Mathematics is our daily companion whether we just want to figure out when to leave the house to be on time for a meeting, check whether we got the correct change or whether we use more advanced maths as part of our jobs.
Our mathematics teachers are very enthusiastic about their subject and their enthusiasm is contagious. We believe that students learn mathematics best by doing it themselves and our teachers see themselves as facilitators of this learning process.
Mathematics is more than just calculating; it is reasoning, analysing, selecting, sketching, interpreting, proving, modelling and deducing. Skills that can later in life be applied to many situations.
There are different ways of discovering and practising mathematics, be it through games, puzzles, or investigations, but we know ultimately that experience makes the mathematician.
We prepare our students for the 11+ exam taken in Year 6, the 13+ taken in Year 8 and the GCSE taken at the end of Year 11.
In the sixth form we prepare our students for the AS exams in Year 12 and the A-level at the end of Year 13.
Times Tables Challenge
If you hear students of all ages practising their times tables in the corridors, then it is a fairly safe bet that the Times Tables Challenge is drawing closer. The excitement is palpable.
The first round is a timed exercise in the classroom where each student has to answer 100 times tables questions. The current record is 1 minute 21 seconds, set by a Year 8 student in the Summer 2013 competition.
The three best students then move into the semi-finals to represent their year group. Here they have to work as a team to solve 300 tasks.
The final then consists of the three best teams fighting it out in front of all the students who took part in round 1. The atmosphere in the Main Hall when the finalists battle it out is great. One can hear a pin drop as round after round the teams gather points to win the ultimate prize: reigning Times Tables Champions.
This competition was brought into life in order to give students that push now and then that they need to know their times tables. Whilst the times tables play a big role in the Lower Years curriculum, once in the Middle or even Upper Years we do not spend time on such basics. However, coming back after the summer holidays we do put emphasis on their learning again and the competition brings a fun side to it. The students love the fact that they are timed and see how from challenge to challenge their time improves.
The Lower Years have another Times Tables Challenge in the Summer Term as they focus far more on their times tables during lessons.
Here is what the UKMT website has to say for itself: The UKMT Individual Maths Challenges are lively, intriguing multiple choice question papers, which are designed to stimulate interest in maths in large numbers of pupils. The three levels cover the secondary school range 11-18 and together they attract over 600,000 entries from over 4,000 schools and colleges.
We take part in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Challenges and have had quite a few bronze, silver and gold medals over the past couple of years. Going over the papers it is always interesting to see how students tackle problems and how their understanding manifests itself.
Tycoon in Schools
This year is the second year that this competition has been running. Spearheaded by Peter Jones, the competition encourages students to think up a business, write a business plan and then start their business if they get the loan from Tycoon in Schools.
Hampton Court House students have been successful both years in securing a loan.
Last year our company Abutralec ran a photography business and made a very good profit. This year’s company is called MyCard HCH and offers Christmas Card Craft Kits for sale. Trading finishes at the end of November, check on Tycoon in Schools our team’s progress.
World Maths Day
HCH Maths Day takes place in the Spring term and we take the opportunity to set different challenges to all students from Nursery up to Year 11.
Most challenges take place in the theatre with sometimes 2 or 3 year groups being there at the same time. The younger students are excited by being set tasks by the teachers of the “bigger children” and the older students enjoy having to solve puzzles that stretch them and give them the opportunity to test their insight.