Well done to Year 11!

We would also like to say a huge well done to all Year 11 students on the completion of their exams.  We have been really impressed with their excellent attitude to learning and resilience throughout their last few weeks of school.  Although faced with the challenge of lockdown learning and extra-long lessons during Year 10, all students worked incredibly hard.  We would like to take the opportunity to wish you all the best, both with your results and whatever you choose to go on to do in September!

Mrs Sweeney

Lead Practitioner of Mathematics

Mysterious Maths Superstars

A special shout out to Hannah S and Erica C in Year 7 for regularly getting involved in the ‘Mysterious Maths’ puzzles that have appeared on the newsletters this year. Both girls have had to think outside the box to answer some pretty tricky questions at times!

It was a great privilege to present Erica and Hannah with their certificates of excellence earlier this week.

It has been fun compiling the various puzzles and challenges this year and great to see students taking the time to apply their mathematical skills to more unusual problems. I look forward to lots more mysterious maths next year!

Mr McVey

Maths Department

Calculating the area and permiter of 2D shapes

In Year 10, we have been learning about calculating the area and perimeter of 2D shapes.  Shapes that we have been looking at include rectangles, triangles, parallelograms and trapeziums.

Below is a problem that we looked at using perimeters of congruent rectangles. Have a go and see if you can answer the problem!

Area and perimeter

The word congruent means that two (or more) objects have the exact same size even if one is a rotation of the other. What this means is that all of the bricks in the question are all of the same length

The word perimeter describes the total distance around all of the shape.


When we look at the yellow highlighted sections, they all represent the same height of 13cm.

Since there are two of them on the bricks in the left-hand side, there total is 2 x 13 = 26cm. This means the remaining height (the red arrow) has got to be 33 – 26 = 7cm.

Since the red arrow is 7cm, the total of the two blue arrows must be 13 – 7 = 6cm. Since the two blue arrows are 6cm, each one must be 3cm.


If you would like any further explanation on the problem, please come and see me and I will explain.


Mr Rhodes

Maths Department

Types of Infinity

Set A in year 8 have recently covered a topic of work on primes, factors and multiples. Whilst considering if the square root of any square number resulted in two answers whilst identifying that the cubed root of any cube number can only have one distinct solution, the concept of infinity arose. It was decided that this might be a good stopping off point for further investigation.

  1. Firstly, the class had to identify how large infinity actually is and without putting too fine a point on it, infinity is infinity large. However, it was soon discovered that some versions of infinity were clearly of a different size to others
  2. Consider the set of even integers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,…There are clearly an infinite number of numbers in this group.
  3. However, now consider the set of natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,…Now, as this includes all of the even numbers and all of the odd numbers, this is twice the size of the set of even integers.
  4. Therefore, the set of natural numbers = 2 x (the set of even numbers)

                                                                                   =  2 x infinity

                                                                                   = infinity

We then looked at all the decimals between 0 and 1 to find out there are more numbers in this set than there are natural numbers.

  1. We have already agreed that the set of natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4,…) is infinite.
  2. If we now put 0. in front of each number (0.1, 0.2, 0.3,…) this is essentially the same set which is infinitely large.
  3. We can also repeat this with 0.0 (0.01, 0.02, 0.03,…) to give another infinitely large set
  4. Now carry this on, adding an extra 0 place holder each time (0.001, 0.002,….)
  5. You can repeat this an infinite number of times.
  6. Therefore, the set of decimals between 0 and 1 = infinity x (the set of natural numbers)                                           
  7. = infinity x infinity  = infinity²   = infinity

It was at this point that we decided to move on, before it all got too big to comprehend!

If you are interested in the concept of infinity, then the following video clips may help you get started:

Infinity is bigger than you think – Numberphile      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvOZm0d4H0

The Infinite Hotel Paradox – Jeff Dekofsky               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj3_KqkI9Zo

Mr S Cheal

Mathematics Department

Mr McVey’s Mysterious Maths – Probability Escape Room Challenge

Imagine you are trapped in a maths classroom and can only escape by finding the code for the door! The code can only be found by working out the answers to the series of probability questions below.

The code is formed by the last digit in the answer to question a, the denominator in question b, the first digit in the numerator of question c and the first digit in the answer of question d.

Can you find the code?

Provide your correct answers to Mr McVey by the end of term to receive a special prize!

Mr McVey

Maths Department

Sparx Maths

A few weeks ago, some of the classes in Year 9 trialled a new online homework system we will be using from September called ‘Sparx Maths’. Sparx Maths is the updated version of Hegarty Maths, and although it was initially met with mixed responses from some students, the vast majority think it is an improvement on Hegarty Maths overall.

Although the set homework does usually take a little longer to complete, the additional time spent doing the homework is very useful practice and revision for future assessments, including our GCSEs. This is because the main difference to the traditional online homework tasks, is the addition of ‘bookwork checks’. For each question that is answered, the accompanying ‘bookwork code’ must be written in your exercise book along with the working out and answer for that question. This is very useful practice for assessments and exams because it allows students to become familiar with writing out their workings for each question (which is something which you must do because it can get you method marks at GCSE), and it can also be used as revision material.

When revising, students can go through their prior homework and use them to revise all different areas of Maths and also use their old homework as example revision questions. Furthermore, the videos on Sparx Maths that accompany each question, in comparison to one per homework on Hegarty, gives students a greater, in-depth introduction to each topic and are very useful sources to use if you are struggling with your work.

In addition, there is an added times tables feature which is part of the weekly homework. When this is completed well, we are rewarded with online stickers, which some of the students really love because they are cute and fun! We can collect sticker packs which gives students motivation to practise their times tables, something which is important in Maths.

Therefore, despite the slightly increased time to do the homework due to having to write out all the answers, Sparx Maths is an improvement on Hegarty. It will hopefully ensure that all students have the best possible homework experience available to them.

Year 9

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:

Mr Cafferkey

Maths Department

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

  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider