The Mathematics Department consists of 7 dedicated, enthusiastic, energetic and hard-working teachers, plus a specialist support teacher. High expectations, raising the standards of students’ achievement, enjoyment and providing quality learning experiences is highly valued. Currently the department is based in its own block of three classrooms. It also has an additional classroom and its own set of 23 laptops. The department is well equipped and has a wide range of resources.

The Mathematics Department consistently obtains very close to 100% A*- C grades at GCSE, with over 50% of the students gaining an A or A* grade. The value added scores, each year, are very high at GCSE and A Level. In recent years, A Level Mathematics value added scores have been near the top 1% nationally. Mathematics is the most popular option choice at A Level and we average approximately 90% A* – B grades, with over 35% gaining an A* grade in 2014. Many students leave Ratcliffe and study Mathematics or a related degree at high ranking universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

Academic Programme

At Key Stage 3, you are taught in sets according to ability. In Year 7, we cover a variety of topics and develop mental arithmetic skills. In Year 8, there is a Mathematics Day at Drayton Manor Theme Park, in which you will apply your knowledge of Mathematics and use basic surveying equipment to solve ‘real-life’ problems. In Year 9, you will come into contact with Pythagoras’ Theorem, Standard Form and Trigonometry. You will be tested regularly and your progress will be monitored carefully.

At GCSE, there are 5 sets and we follow the EDEXCEL Board MA01 syllabus. The majority of candidates sit the Higher Tier and a small number the Foundation Tier. AQA Level 2 GCSE Further Mathematics can be taken by those in the top sets. The GCSE course builds upon the foundations laid in Key Stage 3 with a comprehensive Scheme of Work providing plenty of opportunities for challenging and stimulating Mathematics. You will be tested regularly and your progress is carefully monitored.

At A Level, we follow the popular Edexcel syllabus. You are required to study 6 units: Core Mathematics 1-4 (C1-C4), Mechanics 1 (M1) and Statistics 1 (S1). Each examination is equally weighted and is 90 minutes duration. You are tested regularly throughout the course. You will sit three units in Year 12 and three in Year 13. The minimum entry requirement is an A grade at GCSE. In Further Mathematics, you will sit 6 units in Year 12 and a further 6 units in Year 13.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Mathematics department offers a lunchtime club on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There is also a Puzzle Club on Tuesday. Students in all Year groups are entered for the UKMT Mathematics Challenge competition and many achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold Certificates with a number progressing to sit the more challenging papers in subsequent rounds. Ratcliffe hosts, bi-annually, the UKMT Team Challenge Regional Final at Intermediate Level (Years 8 & 9) and enters the Senior (Years 12 -13) UKMT Team Challenge held at Loughborough University. You will have the opportunity to enter The House Mathematics competition which is open to all students from their respective Year groups. You may submit an entry by answering a question for your own Year group and any number of additional entries from any Year above. The number of points scored range from 5 for a correct solution to 1 for an attempted solution. New questions are posted every fortnight. You could also win a prize, which is awarded at the end of the academic year, for the student gaining the most number of House points in their respective Year group.


Mr G Higham, Head of Department –
Mrs H Smith, Second in Department –
Mrs S Clarke, Teacher of Mathematics –
Mr M Sleath, Teacher of Mathematics, Boarding Assistant –
Mrs C Cole, Teacher of Mathematics, Duke of Edinburgh -
Mrs L Evans, Teacher of Mathematics –