Studying Mathematics at Bloxham School
Mathematics is one of the core subjects in the National Curriculum, and is designed to develop investigational and practical skills, as well as the traditional computational and manipulative processes, logical thought and abstract reasoning.
Mathematics in the Lower School
In Lower School all pupils study maths for eight hours a fortnight, and are currently taught in one of three sets, according to mathematical ability. At the beginning of the First Form, the sets are usually determined by the pupils’ performance in the entrance test.
Mathematics in the Middle School
In the Third, Fourth and Fifth Forms pupils are taught in one of four/five sets, according to mathematical ability. Progress is assessed regularly and where appropriate pupils are moved between sets. Set one is currently kept at about twenty pupils which enables the most able to be given more challenging work. Set four is usually much smaller which allows the least able to receive the extra help they need. Set two is usually slightly larger than set three.
GCSE mathematics is rigorous and challenging. Pupils in sets one and two are entered for the Higher Tier exam which allows the most able to aim for the 7, 8 and 9 grades. Some pupils from sets three/four are also entered at the Higher Tier. However, most pupils in the lowest set are entered at the Foundation Tier where a grade 5 is targeted.
Mathematics in the Sixth Form
In the Sixth Form there are three sets in the Lower Sixth and two in the Upper Sixth, and only pupils with a grade 7 or higher are encouraged to start the course. The course develops and extends the methods introduced at GCSE Higher Level. After starting with a thorough revision and extension of the basic algebraic techniques, the Edexcel specification is followed. At AS and A2, pure and applied (both mechanics and statistics) are studied. At the end of the Lower Sixth Form, three exams may be taken to determine an AS grade. The terminal exams at the end of the Upper Sixth Form will examine all topics covered over the two years. Further Maths may also be an option for the most able mathemeticians.
A Sixth Form mathemetics qualification is a very useful and, in many cases an essential qualification in a wide variety of careers and degrees. For the scientist, the study of mathematics beyond GCSE level remains highly desirable, and the undergraduate scientist who does not have an understanding of the mathematics specification finds this a considerable disadvantage when embarking on a university course. Some careers in the city will actively seek the best mathematicians, such as actuary or banking analyst.
Who teaches mathematics?
Head of Department: Miss Jocelyn Merris
Other teaching staff: Mr David Best, Mr Michael Moir, Mr Andrew Goldsmith and Miss Harriet Woodward