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Mathematics is a fascinating area of study in many ways. It is abstract and practical, it offers the excitement of the hunt for understanding and the satisfaction of a problem solved. Maths brings us up against the infinite and allows us to count the finite. We all had a time when we first realised that we could carry on counting for ever…
In Year 7, students develop the fraction, percentage and ratio skills that they have started to learn in Key Stage 2. They also learn some new skills, such as using Pythagoras’ theorem to find a missing side length in a right angled triangle, finding the nth term of a sequence of numbers and finding the area and circumference of a circle.
During Year 8 at Newton Abbot College, students develop the algebraic skills of factorising and expanding brackets and develop an understanding of straight line graphs. They analyse data using a variety of graphs and averages and learn the many formulae required to calculate the areas and volumes of a wide range of shapes.
Year 9, the first year of Key Stage 4, includes a large focus of understanding shapes and measures. This includes using trigonometry to find missing side lengths and angles in right angled triangles, an introduction to vectors and work on transforming shapes on a coordinate grid. Students develop an in depth understanding of percentages using compound and simple interest and have the opportunity to learn further algebra skills such as quadratic equations, simultaneous equations and inequalities. There is also a focus on using Venn diagrams and tree diagrams to solve complex probability problems.
Year 10 develops many of the skills from previous years; for example, trigonometry is developed to non-right angled triangles, quadratic skills are developed to include inequalities and sequences and students learn about histograms, cumulative frequency diagrams and box plots to further analyse data. There is also an introduction to manipulating surds, indices and proportion.
Year 11 has a obvious focus on preparing for the GCSE exams. Whilst doing this, students learn about new topics such as mathematical proof, iteration, loci and recurring decimals.
The College runs a Maths enrichment club that gives students the opportunity to represent the school in challenges that focus on problem solving and collaboration. Students also have the opportunity to spend a day at Newton Abbot Racecourse to see Maths used in context and will also attend enrichment events at Plymouth and Exeter University