It is our hope that mathematics at TWGGs should first of all be fun. We wish to stimulate interest in, and enthusiasm for, the study of mathematics for its own sake so that girls discover for themselves the richness and variety of the subject and the unique insight it provides into the nature of the world around them. This is not to overlook the development of the skills required for adult life, other subjects, and the passing of examinations but is intended to demonstrate our commitment to the fostering of a positive attitude to the subject. We also aim to provide girls of varying abilities and interests, the opportunity to achieve their full potential in the subject at an appropriate level and rate of progress.
Throughout the school the mathematics curriculum is delivered by traditional methods with the skills of teaching staff taking centre stage in the process. There is a great reliance on textbooks for practice and as a resource for homework and revision. This is not to say that maths lessons are boring and predictable or that the girls are not given open-ended tasks or encouraged to investigate problems themselves: there are investigational tasks and project work written into the schemes of work in every academic year.
In Year 7 girls experience maths in their own classes. New entrants to the school come with widely differing backgrounds in the subject so it is something of a challenge for the department to stimulate the able and at the same time not leave those with a less secure background floundering in confusion. The work scheme is composed with this in mind and is best summed up as a fairly rapid résumé of National Curriculum levels 4 and 5 and going on to level 6 in most areas before Easter. In this way everyone meets the essentials but without overdoing it. The few who find it difficult are given extra help by staff or volunteers from the Lower Sixth while there is extension work available for those who need it.There is also a mathematics clinic, a lunchtime drop-in session for all pupils who have questions about any work they have struggled with.
In Year 8 there are five divisions: A1 and A2 and three lower divisions of equal ability. In year 9 and above, there are 3 A sets created based on KS3 performance, with two parallel B groups.
The importance of mathematics
In the new national curriculum each subject is given a justification. For maths ours isThe importance of mathematics
Mathematical thinking is important for all members of a modern society as a habit of mind for its use in the workplace, business and finance; and for personal decision-making. Mathematics is fundamental to national prosperity in providing tools for understanding science, engineering, technology and economics. It is essential in public decision-making and for participation in the knowledge economy.
Mathematics equips pupils with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder for all pupils when they solve a problem for the first time, discover a more elegant solution, or notice hidden connections. Pupils who are functional in mathematics and financially capable are able to think independently in applied and abstract ways, and can reason, solve problems and assess risk.
Mathematics is a creative discipline. The language of mathematics is international. The subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. Mathematics has developed over time as a means of solving problems and also for its own sake.
Also see related pages: Academic Curriculum