Hello! My name is Mrs Phillips and I have joined the team at PGHS as a maths teacher. Prior to this I have been a maths teacher at another Preston school for 15 years. What I love most about my job is how rewarding it is to help students achieve what they are capable of and being able to give them the guidance and support to do this.
In my spare time I am involved in the Scout association as a cub leader in Ormskirk. I have an 8-year-old boy and we love camping, Lego and board games.
I am a keen runner, I completed the London marathon last year and more recently completed my first 45-mile ultra-marathon.
I am really excited to be teaching here at PGHS and look forward to getting to know you in the coming weeks.
No doubt like me, you were glued to the TV on Saturday night enjoying the fabulous feast of quality music and eclectic costumes on offer from across Europe and of course Australia!
The Eurovision Song Contest brings music and maths into homes across the world. Obviously, the songs are a big part of the evening but so is the voting. Many people will sit and try and work out how many points particular countries will need to win. In fact, if you think about it, elements of maths can be found throughout Eurovision. For example, in the rhythms found in songs, in the measurements needed to build the sets and in the statistics that journalists will quote when talking about the different entries.
This edition’s challenge is a Eurovision-based logic puzzle that will get you thinking. As usual there will be a prize for correct answers that can be submitted to me in person or by email. Good luck and make sure you don’t get ‘nul points’!
There are five Eurovision acts performing in the final, each from a different country:
Italy, Spain, Sweden, Greece, and Germany
Each act has a different colour as their primary costume colour:
Red, blue, green, yellow, and pink
Each act has a different musical genre:
Pop, Rock, Electronic, Jazz, and Country
The act from Spain is wearing a red costume.
The electronic act is not from Italy.
The jazz act is wearing a blue costume.
The act from UK is not wearing a pink costume.
The rock act is from Germany.
The pop act is not from Sweden.
The act from Italy is wearing a yellow costume.
Can you work out what colour each act is wearing and what genre their song is?
Year 10 Set A recently had the opportunity to receive a taster lesson in A Level Maths/Further Maths from the Headteacher at LUSoM, Peter Tiltman.
Students were given a brief overview of what LUSoM is and where it is based. They were then informed about the importance of studying Mathematics. Students realised that studying Mathematics further leads to versatile qualifications and allows you to develop key employability skills such as problem solving, communication, logical reasoning and resilience, hence leading onto a variety of career choices. Students also saw that many other subject areas also use some form of mathematics, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Psychology, Law and many others.
According to the JCQ data, A Level Mathematics was the most popular A Level entry in 2022, showing that it is becoming an increasingly popular choice of subject (95635 exam entries in the UK).
After this, students were given a taster lesson in one of the topics in A Level Maths/Further Maths, as well as the Level 2 Qualification in Further Maths, Pascal’s triangle, leading onto the Binomial Expansion. Students were thoroughly engaged and participated well in the lesson. They realised that although GCSE Mathematics consists of many standalone topics, the further they pursue the subject, they more they will start to see the different areas of mathematics interlink.
On Wednesday 26th February, it was time for our Year 7 and 8 students to take on the annual national challenge of the UKMT Junior Mathematics Challenge 2023.
Years 7 and 8 students answer a multiple-choice quiz based on mathematical skills learnt in lessons to problem solve.
Over 4000 schools across the UK take part in this event and the standard of participation is high; only the best achieving students can receive an award and to do so, is recognition of the effort and ability of our students.
After good showings from previous year groups in their respective challenges last year, expectations were very high and I am proud to announce that this year the results were up there with our recent best. The Year 7 cohort put in a particularly good effort, receiving a large number of bronze awards.
This year’s prize winners are as follows:
Cherlotte Y (Year 7) – Best in School, Best in Year 7 and Gold award
Isabella N (Year 7) – Gold award
Emily W (Year 8) – Best in Year 8 and Silver award
Silver awards were achieved by the following:
(Year 7) Laila B, Charlotte T, Ruby M and Emily T.
Bronze awards were achieved by the following:
(Year 8) Grace I, Maisie K, Marnie D, Hana S, Maisie B, Emelia W, Poppy M, Fatima S, Evie F, Holly L, Jessica O, Grace A, Syeda A, Lily S, Tanisha S, Daisy L, Isabella S, Naomi S, Helena M, Unaisah B, Hettie C and Amber P.
(Year 7) Aaminah B, Phoebe M, Faye N, Freya G, Susannah K, Ayra K, Hannah B, Phillipa M, Abigail W, Sophie W, Phoebe B, Lilah C, Beatrix W, Amelia C, Jennifer Z, Emily H, Esme F and Eva P.
Congratulations to everybody involved.
The department is already looking forward to seeing what each year group can do in their challenges next year!
On Thursday 2nd February, Year 9 and 10 students took on the annual UKMT Intermediate Mathematics Challenge 2023.
This national event takes the form of a multiple-choice quiz based on using mathematical skills learnt in lessons to problem solve.
Over 4000 schools across the UK take part and the standard of participation is high; only the best achieving students can receive an award and to do so is recognition of the effort and ability of our students.
After good showings from both year groups in their respective challenges last year, expectations were very high and I am proud to announce that this year, the results were our best yet! There were nearly double the number of awards than has been achieved in previous years, with significant numbers of prizes in both Year 9 and Year 10. There were also a number of gold awards beating the results last year where the highest award was a silver.
This year’s prize winners are as follows:
Tasneem A (Year 10) – Best in School, Best in Year 10 and Gold Award
Saskia H (Year 9) – Best in Year 9 and Gold Award
Silver awards were achieved by the following:
(Year 10) Victoria K, Abi C, Molly T, Hannah B, Grace S and Amelia W.
(Year 9) Eden F, Naomi T, Mariella M, Emily B, Megan L and Rosie Y.
Bronze awards were achieved by the following:
(Year 10) Alice W, Millie S, Freya D, Francesca C, Libby W, Neve G, Gracie H, Bethany W, Jemima B and Gemma H.
(Year 9) Lexa K, Imogen F, Neve H, Lucy H, Phoebe B, Vidhya P, Sophie S, Eliza S and Grace D.
Congratulations to everybody involved! We are very much looking forward to the other Mathematical challenges this year.
An advanced date for your diaries:
UKMT Junior Challenge (Years 7 and 8) – Wednesday 26th April 2023
Over the STEM Festival, Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been delving into how mathematics relates to the UK financial system during some of their Maths lessons.
In Year 7, students learned about the difference between debit and credit cards. Students were very aware that a debit card gave you access to the money you had earned, whilst a credit card allows you to borrow money. Students learnt about the issues that misusing a credit card could cause.
Students also discussed when we should be using a debit card and when not to use a credit card. Some scenarios which were talked about were paying the monthly mortgage bill and paying for a holiday. Students realised that the mortgage bill should not be paid by a credit card, as we are paying back borrowed money by borrowing more money which is not financially wise. However, paying for a holiday by credit card was an advantage due to the protection given if a holiday company went into administration.
In Year 8, students were given an opportunity to learn about what to look out for on a pay slip. Although it may be quite a while before students may see one of these, the importance of seeing one now and how this links to the maths they are currently learning was invaluable.
Students were very intrigued to know about the tax code and their national insurance number and when they will receive these. We learnt about how a few numbers in the tax code could impact the amount of tax each of us pay and the amount we end up taking home.
We then moved onto looking at the deductions, learning about when we pay income tax and the brackets of income tax that we can fall into. We also looked at what national insurance is and how much we have to pay.
Overall, students were very keen to see where the money they earn goes and how tax and national insurance is calculated. Students will now be able to attempt to make an estimate on the wages they will receive into their banks in the future.
In Year 9, students were looking into the purposes of a social enterprise. This involved discussing how a business plan is produced and how money is reinvested. Social enterprises have a social or environmental mission that generates its income through trade and reinvest the majority of it profits to further its social impact.
We looked into some well known social enterprises like Divine; this company is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that 44% of farmers own. They ensure cocoa farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and receive a share of Divine’s profits.
Students in Year 10 were given the opportunity to take part in a virtual escape room in their Maths lessons. They were placed into teams of five and given a different problem in seven different ‘rooms’ in a school that they had to solve in order to escape.
The rooms were scrambled for each team so everyone completed the puzzles in a different order. As some rooms were harder than others, they didn’t know how they were doing until the very end.
After completing all the rooms, their final challenge was to decode the key cards and answer three questions in order to win. Each of the key cards they had received had different clues on them. The students had to work as a team to be able to solve the problem and ‘escape’.
As part of our continuing links with LUSoM, there are a number of taster sessions and lectures, both online and on the campus that are currently, and will be, available for students in KS4.
Twilight Taster Evening
These sessions provide opportunities for Year 11 students to gain an insight into what studying at LUSoM will be like. There will be mini-taster lessons across Maths, Physics and Computer Science and a Q&A session. This is also an opportunity to find out about the content and delivery of the curriculum, the facilities available and the opportunities beyond A-level.
100% of students attending one of the tasters have agreed that the content covered supported a variety of topics supporting curriculum and agreed the session helped in deciding on whether to apply to LUSoM.
Over 6 weeks, LUSoM invites Year 11 students who want to secure a Grade 7 in GCSE (which is the usual minimum requirement for A-level Mathematics) to join them and explore various GCSE-related topics. These sessions will deepen students’ understanding, support their revision for the GCSE Mathematics exams and prepare themselves for A-level Mathematics should they wish to continue with the subject. The sessions will be held on the following dates:
As each session will build on the previous weeks, it is important that students in Year 11 who wish to join, do attend all of the sessions to maximise the benefit of the course.
We are planning on taking students on the school minibus to the sessions which are on campus, however places are limited and they will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If students have registered for the sessions and would like to take up the offer of transport via the school minibus, please ensure they let their class teacher know.
LUSoM Aim Further
Aim Further is new programme, introduced this academic year. This 6-week intense programme has been developed for Year 11 students planning to study Further Maths at A-Level. Meeting weekly both online and on campus, the sessions will focus on problem-solving questions which stretch and challenge students’ thinking skills. Using content familiar from GCSEs but in a new context, the sessions will aim to build the rigour of students’ arguments, preparing them for the requirements of A-level Further Maths.
As each session will build on the previous weeks, it is important that students in Year 11 who wish to join do attend all of the sessions to maximise the benefit of the course.
At the moment in Year 9, we are studying Pythagoras’ Theorem. Born in 570 BC, Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who made important developments in mathematics, astronomy and the theory of music.
We have been looking at how the theorem works, as well as solving problems using the theorem. We learnt that if we label the length of the sides of a right-angled triangle a, b and c as shown, then the area of the largest square is c × c or c2 and the areas of the smaller squares are a2 and b2. We can then write Pythagoras’ Theorem as a2 + b2 = c2, allowing us to work out the length of missing sides in right angled triangles.
Firstly, we looked at how to calculate the hypotenuse, which is the longest side of a right-angled triangle and recently, we have been looking at how to justify if a triangle is right angled or not and solving problems involving using the theorem.
I have really enjoyed learning about Pythagoras’ Theorem and Miss Hasan has made it really easy to understand. I think it’s amazing that the theorem works for all right-angled triangles!
In years 7 and 8, the students have recently been brushing up on their number calculations skills. Having checked in with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, we have also been looking at the Order of Operations (you might have heard of this as BODMAS or BIDMAS), as well as knowing the different buttons available on a calculator. Below are some examples of lessons where students were successful.
Use the correct order of operations to calculate the answers then convert the answers to letters using the table provided. Unscramble the letters to find two mathematical words. Year 7 will be looking at this in the final two weeks up to Christmas.