Welcome to the Mathematics Department

We teach all aspects of the subject from Year 7 through to Year 13. We aim to equip all students with the skills necessary to cope with mathematics as it arises in modern life and to encourage lifelong love and confidence in the subject.

Mathematics is a universal language that helps to develop students’ numeracy, enables them to solve problems and encourages logical thinking.

Departmental Courses

  • GCSE Mathematics (Edexcel) 

  • AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics

  • GCE A level Mathematics (Edexcel)

  • GCE A level Further Mathematics (OCR: MEI)

  • Level 3 Mathematical Studies – more commonly referred to as Core Maths (AQA)

Who do I contact for more information?

Mr N Miller-Pipe (n.miller-pipe@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

At Key Stage 3, we bridge the gap between the work that the students have covered in primary or middle school and the GCSE Mathematics course. The students will recap and build on the fundamental skills studied in the key elements of mathematics: number, algebra, geometry, ratio and proportion, handling data and probability. Our teaching of these units includes a consistent focus on the accuracy of methods and rigour in layout and workings.

Additionally, during this time, we develop and enhance the students’ numeracy skills and we include links to functional, real-world applications. Lessons are supported through weekly homework using the online platform of Sparx. Here videos provide useful explanations and tasks are set to check understanding.  Students build up a profile that allows for personalised revision tasks. The students complete mini-assessments at the end of each topic that allows reflection and improvement where needed. There is a formal end-of-year assessment in the Summer term, which helps us to identify progress and set the students as we move into September.

Mathematics – GCSE Mathematics

The Mathematics GCSE has a problem–solving focus which is designed to ensure a deep mathematical understanding. Students will develop an ability to tackle complex problems with logic, precision, creativity and clarity, ensuring students cultivate a range of transferable skills, and open many doors for the future. The GCSE provides students with a great range of topic areas to study and ensures that students are able to master the fundamentals of mathematics.

At Poole High School, a team of specialist mathematics teachers guides students through the GSCE with enthusiasm and the expertise to build students’ confidence, resilience and passion for mathematics.

Students will sit three examinations at the end of year 11: a non-calculator and two calculator papers.

At Key Stage 5, we offer courses that cover all abilities and enable students to further develop their mathematics skills.

Core Maths

For those achieving a 5 or above - we offer the new Core Maths class. This has grown massively and is now one of the most popular 6th-form choices. Core Maths is taken alongside 3 full A levels or BTEC equivalent and is worth up to 20 UCAS points.

There has been huge demand from both employers and further education institutions for students to continue to study mathematics post-16, to ensure they have the skills needed to access further education tasks in the workplace.

Universities and employers have spent years asking for a course like this. Core Maths develops real-world problem-solving skills, using mathematics looking at finance, business, and getting students to use real-life data. The course encourages problem-solving by teaching the process of gaining a deep understanding of the problems before using common sense and highly skilled mathematics to work through to a solution. This course is ideal for anyone going on to study biology, psychology, sociology, geography, and many more subjects that use subtler mathematical elements to analyse case studies.

Assessment Method

Core Maths currently runs over just 1 year and exams are sat at the end of year 12. There are two examination papers to sit. Future Opportunities and Careers Core Maths supports all sorts of A Levels: social sciences (geography, psychology, sociology, etc.), the natural sciences (chemistry, biology, physics), and many other subjects including business studies.

A Level Mathematics

Mathematics is becoming a very popular course at Poole High School and it is regarded as a facilitating subject by Russell Group universities. As well as traditional areas of study, the new specification includes working with a large data set and the use of programs such as Excel. Studying involves discussion, individual work, note-taking and independent research. Success in this course depends as much on hard work as ability and a high degree of self-motivation is required.

Year 1

Students will study pure mathematics, which includes algebra, trigonometry and calculus; these are essential skills for all areas of mathematics. The applied topics are divided into statistics and mechanics. Statistics is a major part of the course and involves drawing conclusions about real life by gathering and analysing information. It supports subjects such as biology, economics and business studies. Mechanics is the mathematics of structures and movement. It supports other subjects such as physics and design and technology and includes topics such as forces and Newton’s laws of motion.

Year 2

Students will develop their knowledge of all the above areas; in pure mathematics, they will solve problems that bring together several techniques and will learn to prove results that they have been using. In statistics, they will develop their knowledge of hypothesis testing, calculating whether or not there is evidence that a change in conditions or situation suggests that a probability or mean has changed. In mechanics, students will apply methods from pure mathematics, such as calculus and vectors, to work with more complicated models of situations.

Assessment Method

There are three examinations, each 2 hours long. The exams are Pure Mathematics 1, Pure Mathematics 2 and Statistics and Mechanics.

Future Opportunities and Careers

Mathematics is a highly regarded subject and opens up unlimited career possibilities. There is statistical evidence that people with mathematics A Level earn significantly more than those without it. Mathematics degrees contain a broad range of disciplines; other related degrees are statistics, computing and combinations of these. Mathematics is a useful qualification to have if you want to study accounting, sciences, engineering, economics, business studies, medicine, architecture, etc. Several of our students have gone straight into engineering apprenticeships.

A Level Further Mathematics

A Level Further Mathematics goes far deeper into the study of mathematics. This is a course for those who love the subject and want to explore some of mathematics’ more complicated patterns and problems. Those taking Further Maths will also need to take A Level Mathematics. Further mathematicians at Poole High School are given lots of support in a small class setting.

Whilst this course is a challenge, the large mathematics department at Poole High School is more than prepared to support our students. We offer a substantial 11 hours of lessons per fortnight, with teachers offering help outside of lessons as well. There is a wealth of experience in the department, with different teachers specialising in mechanics, statistics, algorithms, and pure mathematics. We have lots of teachers who are passionate and excited to work with you!

Further Mathematics is possibly the hardest A Level available in the country! But with great challenge comes great reward. On the Further Mathematics course, we discover complex numbers – extending our number system to allow us to solve equations previously thought impossible! Further mathematics should be studied by anyone with a love for mathematics regardless of future plans. If you are a budding artist, football star, or anything in between and also have a fascination with mathematics, further mathematics can still be for you! Further Mathematics covers some truly beautiful mathematics, and helps to answer questions you never knew needed asking.

You will also cover matrices, vectors, proof, and many more beautiful topics. Due to the difficulty of the course, we specify that applicants must obtain a grade 9 at GCSE to study Further Mathematics A Level.

Assessment Method

Due to the special nature of the Further Mathematics course, we do offer students the opportunity to sit AS exams for further mathematics at the end of year 12. Further mathematics is allowed to be taken as a 4th option, and then students are encouraged to focus on 3 A levels by year 13. The exams in further mathematics helps students make a decision whether to carry on further mathematics, or to ‘cash in’ their AS grade.

There are 3 AS exams, with the OCR(MEI) exam board: Core Pure (AS), Modelling with Algorithms, and Mechanics Minor.

At the end of year 13, there will be 4 exams: Core Pure, Modelling with Algorithms, Mechanics Minor, and Statistics Minor.

Future Opportunities and Careers

This A Level is highly regarded by universities – and it is not uncommon for offers for course places to be lowered if they include Further Mathematics A Level. Those students wishing to pursue studies in mathematics, physics, engineering, or computer science will often benefit in their first year at university – as further mathematics covers much content that is used at undergraduate level.

GCSE Mathematics Re-sit

For students who have not managed to obtain a pass at GCSE, or who wish to improve their grade, we have the option to study GCSE Mathematics in the 6th form. Students have an early chance in November to get their qualification, allowing them to focus on their other 6th form choices – but for those who need a little longer, we also enter into the main summer sitting. 
We are proud to say our mathematics resit classes are given 8 hours of lessons per fortnight, to give the best possible chance of success. Sometimes a year's extra maturity, life experience, and practice, can make a huge difference!

For those who do not manage to secure their desired grade in year 12, the re-sit option is still there in year 13 with both the November and summer entries available.

Assessment Method

This is the same as for GCSE - one non-calculator paper followed by two calculator papers.

Obtaining a level 2 qualification (GCSE) is very important to open doors to many future opportunities. These qualifications show employers that a student has problem solving skills, and are key to getting on to further courses.