“Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.”
David Hilbert, mathematician (1862-1943)
Mathematics at Kings Langley School
Mathematics is the study of logic, pattern and number and is unique amongst the academic disciplines for its absolute rigour. For some, the truth found in mathematics is the purest form of truth there is. To study mathematics is to train oneself in the art of reason, assembling the facts before making logical deductions, a skill very much in demand in today’s world full of conflicting data.
There is a rich history of problem solving in mathematics and the methods developed to tackle these problems have their applications in modern economics, science, industry and business. There is also satisfaction in applying one’s own mind to a problem and the study of mathematics is a worthy pursuit in its own right.
Mathematics knows no borders, knows no race, religion or gender and knows no social background. It has the power to transform a young person’s life and every child has the right to the opportunity to engage with a rigorous and aspirational mathematics curriculum.
Mr B Wilshaw (Learning Area Leader)
Mr P McDonagh (Deputy Learning Area Leader)
Mrs L Dorrington (Lead Practitioner)
Mrs A Afilaka
Mrs R Jennings
Miss D Khatri
Miss Y Li
Mr N Monk
Mrs N Ndlovu
Mrs L Patterson
Students should be able to:
- Accurately recall facts, terminology and definitions.
- Use and interpret notation correctly.
- Accurately carry out routine procedures or set tasks requiring multi-step solutions.
- Make deductions, inferences and draw conclusions from mathematical information.
- Construct chains of reasoning to achieve a given result.
- Interpret and communicate information accurately.
- Present arguments and proofs.
- Assess the validity of an argument and critically evaluate a given way of presenting information.
- Translate problems in mathematical or non-mathematical contexts into a process or a series of mathematical processes.
- Make and use connections between different parts of mathematics.
- Interpret results in the context of the given problem.
- Evaluate methods used and results obtained.
- Evaluate solutions to identify how they may have been affected by assumptions made.
Top 5 books to read (The school library will have copies of these books)
- Why Do Buses Come in Threes?: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life: The Hidden Mathematics of Everyday Life (Rob Eastaway).
- Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension (Matt Parker).
- Alex's Adventures in Numberland (Alex Bellos).
- Fermat's Last Theorem: The Story Of A Riddle That Confounded The World's Greatest Minds For 358 Years (Simon Singh).
- Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics (William Dunham).
- Edexcel, the exam board for GCSE
- Edexcel, the exam board for A-level
- Edexcel, Further Maths A-level
- Mathswatch to support your independent learning Key Stage 3 and 4
- Corbett maths, revision videos, papers, worksheets, 5-a-day revision exercises for GCSE students
- Mathsgenie, videos and questions on individual topics, past papers etc for GCSE and A Level students
- Physics and maths tutor, papers and mark schemes to support A level students preparing for exams
- Exam solutions, videos to support A level students
Mathematics Extra-Curricular Programme:
Maths challenge - This is a national competition open to top set students in Year’s 7 to 13. There are age categories comprising of the junior, intermediate and senior challenges.
Royal Institution masterclasses - These ‘hands-on’ interactive sessions are led by experts from academia and industry. Each year a handful of students are invited from Year 9 to take part.
Further Studies and Careers:
If you’re a talented Mathematician, a maths degree can be a good option. The fact that there is a right answer to questions means that it’s possible to achieve high marks, most courses offer the chance as you progress to specialise in the areas that most interest you. Your skills will be useful in many careers.
More information about studying for a maths degree, types of A levels you need and the careers it leads to can be found here:
Options after a Maths Degree:
Studying Maths helps you develop skills in logical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making, which are valued by employers across many job sectors.
Jobs directly related to higher maths qualifications, such as A-levels or a degree, include:
Acoustic consultant, actuarial analyst, actuary, astronomer, chartered accountant, chartered certified accountant, data analyst, data scientist, investment analyst, research scientist (maths), secondary school teacher, software engineer, sound engineer or statistician.
Jobs where higher maths qualifications would be useful include:
CAD technician, civil service fast streamer, financial manager, financial trader, game designer, insurance underwriter, machine learning engineer, meteorologist, operational researcher, private tutor, quantity surveyor, radiation protection practitioner or software tester.
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Top Mathematicians to research and learn about:
- Leonhard Euler 1707-1783. A Swiss mathematician who produced more original mathematics than any other mathematician before or since. He is behind a lot of the symbols you use in your maths lessons, such as the symbol for pi, f(x) etc. He went blind in later life, but the loss of his sight actually increased the amount of work he produced. He discovered so much that often other mathematicians are credited as being “the second person after Euler to have discovered it”. He is Mr Wilshaw’s favourite mathematician.
- Ada Lovelace 1815-1852. A female mathematician in a world that didn’t easily accept that such a thing could exist. She worked on programmable machines and envisaged how a machine could be programmed. Some say that her work amounts to one of the first ‘computer’ programs ever written.
- Henri Poincare 1854-1912. The last mathematician to have understood all the areas of maths that were around in his lifetime. These days the subject is too big for any one person to understand all parts of it.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan 1887-1920. An Indian mathematician who had no formal training in mathematics, but his self-taught ideas were ahead of some of the most advanced western mathematicians of the time. He came to England to study and made many outstanding contributions until his unfortunate death at the age of 32.
- Andrew Wiles 1953- . It’s easy to think that all of mathematics has been discovered but Andrew Wiles proof of Fermat’s last theorem (another thing to look up!) is a very modern discovery. Andrew Wiles found Fermat’s last theorem in a library book as a schoolboy and wondered why something that could be understood by a ten-year-old had not yet been proved. After studying at Oxford and then Cambridge he proved it but then found an error in his work. It took a year to fix this error and he finally achieved his life’s goal in 1995.