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Strangford College, Newtownards

Mathematics

Our Vision

Mathematics is concerned not just with solving problems but also with finding the most pleasing route to a solution and with seeking out which problems are worth solving in the first place.  The Mathematics Department therefore values precision, clear-thinking and efficiency, alongside creativity, learning from others and flexibility.

Staff: Mr B Bellinger (Subject Leader); Mr M O’Brien; Mr M Kirkham; Mr M Jones; Miss A Humes; Miss H Roulston; Miss E Henderson

Key Stage 3

We are currently rolling out the Mathematics Mastery programme starting with Year 8 in 2017/8 and extending into Years 9 and 10 subsequently.  This programme places an emphasis on hands-on experience developing a deeper understanding of concepts before introducing pictorial and abstract methods.  Items such as bead strings, multilink cubes, Dienes blocks, geoboards and more are used where relevant.  Bar-modelling provides a useful visual representation for many topics prior to more traditional practice of abstract routines.  Each student is given an online MyMaths account where homework is set and useful revision resources accessed.

Key Stage 4

GCSE students study CCEA module M2, M3 or M4 in Year 11 and M5, M6, M7 or M8 in Year 12, sitting an examination in the Summer of each year.  These cover topics in Number, Algebra, Shape Space and Measures and Data Handling.  Each student is given an online MyMaths account where homework is set and useful revision resources accessed.

GCSE Further Mathematics is offered to high-achieving students identified at the end of Year 10.  Pure, Mechanics and Statistics units are taught, pushing students into topics not encountered elsewhere e.g. during the Logarithms topic in the Pure unit, students will learn how to create objects called ‘fractals’ with dimensions in between whole numbers and calculate what these are.

Key Stage 5

A-Level is currently offered through the North Down Area Learning Community. The Mathematics Department, however, stands ready to offer both A-Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics with sufficient uptake.

Extra-Curricular

Each week we have a whole school Countdown Challenge with Achievement Points awarded for those reaching a given target using up to six numbers.

We also compete in the UK Mathematics Trust annual challenges, entering the Junior Challenge in 2017/8, with plans to extend this to Intermediate and Senior entries in coming years.

UKMT mentoring is also available for the ambitious, with monthly problem sheets stretching students beyond the normal limits of classroom mathematics.

A new STEM club starting in 2018 will feature Mathematics alongside other subject areas.

Follow our Twitter feed on @StrangfordICMaths