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Mathematics Course Details


All pupils sit a Mathematics IGCSE at Canford.  It is our aim to ensure a good grade for all pupils whilst extending the brightest and supporting the less able.  The IGCSE 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 A level Maths which around 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. New pupils are initially placed into mixed ability sets, and during the first term all sets cover the same core material at different levels.  The pupils sit an end of term exam towards the end of the Christmas term and, at the start of the Easter term, pupils are placed in to a set that we believe progresses at the speed most appropriate to their ability.  Future set changes are limited but do occur when appropriate.

All pupils are introduced to the basics of the IGCSE syllabus from day one.  We also spend time reinforcing their mental mathematics.  Our initial aim is to introduce some interesting new material whilst ensuring the basics are secure.

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 a project (running jointly with other subjects) which focuses on group work and presentation skills – ensuring pupils can communicate maths effectively. In all three years the top sets are prepared for the Intermediate Maths Challenge (IMC), which they sit in February.  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.

A Level

Are you interested in thinking? Do you like problem solving? Are you good at using numbers?

Then you should think seriously about A Level Maths. If you're doing well in IGCSE Maths then an A 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. Career 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 intend to follow the new Edexcel linear A level from September 2017.  This involves both Pure and Applied Maths, which focuses on Statistics and Mechanics.

Further Maths is an additional A Level which is designed to stretch and interest good mathematicians. There is 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.