The Murderous Maths series are suitable for everyone, even those who have never read a book about maths before. Do You Feel Lucky is a great introduction to probability – everything is explained in simple language.
Mathematics is an extremely popular subject with a very high uptake at A Level. Many students go on to take Mathematics-related subjects at university with some students going to Oxford and Cambridge to read Mathematics or related subjects.
Under the umbrella of Science specialism, the department is keen to build up links with local partner schools and shared enrichment courses are now a regular feature of the summer term. Sixth Form lectures are also organised on a joint basis; recent topics include chaos theory, fractals and code-breaking.
We are lucky to have six classrooms dedicated to the study of Mathematics at Parkstone, one of which is also a computer suite. All classrooms also contain brand new 'Smart' boards for whole-class teaching.
The classes are arranged in the following ways:
|Year Group||Type of class||Class Name||Tutor Group|
|Year 8||Mixed Ability in Tutor Groups||8P|
|Year 9||Set by ability||9x1||9P|
|Year 10||Set by ability||10x1||10P|
|Year 11||Set by ability||10x1||11P|
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Mathematics is taught as part of the national curriculum in Years 8 and 9, working towards the KS3 SATS at the end of Year 9. In Year 8 students are taught in form groups and in Year 9 they are put into sets based on ability. Many students are also keen to enter the National Mathematics Challenge for which Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates are awarded for different levels of achievement.
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Students need to be sufficiently numerate to manage their finances, and to have sufficient command of percentages and graphs to comprehend the information presented in media, however Mathematics is really about problem solving. It develops the ability to solve questions with the logic, precision, creativity and clarity of expression which society values. GCSE Mathematics provides transferable skills that will open many doors to future opportunities.
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Mathematics at A Level is a demanding and challenging course. As well as being a worthwhile subject in its own right, it supports the work of a wide range of other subjects, from the sciences to the arts. The aim of the course is to develop problem solving skills by stimulating thought and imagination and providing a social base of knowledge and understanding.
All students follow a course in Pure Mathematics, which provides a grounding in the basic concepts and algebraic methods that underpin all applications work. This is combined with two applied modules chosen from a choice of three: mechanics, statistics and decision mathematics.
Mechanics takes a look at the physical world, analysing the laws of nature and exploring how mathematical modelling enables us to quantify their effects. Statistics builds on the data handling and probability encountered at GCSE and provides the skill to analyse and interpret numerical information. Decision maths offers a radical departure from maths previously studied, and focuses on decision making situations that occur in business and commerce.
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Students who enjoy Mathematics and who intend to study mathematics, engineering or an allied scientific subject after A Level will gain enormous benefit from this two year course. It combines pure mathematics with probability, statistics, decision analysis and mechanics. Students therefore obtain the best possible grounding in advanced techniques across the whole of the mathematical spectrum. The aim in lessons is to stimulate the imagination and provide a thought provoking insight into some of the higher levels of the subject. The challenge posed by topics such as imaginary numbers and multi-dimensional geometry rarely disappoints.
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On 3rd March all students throughout the school who study mathematics had the opportunity to see how many questions they could answer on World Maths Day. Throughout the World 1,133,246 students and 56,082 schools from 235 countries set a new world record by correctly answering 479,732,613 questions!
On Friday 8 January, every student in Year 8 competed in the Year 8 Interform Maths Challenge. They took part in teams of 4 or 5 students in rounds which included a head to head competition and a relay race. The aim was to get the highest score by getting as many correct answers as possible to some very difficult Maths problems.In a very close contest the winning teams came from 8A and 8S although congratulations go to all who took part.
On 9th March four pupils from Years 8 and 9 took part in the Maths Team Challenge at Corfe Hills School.
Students making their presentation
Explaining the poster
Once again Year 9 students from Parkstone Grammar School entered the annual Edge Hill University’s Mathematics Challenge. Hundreds of teams throughout the country entered the event and the Parkstone team made it through to the final round. This took place at the university where the pupils gave their professional presentations to a team of judges.
"On Tuesday 7th July we left school to begin the long drive up to Omskirk, Liverpool. We got this opportunity by completing two different posters on different mathematics problems. After getting through these initial stages we were invited to stay at Edge Hill University to take part in a final presentation. After a good night's sleep it was finally time to present. It was very nerve-wracking, but we got through it with just a few hiccups. The results were announced later that afternoon and out of 23 teams we weren't placed in the top three, but still managed to get our hands on a maths puzzle book and a certificate each. We were very happy to come in the top 10% of teams out of the 230 who entered and it was a great opportunity which will be remembered for a long time. Finally we would like to say thankyou to Mrs Dungate and Mrs Bassett who took us and to Miss Beattie for making all the arrangements."
The Senior Maths Challenge for Years 12 and 13 took place in November. Congratulations to all students who took part.
The Intermediate Challenge for Years 9, 10 and 11 was held on 3rd February. We have a student, Jess Olive in 9S, going through to the next round - the Cayley Competition - many congratulations to her. The Junior Mathematics Challenge will be held in May.
Further details of the competition at www.mathcomp.leeds.ac.uk
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On Tuesday 9th February Martin Lavelle from Plymouth University gave a lecture at our school on 'Mathematical Detective Work: Dimension Analysis'. On 10th February Year 12 students studying Further Mathematics went to Canford School for the 'Take Maths to the Limit 2010' conference. Martin Lavelle spoke at the conference on 'Opening Doors: Careers with Mathematics and Statistics', and there were talks on the history of geometry, the mathematics of movement and 'Juggling Numbers'. The day was rounded off with a talk on 'Rumours of Other Worlds' - parallel universes with more dimensions than our familiar three and a close look at the beauty of the Mandelbröt set.
Every Wednesday afternoon pupils from local middle schools come to Parkstone Grammar School for Science and Maths activities.
On 3rd July 2009 middle school pupils took part in a mathematics challenge.
On Monday mornings maths prefects go to St Joseph's RC Combined School as part of their Sixth Form Enrichment.
My Maths is at www.mymaths.co.uk
The highly recommended Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching is at www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk
Also highly recommended is the University of Cambridge NRICH site at nrich.maths.org
Online mathematics magazine at plus.maths.org
Interactive brainteasers and puzzles at the University of Cambridge site puzzling.caret.cam.ac.uk
Mind-bending challenges for KS3 students at www.puzzlemania.org.uk. Go to the Garage and try the Travelling Salesman problem. Go to the bedroom and try The Tower of Hanoi challenge.
Dr Ron Knott's pages on the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Section at www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci
Puzzles at www.greylabyrinth.com
The Rubik's Cube is 30 this year and the website is at www.rubiks.com
The Eye Opener Series at www.cut-the-knot.org is a collection of Java applets that illustrate a number of maths problems.
See how many questions you can answer on World Maths Day at www.worldmathsday.com
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