Maths and ICT
The Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and ICT believe in learning in a methodological and conceptual way. This is why there is a big emphasis on structure, practice and accuracy when learning takes place. At a junior level, students are encouraged to appreciate the manipulation of numbers and their relevance to numeracy in the day to day life. For example, shopping, budget management and savings. At a senior level, students would look at the relevance of Mathematics from an intellectual and philosophical point of view. Questions like “Would Mathematics exist without the input of mankind or has mankind been the creators?’
Even from a religious or physics point of view, Mathematics and ICT would be intruders. How can the Strings theory which explains the creation of the universe in Physics have as basis binary digits? How would the Fibonacci series be existing in nature? How can the structure of human lungs be fractals?
Computer Science and ICT
ICT is taught to all students from Year 5 to year 9 as a separate lesson to ensure in-depth coverage as well as a good start to year 10 IGCSE courses. At examination level, ICT, as well as Computer Science, is a popular option available to all students from Y10 and above. Throughout the school,students are encouraged to use ICT in all subjects where appropriate. Each year the prep school organises a competition to collect tokens for computer parts which they then redeem and build a computer.
Northfields has campus-wide WiFi, with a broadband fibre connection to the internet. Students are issued with an email account which has 1Tb of included online storage for the duration of their time at the school. Northfields has three well-equipped computer labs and many departments have computers available for student use in the classrooms. Sixth form students are allowed to bring their personal devices and connect to the school systems for internet access to support them during study times or lessons. Northfields also has a Moodle (online content and learning system) which can support students both inside the school and when at home.
Objectives and Challenges
We intend to allow the expression of individual students to develop and help them to explore themselves by looking into their environment so that they can come up with plausible hypotheses about their surroundings and learn important truths about the world. Leaving the philosophical side, we offer a wide range of subjects for a variety of abilities. At IGCSE level, we offer IGCSE Mathematics; both core and extended, Additional Mathematics, Information and Communication Technology. At a more senior level, we offer the Cambridge A-Level Mathematics, AICT, IB Mathematics and ITGS. In the past, we have had students who came second nationally in the A-level Mathematics Examinations and other students who achieved grades 5 and 6 at higher level Mathematics.
We look at the development of students from the junior years up to the senior ones. Each level is crucial to us and we seem to be successful with what we are currently doing. For example, for the year 2014-2015, 100% of students achieved an A*-C in Additional Mathematics. At a senior level, all students who took Additional Mathematics achieved at least a C in their A-level examinations with two of them achieving A* from a group of 13 students.
Nevertheless, our aim remains to make students disciplined but at the same time explore and enjoy the subject. This is why we organize Mathematics/ICT Quizzes, Mathematics treasure hunts and provide students with opportunities to do presentations about Mathematical topics. Topics like the use of Mathematics to inform and be wise when manipulated by financial institutions or the use of algorithms in generating personalized advertisements to influence the minds of people are often discussed. We intend to shape responsible and thoughtful young citizens and the school will continue to reinforce this philosophy about education. Remedial lessons are also offered at least once a week after school hours in case students need additional help.
The Academic Programme
Year 5-6- Key Stage 2 Mathematics
The primary school Mathematics department aims at providing our students with a solid foundation in Mathematics. The aim is to equip our students with all the necessary tools and skills in order to facilitate their integration into the high school. Our curriculum is a mix of the British National Curriculum and the ISEB Curriculum
The key areas of study are:
2. Logical reasoning
3. Non-verbal reasoning
1. Real world problems – We engage students using real world situations. The ability to relate to real life situations consolidate skills learnt in class.
2. Games – We use online Maths game platforms such as Prodigy to stimulate students in a fun and exciting way.
3. Integrating different learning styles – We use a variety of strategies to cater for most learning styles. The aim is to use the senses of our students in order to facilitate learning.
4. Assessment for learning – We use a variety of strategies to test the ability and progression of our students:
i. Summative assessment – Exams and end-of-topic tests aim at developing an exams culture in our students but also give them responsibility towards their own learning.
ii. Formative assessment – We use online Maths platform such as Ten Marks and Plickers in order to assess students and gain individual reports on their progression. Ten Marks allow us to tailor revision plans for individual students.
5. Think like a mathematician –We develop maths group work in order to motivate students to communicate with each other.
6. Horizontal integration – We are developing a STEM culture whereby students are developing skills that will be cross-curricular in nature. Our students are expected to use their Mathematical skills in other fields such as Science and ICT.
Years 5 to 8 are currently being taught the British ISEB curriculum.
As From year 9, they are taught a Pre IGCSE syllabus which prepares them for years 10 and 11.
Year 10 and 11
In years 10 and 11, the students are taught Mathematics at 2 levels. The two levels are Core and Extended. The best grade one can get if one follows the core syllabus is a C grade and the best grade one can get in the extended examinations is an A*. Additional Mathematics is also offered to students who intend to study Mathematics at a higher level in Form 6. However, students doing this course will be expected to be very proficient in their Mathematics extended.
Year 12 and 13
Years 12 and 13 are taught the CAIE A level syllabus and the IB syllabus. IB Mathematics is usually offered at two different levels, Mathematics SL and Studies. Students having a good mastery of the Additional Mathematics curriculum can possibly choose Mathematics HL after consulting the head of school and the head of faculty. CAIE Mathematics is taught at two levels, namely the AS and A level. Students wanting to study AS Mathematics need at least a B grade in Mathematics extended and students wanting to study A level Mathematics need a B in Additional Mathematics.