Mathematics is taught to all girls in Years 7 to 11, and is a compulsory core subject at IGCSE. It is then an option at A Level.
From Years 7 to 9, the girls follow a course of study that prepares the ground for the IGCSE course in Years 10 and 11. In Year 7, they follow an induction programme and are tested in a wide variety of topics, such as algebra, statistics, and investigation work. They are then set by ability, in order to maximise the learning of each pupil, and these sets are reviewed every half term.
At IGCSE, pupils follow the Edexcel course, and we expect all girls at St Mary’s to take the higher tier qualification. This covers the four core areas of Mathematics: number, algebra, statistics and geometry.
Further Mathematics is offered in Year 11 via the AQA course to girls in the top set who already have a secure knowledge of the IGCSE course, and who have shown the potential to achieve a grade 9. They extend their learning of the core syllabus, and expand on this to include calculus and further trigonometry. Further Mathematics is a stand-alone qualification, and is taken alongside IGCSE Mathematics at the end of Year 11.
At A Level, pupils follow the Edexcel course. Pure Mathematics forms the core of the A Level course, together with applied content in Statistics and Mechanics.
Further Mathematics A Level is available to able mathematicians. Pupils follow the Edexcel course, which involves the study of Further Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics.
Beyond the classroom
The Mathematics Department runs lunchtime drop-ins throughout the week and on weekends to support girls who need extra help outside the classroom. The Lower Sixth Further Mathematicians run a Puzzle of the Week Challenge and post an interesting Word of the Week. Gifted Mathematicians in all year groups have the benefit of mentoring on a regular basis and there is a weekly puzzle club. Every year we enter girls for the UKMT Individual and Team Mathematics Challenges and Olympiads and there is also a keenly fought House competition. The Department hosts a Mathematician-in-Residence for one week a year, who gives talks and holds workshops with girls across all year groups. A Level pupils attend the annual Coulter McDowell lecture at Royal Holloway, and girls from various year groups attend occasional enrichment days and masterclasses in Oxford. Girls are often offered places on the Royal Institute Masterclasses course, which runs for six Saturdays a year.