Since 2004, a significant proportion of the mathematics department has been remodelled. This has included the introduction of two new sixth form classrooms and four interactive whiteboards. The IT department works closely with the mathematics department in delivering a statistics project for year 8 pupils. ICT features very highly in a number of mathematics activities such as video conferencing with year 6 and the cyberpet project.
Below is a sample of the activities that have taken place over the last year:
Opportunities in the Sixth-form
Finham Park works with the Further Mathematics Network, based at Warwick University, to increase the number of students who have the opportunity to access Further Mathematics. Here at Finham Park, students from local schools can study A-level Further Mathematics (an Edexcel examined subject), AS Further Mathematics (examined by MEI) in addition to the standard A-level. We offer enrichment days through video-conferencing and trips to hear lectures given by leading figures in the world of Mathematics education.
Opportunities in Key Stage 4
We offer a course in Additional Mathematics for able students in Key Stage 4 to all of our partner Secondary School. This course has been established as above GCSE level and as such is graded the same way as an A-level and has UCAS points. This course is nationally recognised as supporting both GCSE Mathematics and the transition to A-level (it also doesn't have any coursework). We offer a full revision programme for both Key stage 3 SATs and GCSEs and is open to students from local schools.
Continuing Professional Development
As a CPD Centre for Mathematics for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust we have offered an extensive programme of training concentrating upon the use of ICT in the delivery of Mathematics and Statistics. We are also a training centre for EiSS and have offered a range of training opportunities for teachers in both the primary and secondary sectors developing their knowledge in the delivery of Electronics in schools.
Finham Park achieved Training School status in 2004 and was recently awarded an extension to this contract until 2010. This process of re-designation was highly demanding and involved satisfying key criteria for the Department for Education and Science. These criteria ensure that the school offers high quality training not only to all staff within the school but also to trainee teachers who have placements at the school.
As part of our role as a Training School we work with several local universities to provide placements for their trainee teachers. This takes place in two sections, firstly in the Autumn term and the longer second placement which stretches across the Spring and Summer terms. There are many benefits to the school as a result of this status. Firstly, as a staff we are continuously looking at the teaching and learning in the classrooms and secondly is the opportunity to access new staff into the profession when we have teacher vacancies.
A particular strength of the school is the research based CPD programme that we carry out. All teachers last year participated in evidence based research which focussed on classroom practice. As a result of this teachers are able to achieve professional accreditation from the Teaching and Learning Academy which is training body of the General Teaching Council. This continual process of reflection on classroom practice allows us to be sure that students receive high quality teaching that enables high quality learning to take place.