“Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you, mine are still greater.” Albert Einstein
The Mathematics Department is at the heart of the curriculum at Latymer and is staffed by a team of highly skilled specialist teachers.
Head of Department: Mr M Pannell
Teachers: Mr L Billington, Ms G Brander, Ms C Edwards, Mr M Hameed, Mr V Jeevagan, Ms T King, Mr S Lunn, Ms D Perrin, Mrs J Smith, Ms Y Tran, Mrs R Tyrrell.
Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. At Latymer, we aim to instil and develop a lifelong love of mathematics so that our students grow into confident, resilient mathematicians with inquisitive minds.
At the core of the curriculum is the understanding that mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. Through carefully sequenced learning, our curriculum helps students develop both logical thought and mental agility in problem-solving, along with an awareness of the importance of mathematics as a basis for the study of other subjects.
The department is proud of the high-quality mathematics education it provides, placing an emphasis on allowing teachers the time to focus on their teaching and lesson preparation. Our philosophy is that students learn mathematics most effectively by doing mathematics and our lessons are constructed with this practical and exploratory approach in mind. A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics are hugely popular subjects with over 300 Latymer students year-on-year choosing to study either single or double mathematics options, with many students pursuing mathematics or related degrees at university.
The department is well resourced with the latest textbooks, teaching platforms and a range of relevant teaching materials in specialised teaching rooms to give students a first-class environment within which they can foster a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. For both students and teachers alike, the department is a warm and supportive learning environment and through clear direction, the department has consistently delivered outstanding examination results over many years with the majority of students achieving top grades in public examinations.
KEY STAGE 3
Students are taught the statutory content contained within the National Curriculum in England: mathematics programmes of study. Through the Key Stage 3 mathematics content, students are taught to develop fluency, reason mathematically and solve problems.
Key Stage 3 subject content areas are defined as follows: Number; Algebra; Ratio, proportion and rates of change; Geometry and measures; Probability; Statistics.
Click on the links below to view the specific content covered each year:
In Years 7 and 8, pupils are taught in mixed ability groups, and in Year 9 they are taught in sets. The sets are reviewed at the end of Year 9. All pupils are taught the same content regardless of group or set and will have the equivalent of 2 hours 40 minutes of maths lessons per week.
We have the latest resources that relate mathematics to real life and cater for pupils of all abilities. Throughout Key Stage 3, prior knowledge is consolidated and then developed further. Each unit of work is supported by appropriate revision material at the end of the unit and many topics are reviewed throughout.
Puzzle activities and mental arithmetic tasks are an important part of Key Stage 3 lessons and are set whenever appropriate. Investigations feature regularly, and ideas for discussing and exploring themes from the history of mathematics are included. Opportunities for functional mathematics are incorporated into activities throughout the content.
It is our belief that children learn mathematics most effectively by doing mathematics. Many youngsters who find mathematics interesting or challenging derive much more pleasure and enjoyment from the subject when they are doing questions which help them build up confidence. Pupils feel a greater sense of satisfaction when they work in a systematic way, and when they can appreciate the purpose and the power of the mathematics they are studying.
Most Key Stage 3 content is broken down into two parts. The first part consists of routine material to build up confidence and the second part could be referred to as extension work. All Latymer pupils will move onto the extension work during lessons. This may happen naturally, or teachers may judge that pupils should only tackle the extension material, or be given the flexibility to choose, depending on how confident they feel. There are numerous opportunities for reasoning and to start to develop the skills to explain and to justify. The key is that pupils never run out of exciting problems to solve!
Pupil self-assessment is a very important part of assessment for learning. Pint-sized revision exercises are embedded throughout and answers for these are made available to pupils to enable immediate feedback.
By the end of Key Stage 3 it is hoped that pupils will be on route to developing a lifelong love of mathematics and will be looking forward to continuing their mathematics education into Key Stage 4 and beyond.
KEY STAGE 4
Students are taught the statutory content contained within the National Curriculum in England: mathematics programmes of study. The mathematical content set out in the Key Stage 4 programme of study, along with that already studied in Key Stage 3, covers the full range of material contained in the GCSE Mathematics qualification.
Through the Key Stage 4 mathematics content, students are taught to develop fluency, reason mathematically and solve problems.
Key Stage 4 subject content areas are defined as follows: Number; Algebra; Ratio, proportion and rates of change; Geometry and measures; Probability; Statistics.
Click on the links below to view the specific content covered each year:
Students are taught in sets which are reviewed at the end of Year 10. All students are taught the full range of content regardless of set and will have the equivalent of 3 hours of maths lessons per week.
All students are entered for Edexcel GCSE Maths 9-1 Higher (1MA1).
We have the latest resources that relate mathematics to real life and cater for students of all abilities. Where appropriate, a number of topics may be studied in more depth. There is a wealth of enriching resources available to teachers, particularly via our chosen online platforms. Our main resource is used alongside these to enable students to work at topics in a systematic way, which helps to build up their confidence.
Our Key Stage 4 content is generally split into two parts. The first part covers the main section of the syllabus (the parts underlined in the subject specification). The second part covers the extended section of the syllabus (the content identified by bold type in the subject specification). Students move naturally onto the extended work or teachers may judge that students should only tackle the extended material, or be given the flexibility to choose, depending on how confident they feel.
Constant revisiting of topics is essential for mathematical fluency and success. Throughout Key Stage 4, short revision tasks encourage this continual reviewing process. This material is designed for 10-minute sessions to keep ideas fresh in students’ minds.
Questions are provided at the end of each unit for students to test themselves against each learning objective. These are then backed up with a selection of bespoke revision materials comprising GCSE-style questions.
Where appropriate, problems that emphasise the importance of functional maths are delivered throughout the Key Stage 4 content. This encourages discussion and highlights the maths required in a variety of situations. There are also opportunities to explore how maths is used in relation to money-related issues, which is of the utmost importance as students approach adulthood.
By the end of Key Stage 4 it is hoped that students will have developed a greater mastery of mathematics and a thirst to continue with it into the Sixth Form. The consistently high numbers of Latymer students, year-on-year, choosing to study A Level Mathematics or A Level Further Mathematics is a clear indication of how successful the Mathematics Department has been in encouraging and developing students mathematically as they move through the key stages.
KEY STAGE 5
Mathematics is a very popular choice in the Sixth Form. The majority of internal students continue with maths at A Level and are joined by a significant number of external students who apply to Latymer specifically for the maths courses on offer post-16. Consequently, there are multiple groups studying either single maths (A Level Mathematics) or double maths (A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics). Students opting for single maths will have the equivalent of 4 hours 40 minutes of maths lessons per week, and those opting for double maths will have 9 hours 20 minutes per week.
Click on the links below to view the specific content for single and double maths options:
- A Level Mathematics Edexcel 9MA0
- AS Level Mathematics Edexcel 8MA0 is embedded but is not an option from the outset.
- A Level Mathematics Edexcel 9MA0
- A Level Further Mathematics Edexcel 9FM0
- AS Level Further Mathematics 8FM0 is embedded but is not a formal option at Latymer.
The A Level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics syllabi are designed to enable students to:
- Develop mathematical understanding.
- Reason logically.
- Generalise and construct proofs.
- Recognise how different areas of mathematics are connected.
- Apply mathematics and recognise its significance to other disciplines.
- Model ‘real world’ problems.
A variety of pure maths, mechanics and statistics topics are studied. Pure maths can be viewed as the ‘fine art’ of maths. Pure maths is abstract but can have applications to the real world, such as modelling to make predictions or problem-solving. Mechanics is maths relating to motion and forces. Mechanics has a significant overlap with physics and a vital role to play in fields such as engineering. Statistics is maths relating to data which, in the modern world, underpins much of what we do in everyday life. Topics studied in statistics may be particularly useful for those studying humanities subjects, biology, or economics.
Our main Key Stage 5 resources contain numerous worked examples and explanations to support what is taught in lessons. This encourages our students to develop a level of independence as they progress through the Sixth Form. Exercises are plentiful, and graded in difficulty, to allow students to build in confidence where necessary, and to extend themselves where possible.
Mathematics can be a deeply rewarding subject, provided that the level of difficulty is just right. Students need to experience plenty of success in order to maintain their enthusiasm, and they also need the opportunity to stretch their understanding. Our approach in Key Stage 5 provides a good number of straight forward examples and questions aimed at building confidence, as well as plenty of more demanding problems for those students who feel ready for the challenge. In order to prepare students fully, past examination or exam style questions are embedded within each topic.
By the end of Key Stage 5, students will have come to the end of their school-based mathematics education, and it is hoped that many would have been inspired to continue with the subject in some context at degree level. In this regard, the consistently high numbers of Latymer students, year-on-year, progressing to mathematics or mathematics related courses at university is a clear indication of the success of the Mathematics Department, and it is our mission to continue to encourage and develop students as best we can so that those wishing to study mathematics at undergraduate level have the opportunity to do so.
Each year, hundreds of our students are entered for the UKMT national competitions at Junior, Intermediate, and Senior levels. The results are outstanding with most students achieving a bronze, silver, or gold certificate. Students who perform exceptionally well are invited to attempt one of the follow-on rounds and in the past, some have progressed to the BMO final paper which is taken by an elite few nationwide. One of our students recently competed in successive years as part of the UK team in the International Mathematical Olympiad. This is one of the highest accolades that a student can achieve in the mathematics fraternity. The UK team finished 7th and 9th respectively out of 100+ countries, a fantastic achievement.
More locally, we have assisted in providing mathematics support for primary age pupils by sending a team of Sixth Form volunteers into a neighbouring primary school. This has proven useful and enjoyable for all concerned.
Our Sixth Form students continue to attend a variety of university-based mathematics programmes and, each year, we ensure that our prospective university candidates have the opportunity to take part in the entrance exam preparation courses that are available.
The Mathematics Department welcomes back former Latymerians who have gone on to study Mathematics at university. This has proven invaluable and each year a number of alumni return to Latymer to offer advice to current students with their university applications and to conduct practice university interviews.
On average each year, around 10 of our students have gone on to read Mathematics degrees and many others have gone on to study mathematics-related courses such as Engineering or Data Science at reputable universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, UCL, Durham, Bristol and Bath.