Mathematics

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Mathematics has beauty and romance. It's not a boring place to be, the mathematical world. It's an extraordinary place; it's worth spending time there. Marcus du Sautoy

From home to school to work and places in-between, Mathematics is everywhere.

Whether using measurements in a recipe, or deciding if half a tank of petrol will get a car to its destination, everyone uses Mathematics. Students at St Columba’s College are taught in a variety of modern teaching styles and are encouraged to use their mathematical skills to solve problems in real-life contexts.

At Key Stage 3, students learn the key mathematical concepts and build upon their prior learning. The Department’s programme of study is challenging; it gives students the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

At GCSE, the Department follows the Edexcel IGCSE specification, which aims to give students a foundation in mathematical skills and develop their understanding of how to use and apply techniques and concepts to solve problems. The top two sets also take a Free Standing Mathematical Qualification in Additional Mathematics from OCR, which aims to introduce students to the power and elegance of advanced mathematics and to develop confidence in using mathematical skills in other areas of study. GCSE Statistics is also offered as an option to any student who wishes to develop their skills in an area that supports so many other fields of study.

At A level, the Department offers both Mathematics and Further Mathematics and follows the Edexcel specification. All students study the Core element of the course and are then allowed to specialise in either Statistics or Mechanics. In addition to these, the Further Mathematicians study Decision and Further Pure Mathematics modules. Mathematics is an extremely popular course at St Columba’s College and staff aim to develop students’ understanding of mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence and fosters enjoyment.

The department has four dedicated Mathematics rooms, all equipped with interactive facilities, and a computer suite that is used on a rotation basis to enhance the learning of the students. The Department also runs a Mathematics Club every day at lunchtime to give students support, but also to develop their interest in the subject. There is an enrichment group for very able students in Form 5 and Sixth Form, where students work on advanced-level problem solving, including STEP problems. At Key Stage 3, there is a weekly challenge group that meets in the Lent term, which encourages students to have fun and apply the skills they have learnt in lessons, some of these students also go on to compete in the UKMT Junior Team Maths Challenge. We also enter students from every year group into the UKMT individual challenges, this allows the students to develop their problem solving strategies and many students achieve certificates in these.

The aim of the Mathematics Department is to foster an environment where every student can succeed at Mathematics and to give them the confidence to attempt problems and believe in their own ability. The Department strives to make the students feel secure in the knowledge that every person ‘can do’ Mathematics.