11 Aug 2016

Mathematics in Year 8 [August 2016]

Dear Parent(s) of students going into Year 8,
Students’ mathematical abilities vary widely, so we put students into sets for Mathematics. We decide on the set for each student based on the class teacher’s knowledge of the student’s ability, the student’s work in Mathematics this year and the end of topic tests which the student sits throughout the year. The topics covered next year will be broadly the same in each set, but some sets will go into more detail and extend the work, while others will concentrate more on basic ideas, and will omit some of the more abstract topics. The purpose of this e-letter is to provide you with some information about our setting structure.

Year 8 Set Structure 2016 – 2017

8BH     8GXT/BH
Sets:    08MA101 / 105
Students in these sets will follow our extended scheme of work, based on the Haese & Harris texts “Mathematics for the International Student” (Year 7 MYP 2 and Year 8 MYP 3). For details, please refer to www.haeseandharris.com.au ISBN 978-1-876543-41-9 and 978-1-876543-35-8. We expect the students in these classes to cover the material at an accelerated pace and so we will enrich their learning in Mathematics by including more complex material and possibly some extra topics. There will be challenging extension work to stretch the more mathematically able students in these sets and the pace of work will mean that students will need to take in new ideas quickly.  Students in these sets will then proceed to IGCSE at the Extended level in Years 10 and 11.
Sets:    08MA102 / 103 / 106 / 107
Students in these classes will also follow our extended scheme of work based on the same two Haese & Harris texts described above. These classes will cover the work at a steady pace and will be able to explore some extension material.  Students in these classes may go on to take either the Core or Extended IGCSE examination at the end of Year 11. This will depend on their progress throughout Years 8, 9 and 10, and a final decision will not be made until early in Year 11.
Sets:    08MA104 / 108

Students in these Growth Sets will follow the standard core course based mainly on the same Haese & Harris texts described above. This will be supported where necessary by other resources, to provide extra help for students who find this subject challenging at times. These classes are kept deliberately smaller to allow more teacher contact for those who find the subject particularly difficult.  Most students in these sets are likely to proceed to IGCSE Core which has a maximum grade of C, in Years 10 and 11, although no final decision is made on this until Year 11.

Set changes:
Students who are changing sets next academic year have been told by their current class teacher along with which class they are moving into.  Once the school’s database has been updated and confirmed at the start of August an email will be sent directly to you confirming your child’s new Mathematics class.


During the course of the year students will be assessed by regular tests on the material covered. Consequently, we will be able to see if any students are misplaced, and act accordingly. These results allow us to refine the setting process at the end of Year 8 so that students progress to a suitable set for Year 9.

Our aim in setting students is to find the set in which a student is most likely to succeed. There is flexibility in the system, and students can be moved at any time when necessary. However, we prefer not to move students too much, favouring a stable teacher-student relationship wherever possible. I hope this e-letter will clarify any concerns you may have with regard to your child’s Mathematics set which will be confirmed at the start of the next academic year in August.
Please note that students will require only a simple scientific calculator for Mathematics in Year 8 – Texas Instruments model TI-30XB Multiview or similar. They should already have this from Year 7; replacement calculators may be purchased from the stationery shop at school.
Yours faithfully,
Martin Astill (Head of Mathematics)