On arrival in Year 9 students begin their mathematics lessons in mixed ability classes. They complete a common programme designed to be accessible and challenging at all levels for the first three weeks during which time they are introduced to the style of mathematics learning used at Ampleforth College, and begin to develop some of the functional mathematics skills necessary. Teachers also use this time to begin to assess the students abilities, and after the first Exeat a base line test is sat by all pupils. This is used along with Common Entrance Examination data, scholarship examination results and any other available information to then set pupils by ability for the remainder of the Autumn and Spring terms. This setting is reviewed regularly. At the end of the Spring term students are reset if necessary, and in the summer term work towards the IGCSE mathematics qualification is specifically begun.
IGCSE (Years 10 and 11)
All students in the school study mathematics through to IGCSE level.
More able students work on an enhanced programme designed to challenge them above and beyond the basic syllabus requirement. In Year 11 set 1 and 2 students are given the opportunity to work towards the Free Standing Mathematics Qualification (FSMQ) Additional Mathematics (OCR). They are always entered for the various national mathematics competitions. Equally, students who have found the subject difficult in the past are encouraged and supported. If appropriate students are offered one to one mentoring with a member of the department teaching staff and there is a special mathematics support prep session run once a week alongside the drop-in 'Mathsline' lunchtime support class.
Student progress is continuously monitored through the students school career by a programme of assessments - school based examinations, class tests and observation etc. Set changes will and do take place when it is in the best interests of the student to make them.
All students are working towards the Higher tier EdExcel IGCSE examination, taken at the end of Year 11. It is possible that some students may be entered for the foundation tier. The Collins IGCSE Mathematics text book is used to support learning.
A Level (Sixth Form)
Mathematics at A or AS level may be taken in combination with almost any other A level. Combinations including Arts subjects, Classics, or Science subjects are all perfectly valid, and all have been taken successfully by students in the past. Students are encouraged to understand that an A level or AS level qualification in Mathematics is a very worthwhile qualification to have, and is increasingly in demand by employers generally. The Department is currently one of the largest in the Sixth Form, with increasing numbers of students taking the subject at A level and enjoying considerable success.
Sixth Form Mathematics fosters an interest in the subject for its own sake, as well as providing a study of the various applications of mathematics to real world problems. Students acquire skills which may well be helpful in other A levels, or perhaps in a later career. The rigour and clarity of thought, which study of the subject must seek to encourage, are skills much in demand amongst employers.
The following courses are available:
AS level Mathematics; A2-level Mathematics; AS-level Further Mathematics, and A2-level Further Mathematics.
These courses may be taken by students in either the Middle or Upper Sixth.
All of the examinations taken are those of the AQA.
Mathematics Advanced (A2) and Advanced Subsidiary (AS)
The AS course consists of the study of Pure Mathematics together with applications. Three units are taken, each assessed by end of unit examination. Currently the units taken are Core 1 and Core 2 (compulsory modules) and Mechanics 1 (applied module).
The A2, or second year options, take the subject on to A level qualification, and consist of the study of two further units of Pure Mathematics and one further area of application. Currently the units taken are Core 3 and Core 4 (cumpulsory modules) and Statistics 1 (applied module).
Further Mathematics (AS level)
The availability of an AS level in Further Mathematics for many students who wish, or need, to study more mathematics provides an attractive addition to their A level programme. For many students this will provide an excellent preparation for Higher Education courses in Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics. Although the course is available to any student, those who are likely to be Oxbridge applicants for Mathematics, Engineering or Physics should take it as a matter of course. Able Mathematicians, whether thinking of a mathematical career or not, should seriously consider this option as an enhancement to their A level programme. Similarly, students thinking of University Mathematics generally should take this course, although it is strictly not a requirement for most University Mathematics Departments. Students in Remove Set 1 in particular who are thinking of Mathematics in the Sixth Form should seriously consider this option, whatever their likely University course.Currently modules taken are Further Pure 1, Further Pure 4 and Decision 1.
Further Mathematics (A2 level)
This involves the study of 3 further units in addition to those studied in the AS level course. Currently modules taken are Further Pure 2, Further Pure 3, and Mechanics 2.
Extended Project Qualification
Sixth form students have the opportunity to complete an EPQ in mathematics. Dr Pomroy, Dr Weston and Dr Warren are all qualified supervisors.
Advanced Further Mathematics
It is possible to take a further three or six modules from the OCR (MEI) A-level to gain the additional qualifcations of Advanced Further Mathematics AS and A level. Students undertaking these need to be very self motivated as staff provide support rather than teaching for these additional units. There are also coursework elements in two of the possible modules that can be studied.