We are proud at Beacon Hill that the Mathematics Department is a place where students feel welcome and enjoy learning. We benefit from being situated on the top floor in two very spacious rooms, both with interactive whiteboards and an array of other resources.
KS3 (year 7 & 8) is taught through ‘stage not age’ enabling students of similar ability and strength to be taught together in four smaller groups. This allows for more teacher attention per student and ensures that all students will be stretched to their full ability and encouraged to reach their full potential.
The class sizes vary in line with the number of students in each year but they never exceed 26 for the top set. Class sizes are often much lower than this and if any student requires additional support we have very small groupings in the lower ability sets to facilitate this.
We use a range of workbooks at Key Stage 3 and supplement them with a variety of ICT, practical and worksheet activities. Our scheme of work incorporates investigation tasks, rich tasks and functional life skills. These are designed to encourage and develop independent thinking, planning, questioning and communication skills, taking students away from text books and allowing them to explore maths and how it applies to everyday life and across the curriculum. We also work with other departments such as PE and Design Technology to link maths skills with other subject areas.
At Key Stage 4 we follow the EDEXCEL Linear GCSE and the students follow either the Higher or Foundation course. The course allows all students the opportunity to achieve a grade 4 which is the equivalent to the current GCSE grade C. The new 1-9 grades were first awarded in summer 2017 and Beacon Hill can proudly announce that the year 11 students who were the first to sit this new exam achieved highly with 74% gaining a grade 4 or above.
Students are actively encouraged to continue their study and several students have gone on to study A-Level at local sixth forms.
We take every opportunity at both Key Stages to expand the curriculum to include the wonder and complexity of maths – such as the concept of infinity, paradoxes in maths and how mathematical techniques were discovered.
Through both Key Stages students undertake a variety of lessons and tasks aimed to develop their understanding of personal finance. This is delivered via a realistic hands-on approach to finances through quizzes, puzzles, role play, case studies and structured exercises covering topics from banking to budgeting.
Students have the opportunity to pit their wits against students across the country by taking part in the Junior or Intermediate National Maths Challenges with the most successful students gaining bronze, silver or gold awards.
Aims and expectations at Beacon Hill are high and all students are encouraged to extend themselves. We endeavour to make maths exciting, interesting and enjoyable so that students will reach their potential and build a solid base of maths skills for all walks of life.