Mathematics is a hugely important subject which is woven in to every aspect of what we do; it is essential to everyday life, crucial to STEM and necessary for financial literacy and fluency. The Mathematics curriculum at SHSG interweaves all of these aspects into forming a coherent, relevant and stimulating programme of study for all. Our curriculum aims to empower all students to develop and apply mathematical processes and skills for use in academic pursuit as well as for the sheer love and appreciation of the beauty and the power of maths. We adopt a mastery approach with one set of mathematical concepts and big ideas for all. At all levels students are provided with opportunities to showcase their mathematical ability both to routine and non-routine problems of increasing difficulty. The emphasis is on empowering students to notice, make connections, explain, conjecture, prove and build on foundation knowledge and skills acquired at each stage of their education. Challenge is provided through depth rather than acceleration – beliefs in line with the current ‘National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching Mathematics’ drive on ‘Mastery’ as well as the national curriculum’s philosophy that progression should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding. Depth of understanding and retrieval of knowledge are always prioritised, and students will be engaged with more rich and sophisticated problems that require them to delve into their toolkit of mathematical techniques.
Opportunities to study GCSE Statistics and GCSE/A-Level Further Mathematics within the curriculum as well as participating in mathematical challenges enable pupils to push the boundaries of their abilities to a much greater level allowing them to experience success in maths early on.
Our ambition is that every student within the school can continue to the next phase of mathematical education should they wish and embrace the challenge, problem solving and rigour they encounter with gusto. SHSG students will leave school confident in their ability to apply their knowledge to unseen problems in further study, the workplace or everyday life, will have strong numerical literacy and share our love of Mathematics.
What does it feel like to be a student in the Maths Department?
At Southend High School for Girls we intend to develop not just academic mathematicians, but students who love the beauty and power of mathematics combined with an enjoyment and passion for the subject. When students leave the school, all will be confident in their ability and able to apply their knowledge to unseen problems that they encounter in continued study, the workplace, or everyday life. Mathematics is a hugely important subject woven into every aspect of what we do, it is essential to everyday life, crucial to STEM and necessary for financial fluency and most forms of employment.
At KS3 you will build on the fundamental skills you learnt in the Primary phase, further developing your competence in solving sophisticated problems whilst also being able to use maths commutatively across other subjects and not segregating it into its own remit. You will be encouraged to become perseverant and unwavering mathematicians, learning from your mistakes, mastering, and revisiting content you have been taught and becoming resilient to non-routine problems. Your journey through KS3 will ensure you are fully prepared to begin your adventure into GCSE content, and you will feel confident and empowered with the knowledge that you have. At KS3 you will have the opportunity to enter the UKMT Junior maths challenge, an opportunity to showcase your problem solving and reasoning skills.
At KS4 you will progressively and proactively build on skills taught throughout your experience in education to solve problems of increasing difficulty in a programme of study that consolidates and spirals through the national curriculum. In preparation for your future experiences, you will also study Financial Mathematics and commonly used Statistics having the option to sit this extra examination towards the end of year 10. Progression will always be based on your understanding of the subject, and this will be strengthened through our own philosophy of Mastery that is embedded within the course mapped out for you on your needs as an individual. For those who wish to continue to study mathematics at A-Level, opportunities to study GCSE Further Mathematics will be provided. The dream within the mathematics department is that everyone of you can finish your GCSE journey with three mathematics related qualifications that will enable you to compete for the world class opportunities you deserve. Like KS3, at KS4 you will have the chance to be entered into the UKMT Intermediate and even Senior maths challenge, competing against the best mathematicians in the country. At KS4 you will also work with the KS5 Mathematics Captains to support the younger years become confident with their maths.
KS5 allows you, as Mathematicians, to flourish, as you hone your skills from GCSE and embark on a challenging course which opens many doors to further education and is highly regarded within the workplace. Mathematics should ignite in you a sense of excitement as well as a hunger to purse perfection; methodically and meticulously working your way through problems until you reach your ‘Eureka’ moment arriving at the correct solution. Your maths teachers will support and guide you every step of the way in your quest for academic excellence, helping you to identify and develop your own areas of specialist interest, but you, too, have a role to play by deepening and reinforcing your learning beyond the classroom.
For those students that choose to study Further Mathematics, the course will be tailored to individual requirements and the knowledge that you wish to seek The SHSG Mathematics department is able to teach every optional module within the Further Mathematics specification, so should you wish to study Decision Mathematics to support Computer Science, Further Mechanics to support Engineering, Further Pure to support higher level mathematics or Further Statistics for actuarial and financial careers, you can pick and choose an option that is best suited to you. As Further Mathematicians you will also study the full A-Level Mathematics course in Year 12, allowing you to have a running start to the Further Mathematics material and letting you to focus on the respective A-Level in each year.
As KS5 students you will be entered into the Senior maths challenge; an early opportunity to be certificated in a rigorous assessment that will demonstrate your excellent problem-solving skills. You will also be able to compete within the school’s team at UKMT regional competitions, or the Girl’s Olympiad for an extra challenge. For those that wish to work with the department, opportunities to be a Mathematics Captain will allow you to raise the profile of mathematics and help support those in younger years as they begin their journey.
At Southend High School for Girls we appreciate the language and creativity of Mathematics, as Adler said ”Mathematics is pure language – the language of science. It is unique among languages in its ability to provide precise expression for every thought or concept that can be formulated in its terms. It is also an art – the most intellectual and classical of the arts”. As SHSG students, you will be exposed to a huge variety of language of the highest quality that develops your vocabulary and ability to justify, argue and prove. You will also be encouraged to explore mathematics and develop a curiosity for the subject that stimulates you to continue further in its academic pursuit.