We expect all students to have a calculator; they are a necessary piece of equipment for success in examinations, as well as a valuable learning aid. They are not, however, an answer in themselves to the education of the students.
We are blessed with students who are well motivated and well supported by their parents and we must utilise this to the students’ advantage. We set high expectations for the students; we do them no favours if we teach them the bare minimum. We do this by maintaining the pace of our teaching and stretch the students by introducing them to topics early, using as extension work some topics from the following year’s scheme of work.
Students are taught to take responsibility for developing their independent learning skills. For some this may be achieved by visiting the department during extra-curricular time to investigate and experiment with the plethora of logic and strategy developing resources (suitable for all senior pupils). Others may require extra assistance or clarification on their homework, or maybe just reassurance that they are going about their work in the right way. For these girls the department runs a drop in “Maths Clinic” two lunchtimes a week. Older girls make excellent use of this facility and are strongly encouraged to attend weekly twilight revision sessions which run throughout the school year as they have proven to be very beneficial in previous years.
We aim to produce young adults who are aware of the power of Mathematics and who have a positive attitude to their own ability in the subject and are prepared to use it. Some of our students will be in a position to go on and study Mathematics and related subjects at a higher level.
To empower and enthuse students to the possibilities of mathematics beyond Key Stage 4 it is essential that the girls are aware of the mathematical applications that exist both across the curriculum and in the wider world during their time at Thornton. This is achieved through demonstration of cross-curricular links and extended investigative tasks with the younger students.
For those Year 11 students considering Mathematics at A-level we offer twilight sessions studying AQA’s Level 2 Further Mathematics qualification. This is a bridge between GCSE and A level that covers many of the topics that form the A-level qualification, hence better preparing the girls for what lies ahead whilst also as valuable points for university places in the future.