Maths at Stringer
The Maths department is fully committed to the Every Child Matters agenda. In particular we:
Aim to improve the enjoyment of Mathematics by all students, regardless of ability. Students should be taught mathematics rather than taught to pass a mathematics exam, in the expectation that the latter will follow as a matter of course. For this reason, investigative teaching forms an important part of the teaching programme, as do innovative starter and plenary activities.
Encourage parents to actively support their children's Maths, through advice on the curriculum through the termly curriculum booklet and on aspects of Maths that can be practiced at home;
The Maths content on the school website is currently under review with a view to improving our advice to parents through this medium.
Provide a safe teaching environment in which inappropriate behaviour or bullying is not tolerated.
Encourage good attendance at Maths lessons for all children, and investigate instances of poor attendance.
Our approach to teaching Maths has proved highly successful. Our Results for 2012 were 72% of students achieving A*-C in Maths.
Moreover, our approach in teaching ensures that every child succeeds - we put the same amount of effort into a potential A* student or a student who will have achieved well to gain a grade E as we do into a student who is targeting a grade C. This means that 73% of our children last year made at least 3 levels of progress during their time at Stringer.
Grade % Cumulative %
A* 13.1 13.1
A 22.1 35.2
B 22.4 57.6
C 14.3 71.9
The following provides a summary of our results over the past few years:
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Maths A*-C 71.9 83.5 71.2 70.7 74.2 66.7 66 62.3 53.1
Brighton & Hove 61 60 56 53 52 50 48 48 43
National 58 59 58 57 56 57 54 52 50
Setting and Tiering Policy
The aim of the department is to set all children in a way which improves teaching and learning throughout all maths lessons, and hence maximises the potential and creates the best learning experience for each child. The number of teaching hours per fortnight is as follows:
Year 7: 6 hours
Year 8: 6 hours
Year 9: 6 hours
Year 10: 8 hours
Year 11: 8 hours
Setting currently comprises 7 ability levels as follows:
1a, 1b, 1c, 1d
2a, 2b, 2c
The sets are hierarchical, although there will always be an overlap between sets. Moreover, sets are not taught according to a particular syllabus for that set. Teachers teach the group according to the ability of the students. Hence two set 2a classes may be targeting different levels.
Movement Between Sets
Regular tests are undertaken throughout a student's career in the school to allow objective assessment of progress across the whole year group. The results of these tests are used to inform (but not to dictate) movements of students between sets. The aim is that each child should be in the set which allows him to maximise his performance. Therefore whilst test results provide important evidence of the need to move sets, this can only be used to support the judgment of the class teacher. In addition to the test result and the teacher assessment, account will be taken of prior performance and prior set moves. The aim will be both that students are not moved as a result of an unusually good/poor performance in a test. It is also not desirable for borderline students to 'yo-yo' between sets. Set changes are not limited to resetting tests, and may be agreed with the relevant Head of Department at any time if it becomes clear that this will be in the best interests of the child.
The current test schedule is as follows:
Year 7: During the first half term, February half term, end of Summer term
Year 8: February half term, end of Summer term
Year 9: End of Christmas Term, Summer test (SAT style test)
Year 10: End of Christmas term, end of Summer term
Year 11: GCSE Mock Exam (December/January)
A small number of gifted and talented students are given the option of studying AS Maths (half of an A-level) as an option in Year 10 and 11. This teaching happens alongside their normal GCSE Maths and GCSE Statistics which the top set students also take in their core Maths lessons.
The aim of the course is to offer those students an insight into where Maths goes post GCSE. Students study Core AS Mathematics (C1 and C2) but also study Mechanics, which is possibly the most difficult of the options available. At the end of the course most, but not all, of the students will take exams in the 3 modules giving them and AS paper. The results are excellent for students at this stage, with all but 2 students gaining an A or a B last year.
This is a tough course and is strongly classwork based. However, we try to take some learning outside the classroom. Most students taking the course opt to go on and study both Maths and Further Maths at A-level, and in conjunction with the 6th form colleges we provide advice on the best route to take.
GCSE Statistics is offered as part of the core syllabus for our top set mathematicians but also as an option for other students in Years 10 and 11. The course is a good basis for students moving into a number of career areas which are strongly based on statistics (e.g. finance, sociology).
In addition to providing this insight, there is much in common between the GCSE Statistics and the data handling element of GCSE Mathematics. The course can therefore have the side effect of improving candidates grades at GCSE Maths.
In 2012, every student entered for GCSE Statistics gained grade C or above. A fantastic 76% achieved an A or A*.
Grade % Cumulative %
A* 24.4 24.4
A 51.3 75.7
B 21.8 97.5
C 2.5 100