Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Aims and Philosophy

The primary aims of the Mathematics Department at CVMS are to enable pupils to achieve very good levels and grades in the subject and to stimulate their enjoyment of all mathematical disciplines. Also we aim to develop confidence, enthusiasm and interest in the subject. The Mathematics Department provides pupils with an extensive range of academic support.

Also we aim to promote an enjoyment of mathematics amongst students of all levels of ability, and a keenness to pursue their interests; equip students with the mathematical skills they will need for life in a modern, technological society; skills they will need for life in a modern, technological society and prepare pupils to achieve the best examination grades of which they are capable.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils are placed in ability sets according to their Key Stage 2 result as soon as possible. Lower ability sets are smaller allowing pupils to receive the support that they need and are often supported by a Learning Support Assistant. Assessment is ongoing and setting is reviewed regularly. Students are formally assessed at the end of Michaelmas Term and at the end of Trinity Term. All Key Stage 3 pupils receive two pieces of Mathematics homework a week.

The pupils continue to be taught in sets throughout the school. They take regular topic tests that, together with class work, homework and teacher assessment are used to monitor their progress. At the end of Year 8 a significant overhaul of the sets is made in readiness for their GCSE studies.

The focus is on Numeracy plus a careful teaching of early Algebra techniques. We cover all the National Curriculum for KS3 and move into GCSE work in several areas.

Key Stage 4

The GCSE course is currently split over three years with students taking the GCSE examination at the end of Year 11. There are two tiers of entry, Higher Tier, which covers grades A* to D or 9 to 3 (the new grade with effect from summer 2017), and Foundation Tier, which covers grades C to G or 4 to 0 (new grade with effect from summer 2017). Boys are streamed into five sets in the Fourth and Fifth Forms. For the top three sets we follow the Edexcel Higher Tire Linear syllabus, the Fourth set we follow the Edexcel Higher Tire Modular syllabus and the Fifth set syllabus based on Edexcel Foundation Tire Modular. Module examinations are taken at regular intervals throughout years 10 and 11, with terminal written examinations comprising both a calculator and a non-calculator paper at the end of year 11. In addition to the Mathematics Course and for the top two sets pupils are studying Statistics as an extra GCSE; this course requires doing one coursework.

Sixth Form

Sixth Form Mathematics is the most popular subject choice at A-Level in CVMS, producing many top grades every year. Approximately two thirds of the pupils in the Sixth Form continue with Mathematics through to the Lower and Upper Sixth, where there are numerous options available to them. These include A-Levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics and AS-Level Mathematics. We follow the Edexcel syllabus. To study Mathematics at A-Level at CVMS students must have achieved at least a grade A in the subject in their GCSE examinations and to study Further Mathematics students must have achieved A* grade.

In the Lower Sixth (AS-Level) there are usually four sets and one or two sets for the Further Maths group. In the Upper Sixth (A2-Level) there are four sets and one set for the Further Maths group. The average class size is roughly twenty students.

AS level: 3 Modules Core Mathematics 1 and 2 and one Applied Mathematics module usually S1.

A2 level: 3 Modules Core Mathematics 3 and 4 and one Applied Mathematics module usually M1.

Therefore for full A-Level Mathematics: Six modules - 4 Core Mathematics and 2 Applied Modules (S1 & M1).

To help these students, we have decided to split the Single A-Level and AS-Level candidates into four sets in the AS level and unto three sets in the A2 level based on academic ability.

At this level it is important to prepare students for university teaching and so we encourage them to take more responsibility for their learning whilst tracking their progress with regular home works and assessments.

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics students are taught separately and have more lessons than those students studying Mathematics only. Usually there is one Further Maths group in each year of the Sixth Form. Further Mathematics students are taught separately and have more lessons than those students studying Mathematics only. The two year course requires them to complete the six modules studied at A-Level Mathematics as well as a further six modules that extend their work with Pure Mathematics as well as Mechanics and Statistics.

In the recent years this course becomes popular as we have about twenty students in the Lower Sixth and about fifteen in the Upper Sixth.

12 Modules – six in the AS-Level (C1, C2, C3, C4, M1 and S1). And six Modules in the A2-Level (FP1, FP2, FP3, M2, M3 and S2).

The Further Mathematics AS course comprises the compulsory FP1 unit and two other units, including at least one Applications unit and at least one A2 unit. For A Level students taking the Advanced Extension Award (AEA), support is provided at a time convenient to both pupils and the teacher. We also support Cambridge candidates taking STEP (Sixth Term Examination Papers - three papers used to assess applicants' aptitude) and offer mock interviews for all Oxbridge applicants.

Outside the Classroom

There is a strong involvement in extra-curricular mathematics with many pupils of all ages excelling in the UK Mathematics Challenge. Teams compete regularly in Maths competitions against other schools.

There are plenty of extra-curricular opportunities in Mathematics for pupils of all ages. The department runs a weekly Maths G&T Club.

The Gifted and Talented Mathematics Club

The Gifted and Talented Mathematics club runs every Friday at lunchtime, where challenging activities are undertaken by selected Key Stage 3/4 pupils. Pupils study complex numbers and are introduce to various problem solving games recently bought by the department. We organise a trip is for these pupils in the Trinity Term; this is designed for further enrichment of their curriculum of study. The Vaughan subscribes to the Problem Solving Journal that is put together by the University of Birmingham. Pupils from top sets in Forms 1-4 have the opportunity to tackle the questions published and send them off to the University to be marked.

The Junior, Intermediate and Senior Mathematics Challenges run by the UKMT are undertaken by the first and second sets in each year group. CVMS is to field a team for the UKMT Team Challenge before Easter every year.

SSS Primary School Visits

The Mathematics Department offers support in teaching mathematics to four local primary schools. Each school is visited a minimum of six times a year. Strong relationships have been formed with these primary schools and the nature of these visits is tailored to the needs of the primary school. The visits largely focus on the Mathematics Gifted and Talented pupils in a variety of year groups from year 3 to 6. Activities include:

●  Investigation work and problem solving activities
●  Primary mathematics challenge preparation work
●  KS2 SATs preparation
●  After school Maths Club
●  UK Mathematical Challenges

Most First and Second Forms pupils are entered for the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge, and in subsequent years substantial numbers enter for the Intermediate and Senior Challenges, with several going forward to the Mathematical Olympiads. Large numbers of pupils winning certificates and many students progress to further rounds to win medals. The UK Maths Challenge organised by the University of Leeds. We achieve truly excellent results at Senior, Intermediate and Junior UK Maths Challenges.

Hans Woyda Mathematics Quiz

Cardinal Vaughan annually competes in the Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition. This is an opportunity for the most able Mathematicians in the School to pit themselves against pupils from some of the best schools in the country.

The Hans Woyda team consists of one pupil from each of Third, Fifth, Lower 6th and Upper 6th Form. There are 64 Schools divided into 16 leagues, the top 16 schools go through to the knock-out rounds. Many times we came second in our league and CVMS team qualified for the 'Plate' competition.


The Department offers a range of activities including

●  Work Support Sessions (WSS) Mathematics homework support Tuesday, and Thursday.
●  Evening GCSE class for parents (Adult class), Wednesday after School (2 hours).
●  Year 11 Booster GCSE class for A/A* students, Wednesday after School (2 hours).
●  Year 11 Booster GCSE class for the fourth and fifth sets pupils, Tuesday 7.30 - 8.30 a.m.