Mathematics

The Mathematics Department is the largest in the school teaching all students in Years 7 to 11 throughout the school. The number of AS/A2 level students taking Mathematics is highest in the school.

There are five full-time maths teachers and four part-time teachers.  All maths staff are well qualified and motivated to achieve the best results for their students and to promote maths throughout the school.

Years 7 to 9 students follow the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 level 6-8.  Expectations are high and the success rate is 100% level 7/8 with 80% achieving level 8. Lessons are varied and may contain an ICT component.

All Year 10 and 11 students follow the Edexcel Higher Level modular GCSE course with 98% success at A*/A grade. Approximately three quarters of all students also take the full Edexcel GCSE Statistics exam, which includes coursework, in parallel with their general mathematics.

A-level Mathematics students opt for mathematics for a number of reasons - to pursue maths further, for a valued qualification, or to help with other subjects. The school has a long tradition in A-level Further Mathematics where the experience and expertise of the maths tutors has continually ensured excellent results. Many students are encouraged and opt to take AS Further Mathematics as an extra to their scheduled timetable.  Universities have welcomed the school’s emphasis on Further Mathematics for maths and related subjects. The department plays a full part in the school’s Science and Mathematics Specialism and there are ample opportunities for extra-curricular mathematics throughout the school years.

Specialism:

The maths department are in their fifth year of working with Primary schools. At present we have links with twelve schools each of which is invited to participate in a variety of activities we offer during the school academic year. The maths coordinator is Mrs Gill, who works liaises with Mr Adams, the Director of Specialism. Approximately sixty Year 6 pupils from the Primary schools visit CRGS during the Autumn Term and work on Algebraic and logical problems. They sit the Primary Maths Challenge in the last week of November. The high-achievers are then invited to sit the Final paper in the following February. The pupils not only enjoy the challenge but it is an opportunity for them to work with pupils from other schools. We have had excellent results and several have attained medals for very good scores in the Final paper. Year 5 pupils visit us during the second term and have maths activities focusing on Number and Algebra. They sit a CRGS maths challenge and receive certificates for their efforts and attainment. We also invite the most able mathematicians from all of the twelve Primary schools to train for and to sit the World Class Arena Tests at our school. These tests are aimed for pupils who are good at maths and the tests are recognised globally. The pupils enjoy the various challenges: it gives them an opportunity to excel in their maths and perhaps to extend what they do at their own school. Mrs Gill also visits Primary schools throughout the year and delivers maths-based activities to groups of Year 4 pupils. Pupils from CRGS also visit some of the Primary schools and work with Year 4 pupils.

We invite sixty pupils to attend a fun day in the summer term where they work in teams and try out a variety of mathematical puzzles and activities led by The Happy Puzzle Company. This has proved to be very popular and ends the year with a high.

Enrichment

The Maths department offers a range of enrichment opportunities throughout the year. Maths tutors regularly make use of resources such as “nrich” within their teaching, challenging pupils to think beyond the syllabus and improve their mathematical reasoning. We are the only state school nationally to enter our entire Year 7, along with Year 8, into the UK Junior Maths Challenge and regularly have students who progress to the next round, the Junior Olympiad. We also enter students into both the Intermediate Challenge and the Senior Challenge, where all Year 12 students participate, with many students regularly progressing to the Olympiad or the European Kangaroo. The department supports all team maths challenges and enters teams into the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Team UK team challenges. Training for these is usually at lunchtime and some of the older students have the opportunity to mentor younger pupils. In addition a team of Year 9 students take part in the Colchester Schools Maths Competition. For Year 7 pupils we invite the Happy Puzzle Company into school in July for a day of problem solving where pupils have to work in teams, co-operating with each other to solve mathematical puzzles. New for 2009, we have James Grime from Cambridge University presenting lecture and workshop on Code-Breaking for Year 8 students and bringing with him an Enigma Machine.  Older students are encouraged to attend lectures in London. The department is forward thinking and always looking for new ideas to enhance and enrich the mathematical experience of students in a specialist school.