# Mathematics Department

### Mr S Kochhar, Head of Department

What do sunflowers, rabbits and pine cones have in common? How do prime numbers provide security when shopping online? Just what are the limits on space travel? Mathematics can provide the answers…

At Thorpe House, the Mathematics Department aims to produce individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident.
Specifically, boys are encouraged to:

Recognise that mathematics has a structure that is useful in the world
Use imagination, initiative and flexibility when tackling mathematical problems
Choose the most suitable strategy to solve a problem
Interpret the results of mathematical tasks, and communicate them to others
Work independently, and co-operatively to solve a range of problems
Search for and then choose the most efficient method for any task
Experience a sense of achievement in the subject, leading to pleasure and enjoyment.

At various stages, boys are encouraged to engage in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, including mathematical challenges against other schools; World Maths Day and our own Maths Challenge Week in February. Here boys undertake a whole week of investigative work designed to enrich their curriculum. Typically, Year 5 learn about coding and cypher wheels; Year 6 use a full set of pentominoes to try and enclose the largest possible area; Year 7 look at patterns, growth sequences and find Fibonacci in nature; Year 8 examine the mathematics behind bar codes commonly used in most supermarkets – just how do they know which product you have purchased?

Bowland Maths investigations are used to extend the curriculum for the older boys, with activities that range from finding and curing ill people; searching for aliens who have abducted a maths teacher, and keeping a pizza warm! All are designed to engage and enthuse the boys, and provide stimuli for visual and kinaesthetic learners.

By the time he reaches the end of Year 11 with us, a boy will be fully equipped to succeed at GCSE level. The department has a 99% pass rate at grade C and above, with around 30% achieving A and A* grades. Additionally, he will be well prepared for studying this subject at a higher level if he chooses – and if not, well at least he will be able to say his experiences counted!