Head of Department: Mr Stephen Brook
Mathematics lessons at King's aim to provide a rich and enjoyable mathematical experience. This involves teaching boys the knowledge, skills, concepts, techniques and processes related to their ability, aptitude and personal needs. The course is designed to provide each boy with a strong mathematical foundation and fluency for his life beyond school, including maximising his potential in public examinations and developing his problem-solving skills.
Mathematics is taught in each Key Stage with students entering external examinations according to their strengths. Virtually all students take the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) in Mathematics at Higher Level and the majority then choose to take A level Mathematics. Many students also opt to take A level Further Maths and to continue their mathematical studies beyond school.
The Mathematics teaching rooms are situated in the lower two floors of the tower block with an additional two classrooms in the Newton Block. All the maths classrooms are well-resourced with interactive whiteboards, enabling lessons to be enhanced with a variety of software. In each room there are also conventional whiteboards, which students are regularly encouraged to work on to present their solutions to extended problems. This is a feature of teaching throughout the department.
At lunchtimes there are always members of the maths department on hand to help any students who are struggling with their work. For our most interested students a Maths Challengers club is run by Mrs Parker in room 32. This is attended by boys from all years who are encouraged to work together on problem-solving, code breaking and other activities.
All boys have the opportunity to enter the Junior Mathematics Challenges, with large numbers of boys winning certificates. As students progress through the school some take part in the Intermediate and Senior challenges. Students who are particularly successful in this are encouraged to take part in a mentoring scheme. The school also enters the Mathematics Team challenges. The senior and junior teams have had success in qualifying for the National Finals.
Students are also encouraged to take part in competitions run in school. The House Maths Challenge is an annual event for boys in Years 8 to 11. A Pi day competition also takes place in March and the record is held by Ross McIntyre who recited Pi to 171 decimal places. For students who find the content being taught more challenging there is additional support available during registration. Each year group (7 to 11) have one morning where they can receive support from another student two years above them. This is organised by Mrs Ball.
A department Ofsted survey inspection rated the Mathematics department as outstanding and said “Teachers are enthusiastic about their subject and model this enthusiasm in their work. They present lessons in interesting and stimulating ways, for instance by accessing websites to illustrate topics. Such approaches are available to all students because there is a strong measure of consistency in the quality of teaching in the department. Hence, students really enjoy their mathematics lessons.”