In the Maths department at Canford, we aim to encourage all pupils to enjoy studying this subject, to achieve as full an understanding of its rich simplicities as they are able, and to maximise their potential in examinations. We believe that Maths should be enjoyable as well as challenging and we are very proud that Maths is a popular subject at Canford. For instance, over 70 pupils have selected to study Maths in the Lower Sixth for 2007/8 out of a year group of about 120. Extensive use is made of specialist software to bring maths to life and improve understanding. Otherwise our teaching tends to be traditional: we teach for understanding and reinforce this with plenty of class practice, marked homework and tests.
Richard BaldwinBEng (Bath), MSc (UCNW, Bangor), PGCE (Bath)
Richard joined Canford in 2009 as Head of Maths after holding a similar position teaching in grammar schools in Devon and Dorset. Being an engineering graduate he enjoys teaching mechanics as well as solving differential equations. He is far too competitive in the cross-country club for a man of his age and also makes regular trips with pupils to Kingston Lacy as part of a school project, where they are systematically chopping down most of the shrubs in the grounds. He is married with three young children.
Henry BishopBSC (Exeter), M Ed (Open)
Henry joined Canford in 2003 after a career of 12 years in Finance and Management Consultancy. He is half-French and has lived and worked in the UK, France, Germany and much of Eastern Europe. He is particularly interested in how the Greeks and other civilisations initially developed the Maths we use today. Henry was previously Deputy Housemaster for Monteacute House and Head of Mathematics and is now Housemaster of Franklin House. He coaches hockey and tennis and helps with the CCF, particularly enjoying taking expeditions into the mountains.
Leigh CorbouldBSc (York), PGCE (York)
Leigh teaches mathematics to all levels and is responsible for all maths jokes. He is also Housemaster of School House, having returned to Canford in 2007 after a 4 year period at another school. He coaches rugby and rowing and helps out with the CCF with a particular interest in orienteering and mountaineering. He is married with two children.
David DodwellMA (Oxon), PGCE (Birmingham)
David has taught mathematics at Canford since 1984, having previously taught in Oxfordshire and Scotland. Since finishing a 12-year term as Housemaster of Monteacute House, David has been using the knowledge and experience gleaned over the years in running the Careers and Higher Education departments. He has a French wife and two children who have now completed their Canford education, and his interests in Mathematics centre on proof. He also coaches rowing.
Clive JefferyBA & MEng (Oxon)
Clive teaches mathematics to all levels and his speciality is mechanics. Clive also teaches one set of Religious Studies and runs Icthyans, the informal Christian society. Clive coaches hockey and tennis and has developed Groundforce, an outdoor/environmental activity for 4th form pupils.
Richard KnottMA, ARCM (Cambridge); Royal Academy of Music
Richard teaches Maths part-time to all levels including Further Maths and Oxbridge. He is also Deputy Head of the school. He was previously a Housemaster at another school, and also had a brief career in opera before that. Richard referees rugby; umpires/coaches hockey (occasionally) and cricket (more often). He has a keen in interest in what his forebears got up to (many of whom were teachers).
Alan NadenBEng (Imperial College)
Alan joined Canford in 2008 after teaching in London. Before teaching he worked in the Risk Management area of Investment Banking mainly involved with developing IT systems. He is interested in the use of technology to teach Maths. He coaches Hockey but has a growing interest in Croquet and Golf. Having grown up in the Peak District he is involved with adventure training. Alan is married and has two daughters.
Dr. Stephen WilkinsonMSc (Adelaide), DPhil (Oxon)
Stephen, a former research physicist, was Head of Maths at Canford for 11 years before becoming Director of Studies in September 2007. His mathematical interests are many and varied, centred particularly on algebra and analysis. He is also fascinated by music, languages, photography and fine wine. He has coached many successful school sailing teams.
Ben SparksBA, PGCE (Merton College, Oxford), MSc (Somerville College, Oxford)
Ben joined Canford Maths Department in September 2009, and has previously taught maths in Poole and Oxfordshire. Most recently he has been trying to redeem the image of street performers by busking his way round the world (and his own country) on a guitar, but has now returned to a life of (semi) respectability here at Canford. He is a tutor in Franklin House and the instigator of the new Canford Circus Skills workshop. In the other parts of his life he gives 'interesting' maths lectures (and the occasional gig) in schools (and pubs) around the country.
Bridget KeelyBA (Philosophy), PGCE (Maths) Leeds University
Bridget is particularly interested in the Philosophy of Maths and Physics. Brought up in Dorset, she has taught abroad and loves travelling and exploring the world. In addition to her teaching commitments, Bridget is currently working with Adventure Trainees. She is the live-in tutor in Marriotts house.
Owen ParkinMaths, Bath
A relatively late starter in the teaching world due to a career in Professional Cricket, Owen joins Canford from Milton Abbey School where he was a Housemaster. A graduate in Mathematics from Bath University, he is fascinated by Probability and how Statistics in general can be used to help solve real live problems. A keen rugby follower, other interests include squash, bridge, chess and golf.
All pupils sit a Mathematics GCSE at Canford. It is our aim to ensure a good grade for all pupils whilst extending the brightest and supporting the less able. We have found the International GCSE (Edexcel 4MA0 specification) offers an interesting and well thought through syllabus that stretches more able pupils whilst remaining accessible to all. It is examined in two terminal exams and there is no coursework. It is an excellent preparation for AS and A level Maths which two thirds of pupils go on to take.
Maths begins at Canford with the process of assimilating all the new entrants, with their huge variety of abilities and backgrounds. Pupils begin in completely mixed classes. We then set them at the end of their first term here. Pupils are introduced to the basics of the GCSE syllabus from day one. We also spend time reinforcing their mental maths. Our initial aim is to introduce some interesting new material whilst ensuring the basics are secure.
After Christmas the whole year group is moved into ability streams and each class progresses at the speed appropriate to their ability. There are currently 2 classes in the top stream, 2 in the second, 1 in the third and 1 in the fourth. Future set changes in later years are limited but do occur when appropriate.
In addition to the syllabus-based topics, we try to extend knowledge and enjoyment of mathematics beyond the exam specifications. In the Shells, there is time set aside for projects in class, for example, a statistics project at the end of the first term. In all three years the top sets are prepared for the Intermediate Maths Challenge (IMC), which they sit in February, and the 5th form have the opportunity to enter the Senior Maths Challenge (SMC). Problem-solving is at the heart of extension work, and much use is made of the IMC type questions to extend pupils at the top end of the ability range.
Are you interested in thinking?
Do you like solving problems?
Are you good at using numbers?
Then you should think seriously about A-level Maths.If you're doing well in GCSE Maths then an AS and an A2 level in Mathematics will be viewed by any university as one of the most rigorous and analytical preparations for a degree. With a good grade in Maths you will be considered as a serious applicant for any of the academic courses at university: It's a qualification in thinking rather than a particular skill, although it is a prerequisite of course for degrees such as Engineering and Physics and many Chemistry and Psychology courses.Careers opportunities for mathematicians are boundless. Many end up working the City, where your numerical understanding and analytical ability is highly sought after. Maths also supports careers in medicine, management, accountancy, actuarial work as well as teaching and research.
We follow the OCR syllabus B (MEI). The AS and A Level syllabuses are modular and are split into obligatory core modules in pure mathematics plus a number of optional applied modules. Three modules (two core and one applied) make an AS Level and a further three modules (two core and one applied) complete your A2.
In the core modules you cover the Pure Maths techniques used to solve mathematical problems: solving equations, manipulating algebra, drawing graphs and vectors are some of the familiar topics that you will meet in greater depth. Amongst the new material you will learn about Calculus, which is Newton's famous discovery used in almost every area of continuous mathematics: whenever a measurable value changes, its change can be analysed by Calculus.
The applied modules split in to Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Maths. Mechanics considers how the behaviour of real objects can be predicted by solving equations. You will find this helps or is helped by a Physics AS-level.Statistics covers the elementary ideas of extracting information from data: an essential requirement if you have any ambition to understand properly what you read in newspapers or use efficiently the information available on the Internet. Statistics is also an essential ingredient in the advanced study of financial systems and Economics. Decision maths is unlike other school Mathematics. It concerns the study of areas where decisions can be made on a mathematical basis, for example critical path analysis to make a process more efficient, and using random number models to simulate behaviour in the real world.
Further Maths is an additional AS level and A2 which is designed to stretch and interest good mathematicians. Based on the same modular system it requires 3 modules for the AS and six for the full A2. There is a lot more choice in the modules, much of which we teach in a more tutorial fashion. It is invaluable for anyone hoping to study university Mathematics and is of great benefit to anyone considering a highly numerate degree like Economics or Physics. It counts as an additional subject for university entrance but is not for the faint-hearted. Further Maths is studied alongside Mathematics. Any decision to study it should only be taken in discussion with the Head of Mathematics.
In the Lower Sixth pupils will follow one of three programmes:
1 - The Traditional programme
You will study three modules in the Lower Sixth and complete the A2 in the Upper Sixth with another three. (Of course, you may finish at the end of the Lower Sixth with an AS level if you choose to). You must take two pure modules (called C1 and C2), and in addition one of the applied modules Mechanics 1, Statistics 1 or Decision 1. Choice will be restricted by numbers, but we would hope to offer most people a genuine choice from these three.
2 - The Accelerated programme
You will take, in addition to the three modules of a Maths AS, the Further Pure module FP1. This is one of the most interesting maths modules: it introduces the concepts of complex numbers, and matrices, as well as proof by induction. Maths as you've never known it before! By taking this option you will have the opportunity of completing a Further Maths AS alongside your Maths A2 in the Upper Sixth.
3 - The Fast programme
You will complete six modules on this programme, and end the year, all being well, with an AS in Maths and an AS in Further Maths. This allows you to take a Further Maths A2 in the Upper Sixth, without needing to have any lessons in the 'Extra Maths' timetable block.
Of course, the last two options are only for the more able mathematicians, as the pace of teaching is so much greater. You will also be expected to do much more work independently if you are in any of the advanced options that take you beyond the basic three modules.
In the Upper Sixth you will complete what you started in the Lower Sixth. For instance, if you are in theTraditional programme then you have two more Pure modules and one more Applied to complete for your A2.
In the Accelerated programme, you have to complete two more pure modules, and three more applied modules to gain a Maths A2 and a Further Maths AS. To do this you will need to select Further Maths as an additional option in the Upper VI which means one and a half timetables of Mathematics. In the Fast programme you would complete a further six modules to complete your A2 Maths and A2 Further Maths. You would be expected to select both Maths and Further Maths in the option blocks which means one and a half timetables. Many pupils in this option will complete more than the minimum 12 modules required because of their interest in the subject and it will help them with their mathematical university studies.
Entry Requirements for Sixth Form Maths
Generally, those in sets one, two, or three in the lower school at Canford are better equipped to cope with the subject at A-level although we always have several pupils from set 4 who successfully tackle A level Maths. You should expect to get an A or an A* in GCSE. If you think there is doubt about this, speak to your Maths teacher for some advice.