Head of Faculty: Ian Fisher

Deputy Head of Faculty: Adam Bradshaw

Teachers: Sonia Marsham, Michael Knight, Sean Lambert and Sarah Oddy

Welcome to the Mathematics Department at Open Academy. We are a fun and dynamic Department whose aim is for students to enjoy excellent and productive working relationships with their Mathematics teachers and through collaboration develop their knowledge and love of the subject! We believe that all students of varying abilities and interests should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential in Mathematics at a level and rate of progress appropriate for them.

At Open, we believe that Mathematics provides opportunities for students to be creative and independent, but it also allows for co-operation and debate to take place through logical thinking. It enables communication to be precise, elegant and informed. Above all Mathematics should be enjoyed. We are keen to promote games and puzzles as a learning tool throughout the Key Stages, as this not only increases the interest and enjoyment for our students but also develops their thinking skills. As a Department we believe that there is true value in understanding Mathematics and being able to apply Mathematics as opposed to simply learning how to answer exam questions.

All students follow the reformed AQA GCSE (9–1) in Mathematics 5 year course. There are six content domains covered within the specification: number; algebra; ratio, proportion and rates of change; geometry and measures; probability; and statistics.

There are two overlapping tiers of entry, with students being entered for the most appropriate tier. Although students generally follow the same tier that they begin in Year 9, movement between tiers is possible. The final level of entry will be decided at the time of entry for GCSE, which is normally in January of Year 11.

This qualification consists of three equally-weighted written examination papers at either Foundation tier or Higher tier. Paper 1 is a non-calculator assessment and both Paper 2 and 3 are calculator assessments. Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration and each paper contains a total of 80 marks. Each paper has a range of question types; some questions will be set in both mathematical and non-mathematical contexts.

The qualification will be graded and certificated on a nine-grade scale from 9 to 1 using the total mark across all three papers, where 9 is the highest grade. The available grades are as follows:
·Foundation tier: grades 1 to 5.
·Higher tier: grades 4 to 9 (grade 3 allowed).

Core Maths Course Outline
Core Maths is a relatively new option at KS5. It has been introduced to provide students with an alternative to A Level Mathematics and is available to any student who has gained a C grade or higher at GCSE. Although much of the content of the course is also on the GCSE Higher Tier syllabus, students will learn how to use mathematics to solve contextualised problems, explore new ways to use technology with mathematics and develop their ability to assimilate and use information presented in a variety of forms.

Core Maths is a one or two year course. It leads to an AS equivalent qualification and is assessed at the end. Students will have six hours teaching time a fortnight. Core Maths is worth the same number of UCAS points as any other AS qualification.

AS/A Level Course Outline
Mathematics studied at GCSE is extended with students building on previous topics in addition to discovering Calculus. Students will apply their mathematics skills through Statistics Mechanics and Pure Mathematics in Year 12 and Year 13.

The aims of the courses should enable students to:

  • Develop their understanding of mathematical principles and their interest in the subject.
  • Extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques and apply them to more complex problems.
  • Acquire the foundation necessary for the further study of Mathematics and Mathematics related subjects.
  • Develop the ability to recognise real life situations that can be modelled mathematically and knowledge of the appropriate procedures to be followed in order to produce useful results.
  • Recognise situations where the use of technology is appropriate and be confident in its application.
  • Develop confidence and enthusiasm in their approach to the subject.

Higher Education and Career Opportunities
Mathematics at A Level is a fascinating, rewarding and satisfying subject and forms the basis for many other subjects. It is highly regarded by employers and Higher Education establishments, with many degrees containing some elements of mathematics.

Careers in Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Business, Economics, Geography and Design, amongst many others, will benefit from mathematical studies at a high level.

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