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mathematicsWhy study Maths?

Mathematics is an exciting and enjoyable subject which is essential for our everyday lives.

It is a logical and beautiful subject in its own right and also helps us to make sense of the world and gives us the tools to change it. From a basic level of numeracy needed for buying food or clothes, to being the language used from quantum mechanics to planetary orbits, Maths is everywhere!

Maths is a subject of ‘doing’ rather than ‘knowing’: while practising it we develop skills in problem-solving, reasoning, logic, and self-discipline. These attributes are all immensely useful in a wide variety of careers. At Woodford we hope that we will encourage and help our students not only to learn more about the wonders of Mathematics but also to gain competence and confidence in everyday life and the future workplace.

Year 7 and 8

In years 7 and 8 we continue to build on the foundations laid at Primary level. Students will study a wide range of topics in four key areas; number, algebra, space and measures, and statistics. There will also be a focus on developing students' problem solving skills and improving how they communicate mathematically. Mathematics is taught in form classes throughout these years. The department aims to increase confidence in using Mathematics through the media of written solutions, mental maths and oral work in order that students can apply their knowledge to real world situations.

Year 9–11 GSCE Mathematics (Edexcel Linear)

Although Mathematics is a compulsory subject for GCSE, we hope that students will also enjoy the subject and gain much benefit from the course. Study at Key Stage 4 aims to equip students with mathematical competence and problem solving strategies and covers the following areas. (On the GCSE exam the proportion of each topic to be included in the exam is stated below):

  • Number. (15%)
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change. (20%)
  • Algebra. (30%)
  • Statistics and probability. (15%)
  • Geometry and Measures. (20%)

Alongside the Mathematical content of the course students will also be examined on the following skills, (in the stated proportion):

  • Applying standard techniques. (40%)
  • Reasoning, interpreting and communicating mathematically. (30%)
  • Solving non-routine problems. (30%)

Although all Woodford students take the higher level papers the subject is taught in sets during these years, which provides students with the opportunity to work at an appropriate pace and depth of understanding.

The GCSE Mathematics course provides an excellent basis for students to continue their study in the Sixth Form.

KS5 Advanced level: Mathematics and Further Mathematics (Edexcel)

At Woodford Mathematics is a popular choice in the sixth form: currently nearly two hundred students are taking the subject and Further Maths is also increasing in popularity.

Mathematics at Advanced level is a very sought after qualification and is in fact an essential requirement for many university courses. It demonstrates that you have the ability to think logically, are numerate and can solve problems analytically. Mathematics also supports the learning in several other subjects, notably the Sciences, Economics, Psychology and Geography.

The advanced level Mathematics course consists of Pure Mathematics and the application of mathematics in the form of Statistics and Mechanics. The pure modules allow students to study in more depth number, algebra and geometry, and introduce new topics such as calculus, logarithms and vectors. The application modules build upon and extend knowledge of data handling and probability in statistics as well kinematics, moments and forces in Mechanics.

The AS level Mathematics course will follow the same pattern as the full A level but students will only cover only half the amount of content and sit the exams at the end of year twelve.

The department also offers an advanced level in Further Mathematics for students who wish to enhance their skills in Mathematics and/or in preparation for university study. Further Mathematics is becoming an increasingly desirable qualification for some degree courses in Engineering, Natural Science and Economics and is a prerequisite for many mathematical degrees. Students studying the Further Mathematics option have twice the teaching time allocated and their course of study includes the more advanced pure and mechanics topics.

Extra curricular

Every year large numbers of our students in all key stages enter the national competitions of the UKMT Mathematics Challenges. In addition we send a number of teams to local competitions, such the Redbridge challenge. The department also organizes our own team Maths challenges for different year groups and every summer we run a joint challenge with the Languages department for Year 9 students, where the mathematical problems to be solved are set in a number of different languages.

At Woodford we encourage all students to take part in various mathematical competitions in which they can use their skills and appreciate the joy of doing Maths.

Annually several of our students attend Master Classes run by the Royal Institution which take place at Queen Mary University of London and last year some of our sixth formers enjoyed a series of master classes at the University of Greenwich. A number of our sixth form students have attended and benefited greatly from residential courses run by Villiers Park.

Sixth Form mathematicians generously give of their time to organize a Maths Club once a week where students can enjoy games and puzzles and they also support younger students with their learning in Mathematics

Future pathways

Several of our students have gone go on to study Mathematics either as a single subject at university or as joint honours. A degree in Mathematics opens the way to many and varied career choices.

Possible careers include those in Engineering, Medicine, Actuarial Science, Operational Research, and Financial and IT related professions, among many others.



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