‘exercise for the brain’. It is satisfying to study in its own right and continues to be highly valued by employers in all fields.

At WGHS, girls' develop the ability to solve demanding problems, to think on their feet, to reason logically, to explain their thought processes using precise language and to apply technology appropriately.


What’s good about Mathematics?


This is a compulsory subject because there is general agreement that mathematics is one of the essential subjects which every person should study. The usefulness of mathematics to the future of each individual varies. For some, arithmetical skills will be needed for use at home or in an office or workplace. For others, mathematics will be the basis of scientific development and modern technology and there is an increasing use of mathematical techniques as a management tool in commerce and industry.

What’s good about Mathematics at WGHS?


The mathematics examination results at both GCSE and A level are outstanding at WGHS, amongst the best in the West Midlands. These are achieved through the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for mathematics by both the girls and the teaching staff. We as a department aim to deliver an exciting and varied curriculum for our pupils. We incorporate a range of teaching strategies and tasks that will challenge the girls and promote higher order thinking skills. Many enrichment opportunities also exist outside of the mathematics classroom, we have close links with the UKMT and the FMSP and take part in many team and individual maths challenges. 

For those girls who find mathematics to be a challenging subject, we have a highly successful mentoring system where girls can receive additional one-to-one support. In addition, the department runs a number of Mathematics support clubs during lunchtime. The aim is that these support clubs provide girls with the opportunity to receive one-to-one support on specific topics, homework tasks, preparation for examinations or just a quiet place to work. 

Department Aims:


What skills will I have developed?


The course enables you to:

  • Develop your mathematical knowledge and oral, written and practical skills in a manner which encourages confidence in the subject
  • Develop a feel for number, carry out calculations and understand the significance of the results obtained
  • Formulate and solve problems, present the solutions clearly and check and interpret the results
  • Develop an understanding of mathematical principles
  • Develop an ability to apply mathematics in other subjects, particularly science and technology, in order to meet the demands which society makes of you
  • Produce and appreciate imaginative and creative work arising from mathematical ideas
  • Acquire a foundation appropriate to the further study of mathematics and other disciplines


How does GCSE Mathematics lead on to A level?


In acquiring the skills outlined, at a good standard, you will have the foundation necessary to undertake the study of AS, A2, & further mathematics.


Are there further opportunities for study?


In Year 11 the students doing particularly well may have the opportunity to study an additional mathematics qualification. Currently, we offer a Level 2 iGCSE in Further Mathematics within their timetabled lessons.

Key Stage 3:

Girls will be following the National Curriculum incorporating elements of the Numeracy Strategy, together with preparation for functional skills. A variety of teaching styles are used to deliver the curriculum, incorporating investigational activities and ICT where appropriate.

Strands of the curriculum are studied over an extended period of time to ensure students have chance to master the different skills before moving on to something new.

Each student has access to a variety of online text book via Kerboodle. Covering the following topics:


Year 7:


  • Sequences
  • Algebraic notation
  • Equality and equivalence
  • Place value
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Multiplication and division
  • Four operations
  • Addition and subtraction of fractions
  • Construction, measuring and using geometric notation
  • Developing geometric reassuring
  • Sets and probability
  • Prime numbers and proof
  • Ratio and scale
  • Multiplicative change
  • Multiplying and dividing fractions
  • Tables and probability


Year 8:


  • Ratio and scale
  • Multiplicative change
  • Multiplying and dividing fractions
  • Working in the cartesian plane
  • Representing data
  • Tables and probability
  • Brackets
  • Sequences
  • Indices
  • Equations and inequalities
  • Fractions and percentages
  • Standard index form
  • Number sense
  • Angles in parallel lines and polygons
  • Area of trapezia and circles
  • Line symmetry and reflection
  • The data handling cycle
  • Measures of location
  • Constructions and congruency
  • Maths and money


Year 9:


  • The data handling cycle
  • Measures of location
  • Straight line graphs
  • Forming and solving equations
  • Testing conjectures
  • 3-0 shapes
  • Constructions & congruency
  • Number
  • Using percentages
  • Maths and money
  • Deduction
  • Line symmetry and reflection
  • Rotation and transaction
  • Pythagoras theorem
  • Enlargement and similarity
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Rates
  • Probability
  • Algebraic representation

Key Stage 4:

Students start their three year GCSE journey in year 9. Each student has access to a variety of online text book via Kerboodle.


What will I study at GCSE?


You are taught mathematics to:


  • Enable you to develop, within your capabilities, the mathematical skills and understanding required for adult life, for employment and for further study and training;
  • Provide you with such mathematics as may be needed for the study of other subjects;
  • Help you to develop as far as possible your appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics itself.


How is Mathematics GCSE assessed?


All pupils will be entered for the Higher tier papers (OCR). The specification has three question papers which cover all the assessment objectives and are taken in the same examination series. All content and assessment objectives may be assessed on either paper.

The expectation is that pupils will sit the examination in June of Year 11. The assessment papers will carry questions that include “functional elements.” This means they will be related to real life scenarios and will not lead the students through the problem but require them to find their own way to a solution. For the last few years the mathematics department have been trialling this type of question with Key Stage 3 pupils. We believe that this will help students to answer these questions successfully.


Exam Paper 1:

  • No Calculator Allowed
  • 1 Hour 30 mins
  • Weight 33.3%

Exam Paper 2:

  • Calculator Allowed
  • 1 Hour 30 mins
  • Weight 33.3%


Exam Paper 3:

  • Calculator Allowed
  • 1 Hour 30 mins
  • Weight 33.3%


Key Stage 5:

Mathematics is historically a highly valued subject, studied by many famous scientists, philosophers and thinkers, from many different cultures and throughout time. So to study it is to join a long list of intellectuals. It is an exciting and interesting subject in its own right


Progression to Career/ University Courses : Mathematics is a highly valued tool for many disciplines such as science, economics, engineering, computing, finance…..The list is endless as mathematics has become an integral part of almost every job, especially with the growth in the use of statistics to analyse data over the last century. Mathematics provides a general education in logical thought and problem solving, skills which are highly marketable.


Over the last three years Mathematics students have gone to do Pure Mathematics degrees at Cambridge, Warwick, Birmingham, Leeds and Bath. Mathematics students have also gone on to do a variety of other Mathematical related courses including: Mathematics and Physics, Mathematics with Ocean and Climate studies, Aeronautical Engineering and Astrophysics.


Key Points


The Core units build on your knowledge of graphs, trigonometry and algebra. You will also study calculus which is a very powerful mathematical tool.


In Statistics you will build on your knowledge of probability and data analysis as you are introduced to statistical modelling and in Mechanics you are introduced to mathematical modelling of physical situations using dynamics, kinematics and statics. All students study both Statistics and Mechanics.


Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics allows students to learn about new areas of Mathematics that are not visited in the Mathematics A2 course. Students will learn about more current mathematical topics and be stretched with more complex pure mathematics. We will study compulsory pure maths which includes topics such as complex numbers and matrices as well as further mechanics and decision maths. 

Progression to Career/ University Courses : Anyone considering mathematics, engineering or some economics courses at university is strongly recommended to choose this option. It encourages an offer and helps in the first year of undergraduate study.

Extra-Curricular Activities:


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