Head of Department: Dr H Burgess
Head of Department: Mrs H Gagen
The Maths department at Priestlands is highly successful and is made up of 10 maths specialists. We are passionate about the subject and want to inspire all students with the beauty of mathematics. We work hard to inspire students and help them enjoy maths; developing confidence to use the maths skills they learn to solve the myriad problems that life and work might throw at them. As a team, we understand that deep learning takes time to evolve. It requires us to create opportunities to apply skills in a variety of ways over an extended period of time and this is what we strive to do.
Our aim is for all students to gain the understanding of maths that they need to move forward, as well as developing their problem solving skills. Students are set on entry at Priestlands, to ensure that all students are both stretched to achieve their potential in Maths, but also to ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed.
At Key Stage 3, students develop their mathematical understanding through the use of physical resources and visual representations. There is also a strong focus on reasoning skills to ensure students are able to apply what they have learnt. Students begin Year 7 studying sequences, before being introduced to the ideas of algebra. Students cover a wide range of topics in Key Stage 3, including probability, geometric reasoning and statistics. Students then build on these ideas at Key Stage 4 in preparation for sitting their GCSE in Maths.
Throughout their time here at Priestlands, students have the opportunity to take part in the UKMT Maths challenges, where students are given the opportunity to test themselves against other students nationally in solving mathematical problems. Our high mathematical achievers are also invited to students for a Further Mathematics qualification in Year 10 and 11.
Our favourite day of the year is 14th March – Pi day (3.14). All classes have the opportunity to celebrate Pi by discovering what Pi is, attempting to beat the school record in memorizing the most digits of Pi or by learning about the history of Pi in Maths.
We believe that all students can succeed in maths and we want to do all we can to make it happen.
Numeracy underpins everything we do and forms an integral part of everyday life. In an ever changing technological world, it is our priority to equip students with the mathematical skills and knowledge they need for the world of work as well as the confidence to use them.
We teach the main areas of the curriculum to ability groups:
Number, Algebra, Data Handling and Shape, Space and Measure.
There are many links between these because mathematics is not a set of isolated topics but an interconnected web of ideas. We also teach how to think mathematically, encouraging pupils to be independent learners, developing their problem solving skills. Independence involves being resourceful, observant, determined, flexible, creative and a good communicator, verbally and in a written form. Functional skills are built into the topic areas and help reinforce the connection between mathematics and every day life.
An overview of the topics and timings that students will encounter during the course in Year 7 and Year 8 appear on our blog:
Students are set for their GCSE according to ability with some adjustments made following KS3 assessments. Depending on pupils KS3 levels, there are a variety of pathways offered through KS4. The majority of pupils take their final exams at the end of Y11. Some pupils will take fast track GCSE and go on to preparation for A level in Year 11.
For the duration of the course students are expected to have the following basic equipment:
- Basic calculator OR Scientific calculator for students on Higher level entry
- Black or blue biro pens
- Pencil and Pencil sharpener
An overview of the topics and timings that students will encounter during the course in Year 9, 10 and 11 are listed on our blog: