14 Aug 2018

Mathematics in Year 9 [August 2018]

Dear parent(s) of Year 9 students
The purpose of this e-letter is to provide you with some information about our class structure in Mathematics.  To give every student the opportunity to work and thrive in a comfortable environment with other students of a similar ability, we assign students accordingly in Mathematics.
We decide the group for each student based on the class teacher’s knowledge of the student’s ability, the student’s work in Mathematics and the end of topic tests which the student take throughout the year. The topics taught will be broadly the same in each class, but in some classes there will be more detail and extension material, while others will concentrate on basic ideas, and will omit more abstract topics.
Year 9 Group Structure 2018 – 19
Extension Group: 09MA101 / 105
Students in this class will follow our extended scheme of work, based on the textbook: “Mathematics for the International student 8 MYP 3” (ISBN 978-1-876543-35-8). Students already completed about half of this text in Year 8, and will continue and complete this in Year 9. These classes contain mathematically able students who will complete the work at an advanced pace and will be able to explore extension work.  They will all be entered for the Extended IGCSE for Mathematics and most of them will also take IGCSE Additional Mathematics (Cambridge) which is an additional and more demanding Mathematics qualification.  Both these public examinations will take place at the end of Year 11.
Groups: 09MA102 / 103 / 106 / 107 (Mixed ability)
Students in these mixed ability classes will also follow a scheme of work that uses the textbook described above. They may complete less extension material than the classes above. Students who remain in these two classes take either the Core or Extended examination for IGCSE at the end of Year 1.  Most will take Extended, but a final decision on this will not be made until early in Year 11.
Group: 09MA104 / 108
Students in this class will follow the standard core course, which uses a wider range of resources. They will use the textbook above, at times, as well as other texts. This course covers the basic essentials, avoiding more abstract concepts, and forms an excellent preparation for Core Mathematics IGCSE in Years 10 and 11, while avoiding the more demanding extension work. We keep these sets deliberately small to allow more teacher contact for those who find the subject particularly difficult.  Students in these sets are likely to proceed to IGCSE Core level which has a maximum grade of C, in Years 10 and 11.
Class changes:
Students who are changing sets this academic year were informed last term and advised about their new classes.  Their new set should also be confirmed on Gateway.
We will test students regularly throughout the year. Consequently, we will be able to see if any students are misplaced, and act accordingly. These results allow us to repeat the setting process at the end of Year 9 so that students progress to a suitable IGCSE class for Years 10 and 11.
Our aim in grouping students is to find the class in which a student is most likely to succeed. There is flexibility in the system, and students can be moved at any time, if necessary. However, we prefer not to move students too much, favouring a stable teacher-student relationship wherever possible.
Yours faithfully,
Martin Astill (Head of Mathematics)