The Mathematics Department is located principally in the Heywood Block, where it occupies a suite of modern classrooms equipped with interactive projectors. Broadly, the Department aims to build pupils’ confidence in Mathematics by teaching at an appropriate pace in line with ability and by using techniques that make the subject accessible and enjoyable to all. We help our pupils to achieve their best results and encourage appropriate candidates to apply to read Mathematics at university.
Our departmental aims are designed to ensure that staff of the Department are always striving to share best practice and discuss relevant strategies. Our outstanding maths beaks are extremely committed and often make themselves available outside timetabled lessons to offer extra assistance, support and encouragement.
As soon as pupils arrive in the Shell, they begin to study towards the Edexcel IGCSE in Mathematics. In the Sixth Form, pupils who opt to study Mathematics have three options. Most pupils choose the A level; a traditional linear course assessed through three exams at its conclusion. Two of these exams contain Pure Mathematics and the third is split evenly between Statistics and Mechanics. The most able mathematicians are encouraged to take a second A level, Further Mathematics, for which four extra exams are taken; pupils have the opportunity to explore more abstract ideas, such as complex numbers and advanced mathematical techniques, including methods of solving differential equations.
For those pupils who wish to continue studying Mathematics after IGCSE but would find a traditional A level daunting, we offer the Pearson Edexcel level 3 qualification called Mathematics in Context. This aims to explore the direct application of Mathematics in the workplace, such as the analysis of statistical reports, and carries the same UCAS tariff as an AS level.
The Department typically enters a quarter of each suitable year group into the UK Mathematics Trust’s Senior Maths Challenge or Intermediate Maths Challenge. Pupils get the opportunity to pit their wits against imaginative multiple choice questions; the most successful candidates are selected for later rounds of the competition.
For Further Mathematicians, the Welchman Prize offers pupils the opportunity to research and write an essay and deliver a presentation on an interesting off-curriculum topic. Named after Gordon Welchman (C3 1920–25), Marlborough College’s most important mathematical alumnus, this challenge takes place halfway through their course.
Pupils can find reference books specific to the subject in the Mathematics library, which also provides a quiet space for independent study. There is an area dedicated to Mathematics in the Memorial Library and we are lucky enough to have an original edition of Newton’s Principia Mathematica in the College’s Rare Book collection.
We encourage pupils to make use of the expertise within the Department; a number of drop-in sessions are held weekly for pupils with general queries or for those in need of extra assistance.