RE Today Magazine

As part of their Hindu studies, year 7 students explore how the caste system has changed over the years. Lat Blaylock, the editor of the RE Today magazine heard about the work we were doing in class and was so impressed he wanted to share it in his magazine! 

Miss Brooks shared some of the work from her class with him and he selected his favourites to be published in the magazine. These students were also selected to be interviewed and their responses have been published alongside Miss Brooks’ interview in the magazine.

Congratulations to students, Florence W, Kaitlyn C and Ruby C!

Miss Brooks

Teacher of RE 

Posted in RE

Hegarty Heroes

With the addition of Hegarty Maths to the Maths department, we are handing out rewards to those showing maximum effort into furthering their understanding. Below are the top 3 students for each year:

Year 7 – Number of questions completed

Erin G – 325

Erica C – 306

Lakshmi S – 290

Year 8 – Number of questions completed

Eden F – 248

Grace B – 199

Vidhya P – 195

Year 9 – Number of questions completed

Abigail P – 354

Ella H – 217

Jemima B – 197

Year 10 – Number of questions completed

Bridget C – 363

Maryam M – 279

Isabella W – 237


Mr Cafferkey

Maths Department

Mr McVey’s Mysterious Maths – Exam Edition

GCSE Question Challenge in the style of the popular game show ‘The 1% Club’

As we enter GCSE exam season, I thought it would be interesting to see how students from years 7 to 10 (and parents!!) would fare on a series of GCSE Maths problem solving exam questions. Below are 5 such problems, each increasing in difficulty. Can you solve some or maybe even all of them?

Any student or parent who provides the correct solutions to the problems to Mr McVey either in person or by email, will be able to claim a fantastic reward!

Disclaimer: the percentages shown for the difficulty level of each question are not based on any actual data or survey – indeed, they have been completely made up by the author!

United Kingdom Mathematics Trust – Junior Mathematical Challenge 2022

At the end of April, it was finally time for our Year 7 and 8 students to take on the challenge of the UKMT Junior Mathematics Challenge 2022. This annual event has been sorely missed over the last couple of years and the mathematics department were keen to get students re-engaged with this event. Past results have been very encouraging and we were looking forward to seeing if our current cohort could match up to our previous success.

120 students from Years 7 and 8 took part this year. They were up against students from over 4000 other schools across the UK. The standard of participation is high, where only the best achieving students can receive an award.

Once again, the mathematics department is delighted to report that a significant number of students were recognised for their individual performances. Year 8 performed admirably with 29 students receiving awards. Year 7 also set a high standard for their first attempt at the challenge with 22 students achieving an award. These represent some of our best ever results and sets a high standard for our current Year 7s to live up to next year when they will take the challenge again.

Furthermore, Eden F and Megan L in Year 8, not only achieved the joint best results in school, they were also invited to take part in the follow up event, the Junior Mathematical Kangaroo 2022. This extra event is there to recognise the top achievers in the Junior Mathematical Challenge. The Junior Mathematical Kangaroo Challenge will take place on 14th June 2022 and we are very much looking forward to seeing how our students perform.

This year’s prize winners are as follows:

Eden F and Megan L (Year 8) – Best in School, Best in Year and Gold award.

Lily S (Year 7) – Best in Year and Silver award.

Silver awards also went out to the following students:

(Year 8) Harriet C, Lucy H, Deanna K, Nusaibah B, Marielle M, Rosie Y, Melanie W, Phoebe B, Maisy E, Saskia H, Niamh L, Aysha M and Tilly C.

(Year 7) Poppy M, Daisy L, Natalia N, Holly R, Tanisha S, Amber P, Maisie B, Uswa H and Fiza M.

Bronze awards also went out to the following students:

(Year 8) Neve H, Naomi T, Lexie P, Grace C, Evie H, Rebecca L, Eva M, Sophie S, Elizabeth N, Eliza S, Lydia W, Elizabeth B, Vidhya P and Charlotte P.

(Year 7) Zainab M, Ana C, Naomi S, Aminah A, Molly B, Syeda F, Olivia H, Helena M, Grace A, Imogen C, Saniya S and Emily W.

Congratulations to all students involved! You have set a very high standard to follow next year.

Mr S Cheal

The Mathematics Department

Year 9 Edge Hill University Mathematics Challenge 2021 – 2022

Since the last article post back in March 2022, Edge Hill University have informed us that both teams in Year 9 have successfully made it through to Stage 2 of the competition. This is a fantastic achievement and the students should be very proud of themselves!

The Edge Hill University Mathematics Challenge is an annual competition organised by the Faculty of Education specifically for Year 9 (England and Wales), S2 (Scotland) and Year 10 (Northern Ireland) students.

The challenge aims to immerse students in mathematics whilst making the subject fun. It provides students with the opportunity to tackle engaging mathematical activities whilst developing teamwork and communication skills. It also allows students to explore alternative ways of solving problems; skills which are transferable in the real world.

The teams that entered are:

Team 1: ‘The Mathia’ (Alice W, Libby W, Savo A, Jennah K and Maisie W)

Team 2: ‘The Calcoholics’ (Tasneem A, Gracie H, Victoria K, Fatima K and Abi C)

Both teams have now been sent another set of problems to choose from. The problems presented in each stage of the competition are very different from the mathematical work associated with Key Stage 3 and 4 Mathematics as this time, they must make explicit their use of computer technology in solving the question.

If the students are successful at this stage of this competition, they will be invited to Edge Hill University to present their answer in July to a panel of judges.

Best of luck to both teams!

Miss Hasan

Maths Department

International Women in Mathematics Day

What is it?

International Women in Mathematics Day is a new holiday that started last year in order to honour the Iranian Mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani, who is the first woman to win the Fields Medal. Maryam was born on the 12th May 1977 so the celebration of her achievements will be on the 12th of May, as this is her birthday.

What did Maryam achieve?

In her junior and senior years of high school, she won the gold medal for mathematics in the Iranian National Mathematics Olympiad, thus allowing her to bypass the national college entrance exam. In 1994, when she was just 17 years old, she became the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Hong Kong, scoring 41 out of 42. The following year, she was the first Iranian to achieve the full score and to win two gold medals. When she was 19, she managed to publish her very first book, ‘Elemental Number Theory, Challenging Problems’.

Later in her career, she became a professor at Stanford University. Maryam devoted her study time at the University focusing on Moduli Spaces (parameterising a closed surface by using algebraic sequences) and Riemann Surfaces (when you take a plane and you bend a deform it without tearing it). She was the first person to solve the problem of counting Simple Closed Geodesics (the shortest paths between two points on closed curved surfaces) by using the research that she had been committed to on these Moduli Spaces. Before her work, there were ways to estimate the upper bound of these Geodesics but she was the first person to allow for a concrete method of getting the values (albeit, a hard method).

What are we going to do?

Next year, we will be celebrating this day to inspire the students and to honour Maryam. We may have a future Maryam Mirzakhani just waiting to be awarded their medal!

Mr Rhodes

Teacher of Mathematics

Mastering Ratio and Proportion using Ratio Tables at PGHS

The mathematics department have been working collaboratively to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics through a ‘mastery’ approach.

We all strive to teach identified topics with an agreed approach for understanding so that if students move sets or change teachers, they are not confused by different teaching styles. Our new approach for year 7 is using ratio tables to teach ratio, direct proportion and multiplicative reasoning. The aim is to embed this through KS3 and KS4 but we are only at the start of our journey here.

We have identified other topics within mathematics that we will use with this approach. We will then use this across the curriculum in other subjects that use direct proportion, for example, Science, Food Technology and Art.

One of our aims is to use different representations and thus help learners understand mathematical concepts via multiple channels in a better way.

The following areas of mathematics can also use ratio tables:

  • Fractions
  • Percentages
  • Best value for money
  • Conversions
  • Recipe problems
  • Construction, measuring and scale
  • Straight line graphs and calculating the gradient
  • Scatter diagrams
  • Enlargement and similarity
  • Rates
  • Trigonometry
  • Capture, recapture

Below is an example of how direct proportion can be taught using the ratio tables moving from the unitary method.

Example of a solving a recipe question using a ratio table.

Ant is making a spicy soup for 11 people. He uses 25ml of Tabasco sauce. Bea is making the same soup for 33 people. How much Tabasco sauce should she use?

Example of using a ratio table for similar shapes

Example of using a ratio table for money conversions.

6 Australian Dollars are worth 27 Argentine Pesos. What are 20 Australian Dollars worth?

What I really like about ratio tables are the use of fractions. Students will need to be confident with:

  • converting fractions from mixed numbers to improper fractions and vice versa.
  • Understanding that dividing by 2 is the same as multiplying by a half etc.
  • Converting between fractions and decimals.
  • Multiplying by fractions.
  • Simplifying fractions.
  • Understanding that multiplication can make the outcome smaller and not always bigger.

The above skills will improve their fluency in fractions. 

Mrs Sweeney

Curriculum Leader for Mathematics

Year 9 Mock Trial Competition

As part of the mock trial that year 9 students participated in earlier this term, Heather and Maisie submitted entries to the Court Reporter and Court Artist competition. Heather has written a fantastic piece using the trial as a means to explore the issues of appropriate online behaviour and culpability for crimes committed on the internet. Maisie contributed by completing a superb sketch of a key moment of the trial and the prosecution’s examination of key witnesses. Here is the article along with the artwork.

Mr Herbert

Curriculum Leader for History

History Haiku Challenge 2022

May has seen the History Department hold the ‘History Haiku Challenge’. Students from across Years 7, 8 and 9 were all invited to submit a haiku inspired by one of the topics they have studied in History since September.

We were flooded with entries and it was a very difficult job judging who the three winners from each year group would be. Thank you to everyone who entered and well done to the following students:

Year 7:

William Wallace

A hero to all the Scots

Hanged drawn and quartered                    

Lauren B (7RSN)


The monastery 

Many monks live peacefully 

Rules of Benedict                                          

Keonie B (7GFO)


They are changing us

Normans forcing us to build

Their castles of wood                                    

Sian K (7GFO)


Year 8:

Expanding westwards

Native people forced to change

Unable to hunt                                               

Phoebe B (8RFR)


Lincoln v Davis

Loyalty will be tested

A fight for freedom                                     

Hattie C (8EHO)


On the Pendle Hill

Women wrongfully murdered

False claims of magic                                  

Eden F (8NRH)


Year 9:

Waiting in the lines

Trapped by the German forces

But then came the boats                             

Lottie J (9RMV)


Called up to defend

Leaving behind family

When will I be home?                                  

Heather P (9SHS)


Dead man on the road

Let’s play a trick on Hitler

Fake news in dead hands                             

Olivia S (9SHS)

Mr Bretherton, Teacher of History

PGHS Success at Preston’s College

We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the success of Lauren I in Year 11, who has attended Preston’s College one afternoon a week to study Hair and Beauty for the last two years and was recently given two awards in recognition of her achievement.  Lauren has also secured an apprenticeship with a local hairdressers and we’re sure she has a great career ahead of her.

Here’s what was said about Lauren at the Awards Ceremony last week:

The Innovation Award has been given to an individual who has excelled throughout their 2 years at college.  They give great thought to their work and put forward their own ideas with confidence and enthusiasm. It is worth noting that they also worked well during lockdown and independently produced a hair design booklet in one afternoon, sending it to the tutor at 7pm that evening. Lauren I

The Overall Award for Hair.  This award has been given to a learner who over the 2 years of being at college has been consistent in her approach to her work.  She has worked independently but also works well as part of a team. She has shown maturity and professionalism and has blossomed into an exceptional young lady. We wish her well on her chosen career path after recently securing an apprenticeship with Carmen Smith who owns Images in Penwortham and lectures at Preston College. Lauren I

Preston’s College

  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award
  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award