Mathematics (KS3, GCSE and A level) and Further Mathematics (A level)

Maths at Bruton is building confidence, encouraging understanding and developing perseverance.

The department is committed to ensuring that pupils take an interest in and have an enthusiasm for maths.

Extra-curricular activities are organised to help pupils support and extend their learning, develop problem-solving skills and be aware of the applications of maths.  Please see the enrichment and support section to find out more.

Curriculum

Students who study Mathematics will acquire skills and knowledge that can be applied in many fields. In addition to developing an understanding of specific mathematical skills, students will develop their powers of reason and logic and their communication skills. These skills are transferable to any other discipline and the study of Mathematics is therefore recognised as highly valuable.

At GCSE there are three main skills: Recall and Use of Knowledge; Selection and Application of Methods; and Interpretation and Analysis of Problems. Mathematics is assessed by three examinations; all papers are taken in the summer of Senior 5. There are two tiers of entry, Higher and Foundation, and each student will be entered for the tier appropriate to her ability and achievement during Senior 5. We aim to enter students for the tier that will provide the best chance of achieving their full potential.

We also provide the opportunity for students to independently study the AQA Further Mathematics GCSE. This is excellent reinforcement and extension for the GCSE Mathematics course and provides students with a solid foundation for starting the A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics courses.

The A level Mathematics syllabuses build upon the work studied for the Higher Tier at GCSE. The study of Mathematics in the Sixth Form will appeal to those students who enjoyed Mathematics at GCSE. To be successful at A level, students will need a sound understanding of all the topics covered in the GCSE and strong algebraic and problem solving skills. Students should have achieved at least a Grade 7 at GCSE to be confident of having the skills required to take Mathematics at A level whilst, to obtain the top grades, students are likely to have obtained at least a grade 8 at GCSE.

Students who really enjoy Mathematics, and would welcome the opportunity to study complex algebra and new abstract topics, may wish to consider taking A level Further Mathematics. However, to consider this option, students should have obtained a Grade 8 or 9 at GCSE. 

We help prepare students for the STEP and MAT Oxbridge entrance exams and recent Bruton School for Girls students have now gone on to study Mathematics at university, including the University of Oxford.

There are many career opportunities open to those who have studied A level Mathematics including roles in science and technology and also in business, finance and management. A level Mathematics is a preferred qualification for entry to many degree courses.

Enrichment and Support

Events organised by the department include the following:

  • -          Students compete in the UKMT Individual and Team Challenges and the Year 10 Maths Feast annually. We have had huge success in these competitions and a number of our students are invited to take part in the follow on Kangaroo or British Mathematical Olympiad rounds. We have also had students involved in the Mathematic Olympiad for Girls and the National Mathematics Summer School at the University of Oxford.
  • -          Selected students in Senior 2 are invited to attend the RI Mathematics Masterclasses at the University of Bath in the Spring Term. 
  • -          Trips and workshops: The department has attended a number of lectures from renowned mathematical speakers including James Grime and Simon Singh. There are also opportunities for students to attend enrichment days to extend their mathematical knowledge and discover further real life applications of maths. The Happy Puzzle Company have provided a problem solving workshop for KS3 and 4 students.
  • -          Pi day is celebrated on 14th March (3/14), and on this day there are many different activities involving the mathematical constant Pi. Activities have included various competitions including photos and baking.
  • -          The Tutor Group Maths Challenge runs in the Winter and Spring Terms where students compete in their tutor groups to earn points for their Hall. There is also a maths party at the end of each term for the winning tutor group.
  • -          Next Grade: A weekly lunchtime activity where pupils of all abilities and ages can come to receive additional help.  Currently we have three sessions a week running at lunch time and a further after school session in Highcroft.  Teachers encourage pupils to attend if they are struggling or showing lack of effort during class and prep.
  • In the Spring Term, KS3 students who show a keen interest in the subject are able to attend a weekly Next Grade session to complete challenging problems in groups.  These sessions also help prepare students to take part in the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge. The team is made up from two students from each Senior 1 and Senior 2.
  • -          We have Maths Prefects and Ambassadors in Senior 5 and the Sixth Form who work with and support our younger students.

Student Comments

“What I love about maths at Bruton is how we have different tasks that help with how different people learn. For example we do questions and quizzes online, we create our own questions and we do group work.” Charlotte Ferris

 “Everyone in the class is able to do well. Next Grade is available to anyone who needs it for help or if people want more challenging questions. In class there are questions to cater for everyone’s abilities and there are group and class explanations to challenging questions helping everyone understand.” Abi Connolly

“Everyone is given the opportunity to discuss and explain their ideas and workings. This allows us to get involved and grow in confidence.” Millie Gotto

 “I love that the teachers set questions of different difficulty so everyone is challenged.” Suzy Reese

 “I enjoy maths here, as I am challenged and also have time to fully understand the methods.” Rosie Eckl

“The maths here is fun with lots of resources. Challenges are set and are fun to achieve. The teaching is fun and enjoyable and the teachers are very encouraging. I have definitely improved overs the three years I have been at Bruton.” Georgia Womack

 “I think that maths is really good at BSG because the teaching methods are different from my home country, Spain. I particularly enjoy the online work.” Maria Espuelas

“This has been a really good year of maths. I like the way maths is taught at BSG.” Andrea Garoyea

“There are many maths activities that you can join!” Wendy Yang

What the girls say

“I feel that I have really made progress in Maths. I get a lot of satisfaction when I solve a difficult problem and there is always someone on hand to help.”

“In Maths you have to think clearly to get to the solution. This is a valuable skill.”

“Maths is fun, interesting, wonderful and I really enjoyed Further Maths. It was great studying all these things that most people have never heard of.”

“Wow! Talk about hard work! But at the end of it all you feel so good about yourself. You really feel like you’ve achieved something. And you have!”

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