The Mathematics Department aims to ensure that every student at JFK is able to reach their potential in this core subject and that each and every individual develops the necessary skills and confidence to use and enjoy the subject to whichever level best suits their needs. Students are challenged and encouraged to achieve their very best.
The department is an enthusiastic, experienced and committed team and comprises of six full time members of staff and two part time members, with eight maths classrooms, all equipped with Interactive Whiteboards. All students are taught in sets. The purpose of setting is to maximise the efficient delivery of the curriculum, by having groups of students with similar abilities taught together. The placement of students into sets will be based on a number of factors and a student’s progress is monitored continuously through tests and teacher assessments. A full review of the setting takes place at the end of each academic year.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 and Year 8
Students in Year 7 are placed in sets taking account of their KS2 assessments. These sets are organised within two bands, with four sets in each band. This enables the department to have smaller numbers of students in each of the set fours. This structure is continued into Year 8, and our continual monitoring and assessment of students enables us to move students between sets when necessary.
From Year 9 onwards students are placed in seven sets across the year group, with smaller numbers in the lower sets
Currently in Years 7, 8 and 9 our work is based on the National Numeracy Framework. The requirements of the National Curriculum govern the topics studied. We use a wide range of materials and resources to challenge and enhance students’ mathematical knowledge appropriate to their ability and we will always encourage the skills of good mathematical communication.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 and Year 11
The setting continues into KS4 and we aim to ensure the continuity of the same teacher following the set from Year 9 through to Year 11. All students follow the Edexcel 2-tier Linear specification and will be entered for either Higher or Foundation Level. The final decision about the appropriate tier of GCSE entry will be made after the mock examinations in Year 11. All students are supported in their preparation for the GCSE examination, with carefully structured revision materials.
Key Stage 5
AS and A2 level Mathematics is a popular subject for Year 12 and Year 13 students. We follow the Edexcel specification with all students studying the compulsory Core units, but they do have the choice of studying either Mechanics modules or Statistics modules. Further Mathematics AS and A2 is also an option for a number of our gifted mathematicians.
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We like to provide a number of opportunities for our students to experience mathematics outside of the normal classroom activities, such as World Maths Day and the UKMT Maths Challenge. These events involve many of our students from Year 7 through to Year 12 and Year 13. Other events include the UKMT Team Challenge, involving selected students competing against local and district schools. Also each year, two of our Year 9 students are invited to attend the University of Hertfordshire Maths Masterclasses.
This year we have offered Year 11 students the opportunity to attend the annual STEM fair hosted by the University of Hertfordshire. They will attend a series of workshops designed to help students, who are interested in Science and Mathematics, make educated post-16 choices. We hope that this will be an annual event.
An annual event offered to our Year 12 and Year 13 students is to attend the London Institute where they will see presentations given by eminent University Professors of examples of how high-powered mathematics is responsible for much that we take for granted.
The department supports the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) which is run by the Engineering Development Trust. Each year the scheme sees four students in year 12 spend six months working closely with a local engineering company on a real engineering problem. Recent projects have seen the students design and build an energy transfer model, connect a wind-turbine to a monitoring system and design a tool support for an autoclave. The EES is designed to encourage high attaining maths students to consider a career in engineering, technology or science. As well as completing the scheme itself the students are eligible for a gold CREST award.
Year 12 and 13 students are given the opportunity to visit Bletchley Park, home of "the code breakers". As well as a tour of the park, students are given a presentation on the maths used to break the WW2 Enigma Code.
To recognise the achievement of our students, the Maths department awards an annual progress prize in KS4 and an achievement prize in KS5.