Mathematics

The Mathematics department is the largest single subject department at Monmouth School for Boys with nine teachers led by Head of Department, Dr Huw Evans.

Monmouth School for Boys mathematics

All boys in Years 7 – 11 study Mathematics in preparation for the Edexcel IGCSE.  In the last five years over 70% of pupils have achieved an A or an A* in the subject and more than 99% of pupils have achieved A* – C.  For boys who are struggling with their Mathematics, there is numeracy support available within the department and we also run Mathematics “surgeries” most lunchtimes and before school every week for any boys who are having difficulty with any aspect of their Mathematics or who have missed work due to absence.

Almost half of the pupils continue their mathematical studies into the Sixth Form where pupils are prepared for the new, linear Edexcel qualifications in Mathematics (the current Year 13s are the last cohort studying the modular OCR specification).  The department also offers Further Mathematics, which is very popular for mathematically gifted students, an A level that is highly rated by the top universities. During the last five years there has been a 100% pass rate in Year 13 Mathematics and Further Mathematics and almost 90% of the candidates have gained A* – B grades.  Since the introduction of the A*, just over one third of the candidates have achieved this top grade for Mathematics and Further Mathematics.

A good proportion of pupils studying Mathematics in the Sixth Form go on to university to read a degree subject with a high mathematical content, including a number of pupils who go on to Oxford or Cambridge to read Mathematics, Physics or Engineering.

The department has itself produced a large part of its teaching materials and believes that this enables us to produce programmes of work using examples and contexts appropriate to Monmouth students.

KS3

Curriculum Overview KS3

In Year 7 the boys are taught Mathematics in their Forms and thereafter they are taught in sets.  The setting is decided on the basis of performance during the previous year for existing pupils and the entrance exam for new pupils.  The department feels strongly that the progress of each pupil is maximised by working in a class of pupils of similar ability.  The setting is constantly reviewed and set changes are made at various stages of the year to ensure that each pupil is in a group moving at an appropriate pace for his own ability.

The Curriculum: Year 7

Each week, Year 7 pupils have five periods of Mathematics and two short homework assignments.

The programme of study aims to provide all the boys with a common foundation on which to base their work in subsequent years.

Arithmetic processes first encountered in Primary or Prep schools are reinforced; arithmetic techniques for fractions and decimals are developed; algebra, including the solving of simple equations and the (x,y) co-ordinate system are introduced; statistical charts, simple probabilities, angle properties of polygons and the calculation of areas and volumes of simple shapes are amongst the topics studied.

Download the contents page of our Year 7 textbook for a more comprehensive list of all of the topics covered.

The Curriculum: Year 8

Each week, Year 8 pupils have five periods of Mathematics and two short homework assignments.

Extending the number system to include negative numbers; the use of ratio and percentages in practical contexts; reviewing and extending the basic concepts of algebra; simple number sequences, transformations of shapes and further geometry are amongst the topics studied.

Download the contents page of our Year 8 textbook for a more comprehensive list of all of the topics covered.

The Curriculum: Year 9

Each week, Year 9 pupils have four periods of Mathematics and two homework assignments.

The IGCSE syllabus is started with a particular emphasis on algebra and number.  Solving simultaneous equations, quadratic equations and inequalities; the trigonometry of right angled triangles; applying percentages to a widening range of problems such as compound interest and growth problems and an introduction to set theory are amongst the topics studied. 

Download the contents page of our Year 9 textbook for a more comprehensive list of all of the topics covered.

GCSE

The Curriculum: Years 10 and 11

Year 10 and 11 pupils are taught in sets covering the different ability levels. The setting is decided to ensure that pupils are in a group working at a pace that will both develop confidence and target an appropriate IGCSE grade.  Each week pupils have five periods of Mathematics and up to three homeworks.

The boys are prepared for the Edexcel (Higher Tier) IGCSE specification, which has no coursework. Grades A*-G were awarded for the final time in August 2017. From June 2018, grades 9-1 will be awarded on the 4Ma1 specification. 

A level Mathematics

Why study mathematics?

Successful Sixth Form students of Mathematics will show a genuine interest in mathematical processes.  They will have the ability to cope with abstract ideas and the determination necessary to practise techniques and master concepts.  They will gain a real sense of achievement when worthwhile results to difficult problems are achieved.  

Mathematics is studied in the Sixth Form for many different reasons. Some study it because they enjoy the challenge of solving problems of a numerical or logical nature. Others choose mathematics because it supports their work in other subjects such as science, psychology or economics and will continue to do so in a variety of further education courses ranging from geography to meteorology, business to law or pharmacy to medicine. Some students choose mathematics because the skills it requires and develops are totally different from those in their other A level subjects.

The most important attributes to bring to the course are a previous enjoyment of, and success in, studying mathematics, an ability to think and communicate logically and the determination to work at a problem until you have solved it.

Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls follow the same specification.

Head of Department: Dr H Evans


Course content

Board: Edexcel   A level Syllabus Code: 9MA0

  • Pure Maths (Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Exponentials & Logarithms, Sequences & Series, Numerical Methods, Proof)
  • Mechanics (Kinematics, Forces & Newton’s Laws, Moments)
  • Statistics (Sampling Techniques, Data Presentation, Probability, Statistical Distributions & Hypothesis Testing)

There are now no optional units in A level Mathematics and the above content is split in a 2:1 ratio between Pure and Applied Mathematics


Method of assessment

Papers 1&2 – Pure mathematics: 2 hours each.
100 marks (33.33% of A-level) for each paper.
Paper 1 and Paper 2 may contain questions on any topics from the pure mathematics content.

Paper 3 – Applied mathematics (Mechanics & Statistics):  2 hours.
100 marks (33.33% of A-level)

A level Further Mathematics

Why study further mathematics?

This is a course for those who have a passion for the subject combined with a proven ability at GCSE level. Successful candidates usually have a very good grade at GCSE (or equivalent) and have often studied maths beyond the taught GCSE course e.g. additional maths (although this is not necessary).

Further mathematics is a course that is sometimes a requirement by some of the more prestigious universities for mathematics, physical science or engineering courses.

It is often studied as an additional subject at A level to add to the standard three subjects. This creates a demanding workload and the pace at which the material is covered together with the large number of topic areas studied makes this a very demanding course.

Those opting to study further mathematics would complete the whole single
mathematics A level course throughout VI.1 and then move on to the further mathematics material in VI.2.

Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls follow the same specification.

Head of Department: Dr H Evans


Course content

Board: Edexcel   A level Syllabus Code: 9FM0

Compulsory A level topics include:

  • Complex Numbers, Matrices, Polar Coordinates, Hyperbolic Functions, Differential Equations, Further Calculus
  • The Core Pure Mathematics makes up 50% of the course.

Optional A level modules are:

  • Mechanics, Statistics, Decision Maths, Additional Pure Maths

There are two modules for each of these.  We currently plan to follow the Mechanics and Statistics courses to give breadth to the topics studied.


Method of assessment

Papers 1&2 – Core Pure Mathematics: 
1½ hours each;  75 marks (25% of A-level) for each paper

Papers 3&4 – Optional Units:
1½ hours each; 75 marks (25% of A-level) for each paper