Mathematics and Science Policy

A level Mathematics

Exam board: Edexcel

A level Mathematics follows the 2017 linear specification (9MA0).

Students joining Ashbourne on a two-year A level programme will take AS Mathematics (8MA0) in Year 12. This consists of Pure Maths (62.5%), and Applied Maths (37.5% divided equally between Statistics and Mechanics). This amounts to the first half content of the full A level.

In Year 13 students complete the second half of the A level and will sit examinations (9MA0) at the end of year 13 which cover all of the material from both Year 12 and 13. The weightings for the full A level are Pure Maths 67% and Applied Maths 33% (divided equally between Statistics and Mechanics).

Students joining the 18-month programme will mostly start in January, and will also complete their AS Mathematics in Year 12. This is an intensive option and students are expected to do a significant amount of independent learning and practice. In Year 13 they will follow the same programme as two-year students above. 

Students joining the one-year programme will join the second year of the two-year programme. They will not be required to sit the AS examination. This is also an intensive course and a lot of the year 12 material is consolidated and built on in year 13. All one-year students will be expected to have a level of ability to access the second year of the A level. Any student not fulfilling this requirement will be required to have individual tuition to support their learning. 

Retake students will be encouraged to join the one-year programme. Any student seeking a 1-2 grade improvement from the modular legacy specification will be offered individual tuition on selected units at the discretion of the Head of Faculty.

Two-year programme 
Year 12 = 6 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 2 hours)
Year 13 = 6 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 2 hours)

18-month programme
Year 12 = 8 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 4 hours)
Year 13 = 6 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 2 hours)

One–year programme
Year 13 = 6 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 2 hours)

A level Further Mathematics

Exam board: Edexcel

A level Further Mathematics follows the 2017 linear specification (9FM0).

Students joining the two-year Mathematics and Further Mathematics programme will join the one-year A level Mathematics programme (9MA0) in Year 12 and the A level Further Mathematics programme (9FM0) in Year 13. There is also an additional Further Mathematics preparation class in Year 12 to introduce students to some of the advanced topics in the Further Mathematics specification.

In Year 13 students will take their Further Mathematics examination (9FM0) which consists of four exam papers as follows.

Compulsory:
Core Pure Mathematics I (25%)
Core Pure Mathematics 2 (25%)

Option topics:  (Students must choose two from the following three)
Further Pure Mathematics I (25%)
Further Mechanics I (25%)
Further Statistics I (25%)

Year 12 = 8 hours per week (Pure – 4 hours; Applied – 2 hours; Further Maths preparation – 2 hours)
Year 13 = 8 hours per week (Core Pure – 4 hours; Option 1 – 2 hours; Option 2 – 2 hours)

As a general rule, students who are more suited to Physics are likely to find Further Mechanics easier than Statistics and students that are more suited to Finance/Economics are more likely to find Further Statistics easier than Mechanics.

If any other option is requested, this may be offered on an individual basis at the discretion of the Head of Faculty.

GCSE Mathematics

Exam board: Edexcel

GCSE Mathematics follows the 2015 (9-1) specification (1MA1).

Two year GCSE:
Year 10 – 4 hours per week
Year 11 – 4 hours per week

One-year GCSE:
Year 11 – 4 hours per week

All teachers involved with GCSE teaching also teach A level. This gives any student wanting to move onto A level Maths a distinct advantage, as teachers will be able to highlight and emphasise material which forms the bases of, and overlaps with, the A level syllabus.

IGCSE Science (Double Award)

Exam board: Edexcel

IGCSE Science follows the 2017 (9-1) specification (4SD0). This is divided equally between Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Two year IGCSE:
Year 10 – 6 hours per week 
Year 11 – 6 hours per week

One-year IGCSE:
Year 11 – 8 hours per week

All teachers involved with IGCSE teaching are also A level teachers. This gives any student wanting to move onto A level Science a distinct advantage, as teachers will be able to highlight and emphasise material which forms the bases of, and overlaps with, the A level syllabus.

A level Physics

Exam board: AQA

A level Physics follows the 2015 linear specification (7408).

Students joining Ashbourne on a two-year A level programme will take AS Physics (7407) in Year 12. This amounts to the first half content of the full A lvel.

In Year 13 students complete the second half of the A level and will sit examinations (7408) at the end of year 13 which cover all of the material from both Year 12 and 13.

Students joining the 18-month programme will mostly start in January, and will also complete their AS Physics in Year 12. This is an intensive option and students are expected to do a significant amount of independent learning and practice. In Year 13 they will follow the same programme as two-year students above.

Students joining the one-year programme will join the second year of the two-year programme and receive an additional four hours of tuition to help review AS material from year 12. They will not be required to sit the AS examination. This is also an intensive course and all one-year students will be expected to have a level of ability to immediately access the second year of the A level. Any student not fulfilling this requirement will be required to have individual tuition to support their learning.

All students are required to complete 12 required practicals to satisfy the practical endorsement. Six of these are undertaken in Year 12 and the remaining six in Year 13 (except for one-year programme where all 12 are undertaken in one-year).

Two-year programme
Year 12 = 6 hours per week
Year 13 = 6 hours per week

18-month programme
Year 12 = 8 hours per week
Year 13 = 6 hours per week

One–year programme
Year 13 = 10 hours per week

Faculty overview

The key to learning and developing understanding in Maths and Physics is to cover theoretical concepts in class, practice methods and techniques under the teacher’s supervision and then to practise further, independently, in students’ own time. For Physics this is supplemented with practical work in class to help realise subject content and to satisfy the practical endorsement.

Weekly prep is set by each class teacher to continue the learning process outside of the classroom.

Half termly mocks are prepared to exam standard and are key to consolidating knowledge and developing revision and exam technique.

The results of these mocks are communicated through four reports given out over the year. Reports are also an opportunity to reflect on how students have performed to date and whether they are on track for their target grade.

All specifications are scheduled to be completed by Easter, (often well before), giving ample time to revise subject content and complete past papers in preparation for the summer exams.

All students are encouraged to attend Easter Revision at Ashbourne College. They can attend one course for free, and any others at a discounted rate. Each student attending receives an Easter Revision pack full of exam questions to work through over the week. It is an ideal opportunity to revise and practise past papers in small groups, with like-minded students, which results in developing good revision techniques in the run up to the summer exams.

During the summer preceding Year 12 and Year 13, all students are sent consolidation work to review expected knowledge and to prepare for the forthcoming academic year. It is vital that this work is studied as it will form the basis of learning for all maths students.

The department is committed to supporting every student, and can offer assistance in the form of mentoring, support classes, organising self-study sessions and arranging individual tuition. We also put on a programme of extra-curricular events to keep even the most inquisitive students fully engaged.

Mentoring
This is one of the ways in which we help support students in Maths and Physics. Mentoring sessions are arranged for any student who finds the material covered particularly challenging. Class teachers normally identify these students, but students can also request this themselves. We pair these students with one of our more able students (e.g. those on scholarships), facilitating peer-to-peer learning in an organised way. These pairs of students will typically meet weekly to go through any topic highlighted by the class teacher and/or the student themselves. It is a known fact that one of the best ways to revise something is to explain it someone else, and in this way mentors also benefit immensely from this process.

Support classes
During the academic year, students will be identified who require extra support in the form of weekly timetabled lessons with a Maths/Physics teacher. This class will involve reinforcing the basics and reviewing weekly content, which may be challenging for some students.

Individual tuition
For some students individual tuition may be requested, or suggested by their teacher, in order to support their learning in Maths/Physics. The tutor can reinforce weekly content and address individual issues raised by the student to help solidify their learning of the subject.

Extra-curricular
Ashbourne’s Maths and Physics Faculty prides itself on taking students above and beyond the bounds of the examination syllabus.

We encourage students to participate in UKMT Maths challenge, which can then lead on to Mathematical Olympiad/Kangaroo competition for the highest scoring students. The individual challenge is also a good benchmark to choose our best four individuals for the UKMT team challenge. Last year the team representing Ashbourne were awarded a top-20 place in the National Final, having beaten Eton and Harrow in the Regional Final. An astounding achievement, which we will push hard to supersede this year.

The British Physics Olympiad is also an ideal arena to push our best Physics students.

Practice sessions are organised for Olympiad and Team challenge contestants.

Prizes are awarded to all students performing at a good standard in these competitions.

An email is sent to all aspiring candidates in the Autumn term to inform them of the details of these competitions and teachers will nominate students for these.

We also arrange a series of talks to broaden students’ appreciation of Mathematics and Physics and their application in a variety of contexts.

With the great depth of experience and knowledge in the teaching body, extension classes are also arranged to explore different Maths/Physics principles, how these can be applied, and indeed how these can be understood in their own right.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
We expect all students to progress over the duration of the course and to do the best they can in their examinations.

It is absolutely essential attendance and punctuality is adhered to by students. It is a simple fact that every minute missed in class is putting students behind their peers, and it is the responsibility of students to catch up missed classwork and any associated prep work.

To this end, it is essential that all students take attendance and punctuality seriously. Prep must be completed in the timeframe set out by the class teacher (usually within one week) and must be attempted to the best of the students’ ability. There is an expectation for all students to seek out help to deal with issues arising from prep before it is due. This can involve asking peers and/or teachers for help, consulting text-books, or looking at online revision videos. It is a perfect opportunity for students to develop resilience and to take responsibility for their learning. It is vital for students to work through these challenges, as this is where a lot of deeper learning can take place.

Prep not completed to a minimum standard will have to be resubmitted as directed by the teacher.

Students will sit half-termly mocks in the first two terms to consolidate learning and to practise exam technique. These will include all material covered to date, (including material from Year 12). Students must manage their time to devote sufficient revision to these mocks, as this is practice for the real exams in the summer. Not only does it help track student progress, it also gives teachers an opportunity to consider any topics that need further coverage.

A big part of Maths and Physics A level is for students to develop resilience and to study and revise independently. All teachers in the faculty are fully committed to each of their students and are there to offer support and guidance as necessary both inside and outside the classroom. Outside of the classroom the onus is on students to seek help and support from whatever means they see fit. This could include but is not limited to: asking peers/teachers, consulting online revision sources, attending support classes, meeting regularly with a mentor, arranging extra individual lessons (with the agreement of parents).

TEACHER EXPECTATIONS
Teachers impart knowledge and facilitate learning. This is achieved through variety of delivery, and differentiation in the classroom. Prep is set weekly to review and extend material covered in class. Mock exams are set half-termly to consolidate learning and practise exam technique. Mock results and student progress is communicated through reports sent out soon after each mock has been sat. All specifications are scheduled to be complete by Easter, leaving sufficient time for exam practice in the run up to the exams.

Full-time staff are required to teach at least one week of Easter Revision and all staff are to contribute to the content of Easter Revision packs.

All teachers are expected to contribute to the department Schemes of Work. These are essential documents, which help guide and keep track of content delivery over the year.

Teachers are expected to set at least one piece of homework per week for students to revise theory and practise methods and techniques covered in class. The prep is then assessed and returned to the student within one week of it being submitted.

Students embarking on their second year of A level will have AS material embedded in their weekly prep and mock exams to ensure this material is consolidated alongside second year content.

All of the above is to be recorded promptly on the college’s Filemaker database. Prep entries are updated by teachers when prep is set, collected, and when marked and returned to students.

As such all teachers are expected to keep data on Filemaker up to date to enable tracking of students’ progress and to help identify students requiring extra support/intervention. This includes registers, prep data, reports, academic and behaviour share.

Any significant omissions must be dealt with immediately as it is essential that the system is kept up to date to give a clear picture of the work that has been set and completed for each student, and if any student requires further intervention. In particular any student with concerns should be highlighted without delay.

Staff meet half-termly to go through mock results, working grades, target grades and predicted grades. It is a forum where specific student/teaching issues can be addressed as well as general college/housekeeping concerns. Important notices can also be given to staff to keep them aware of essential college news.

All staff are observed over the course of the academic year. This is to ensure teaching across the department is consistent and of an expected standard. These observations will tie in with annual appraisal where staff and Heads of Faculty have a chance to reflect on the year and plan ahead for the future.

Authorised by The Principal
Date June 2018
Effective date of the policy June 2018
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2019