For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics”- Roger Bacon
At Yarm School, the Mathematics Department is committed to enriching and motivating all pupils so that their experience of Maths is one of enjoyment as well as accomplishment. We encourage pupils to be open-minded in their approach to problem solving, clear in their presentation of solutions and to reflect on the methods used. Our aim is to engender a life-long love of mathematics, instilling confidence and encouraging success within the subject in preparation for a rewarding future. Every year we successfully enter pupils of all ages for the individual and team challenges in order to stimulate their interest in Mathematics. To encourage pupils from an early age to challenge their mathematical thinking, we have an enrichment group open to lower school pupils, meeting once a week to discuss and work on a whole host of mathematical problems.
It is our experience that the vast majority of pupils perform at their best when in a set working with pupils of broadly similar ability, which enables them to be appropriately challenged and supported. For example, there are some pupils who find mathematics more challenging, or need to progress at a slower pace, doing better in smaller sets where more individual attention is possible. Maths sets are carefully managed at Yarm to ensure every pupil is encouraged to adopt an ‘I can do’ attitude towards Maths and has appropriate access to the curriculum. In the lower school, we aim to develop a sound understanding of our number system, algebra, spatial maths and handling data. Our intention is to develop a genuine feeling of how numbers fit together, to develop in the pupils an appreciation of the part Maths plays across the curriculum and in the real world. We also aim to develop the more creative skills required for problem solving. At GCSE level, the specifications followed at present for all examinations groups are from the Edexcel Examination Board. All pupils study IGCSE Mathematics in the Fourth and Fifth Years: results are consistently excellent. Within the scheme of work, pupils learn to think logically and in an abstract manner through their study of number, algebra and geometry. They also develop their appreciation of how data can be represented and analysed statistically. The most able set also studies the AQA Level 2 Further Maths qualification in parallel with the IGCSE over the course of the two years, taking both exams at the end of the Fifth Year.
Mathematics is an extremely popular choice in the Sixth Form and we are fortunate to have the experience within the department to offer both Mathematics and Further Mathematics, enabling a tailored and dynamic approach to the courses. Every year there is an Upper Sixth Maths residential trip to Grinton Lodge in Yorkshire Dales. Roughly 50 students get treated to a weekend of intense mathematics as part of their revision program. The trip has gone from strength to strength, with Lower Sixth students eagerly awaiting their turn! This Sixth Form Maths Society deliberates over more complex ideas chosen by students themselves; outside speakers are also invited to speak at the Maths Society dinner. We want our pupils to experience Maths in a variety of settings and the yearly Sixth Form trip to Newcastle to watch a variety of speakers give ‘Inspirational Maths Lectures’ has proved very popular.