Up to the end of Year 11 (Fifth Form), Mathematics is a compulsory, core part of all pupils’ education.

In the Fourth Form (Year 9) most pupils reinforce and consolidate the work they have done at Common Entrance or Key Stage 3. There is an emphasis at this on understanding the core algebraic principles that underpin all Mathematics.

The pupils in Fourth Form Set 1 start the two year International GCSE (IGCSE) course a year early. This is fast moving and often a challenging route and only those determined to reach for the highest grade will be able to keep up. At the end of Year 10, Set 1 sit the IGCSE. In Fifth Form (Year 11) they go onto study OCR’s free standing Mathematics qualification – Additional Mathematics. This course is an excellent preparation for those who wish to study “Double” Maths in the Sixth Form.

The other sets start the IGCSE in Remove (Year 10) and it is from these pupils that the majority of our A level Mathematics or “Single Maths” pupils are grown. The IGCSE course provides a stable curriculum that is an excellent preparation for Mathematics A level. The IGCSE has its roots in the old O level and includes differential calculus, functions and set theory. Pupils are allowed to use calculators for all topics.

Pupils wishing to study “Double” Mathematics in the Sixth Form have two choices. They can select Mathematics as only one option and receive 15 lessons a fortnight. Alternatively they can choose Mathematics as two options and receive 16 lessons a week. The 24 lessons a fortnight option is suitable for those not in Set 1 who want to do Double Maths, or for those who want to study Mathematics at the highest level. To qualify for the 24 lesson option an A* at IGCSE is needed. To qualify for the 15 lesson a week option an A* at IGCSE and a grade A in Additional Mathematics is required. Please bear in mind that more often the best and most committed Mathematicians are to be found in the 24 lesson option. Benefits of the 24 a week option is the ability to be able to study a 7th module which is vital in maximising your grade outcome. Also pupils are able to fully understand the course at a less frantic pace, thus increasing the chance of long term retention.

A level Mathematics or “Single Maths” is the most popular choice for DCS Sixth Formers. We normally have about twice as many pupils compared with the next most popular department. Our pupils (and their parents) are wise to the fact that Mathematics A level is vital for a huge range of worthwhile degrees. These include Engineering, all the sciences, Economics, Business Studies, Accountancy and Finance. In fact, Maths is accepted as being a qualifying A level by all University Departments. For those pupils who wish to study A/S Maths in the Lower Sixth, an A grade at IGCSE is the necessary starting point.

After the A/S level course has finished in the Lower Sixth, normally by Trinity half term, all A level Mathematics pupils take part in the popular ‘Maths and your Degree’ programme. Here they are guided into researching and presenting the connection between the degree they are considering and their Mathematics course. At the same time they benefit from a series of visits and presentations by employers, both national and international, eager to show how important Maths and numerate graduates are to their organisations. These have included William Hill, Hewlett Packard, General Electric and Experian. This programme is entitled ‘Maths and your Career’.

Twice weekly clinics are run in order to support all pupils regardless of their ability. Rumour has it that all such visitors receive homemade chocolate brownies to sustain their extra study. However you will have to come along to find out!

For those pupils wanting to study Maths at prestigious universities we provide a Supra Maths Programme which, amongst other things, helps pupils prepare for the demanding STEP (Sixth Term Entrance Papers).

For more information please email Pete Garner, Head of Mathematics

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