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Orchard School Bristol

Mathematics 

In order to understand the universe you must understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics.

- Galileo

Maths underpins so much of our world. It is through mathematics that we have made the great leaps in human history and continue to develop our understanding of the world around us. Mathematics has been, and will continue to be, pervasive and fundamental to the advance of human civilisations for generations. From early arithmetic methods and the use of geometry to navigate via the stars; through to contemporary pattern recognition to combat diseases; understanding social processes such as criminology and demographics; the use of algebra and iterative simulations for tracking and forecasting of meteorological, climatic and tectonic hazards; understanding number patterns for developing cryptographic security; engineering the next megastructures; managing the global economy; stimulating technological advances such as search engine optimisation and artificial intelligence; and sharpening our understanding of the origins of our universe through to the future discovery of life on other planets – maths really is the keystone to learning. 

We believe that everyone can experience the moment of pure joy and satisfaction that occurs when a mathematical concept is understood.  Our curriculum is based on the belief that everyone, regardless of previous experiences, has the ability to fulfil their potential in Maths. This can be done through determination, practice and a willingness to learn. Our honing of students’ resilience is central to their success. We strive to ensure that our students leave Orchard School secure in the knowledge that mathematics will never be a barrier to them in life and will instead provide them with opportunities to succeed and succeed in their chosen path. 

Staff Profiles

  • Mr Niall Cullen, BEng (Hons), PGCE - Head of Faculty

I graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a degree in Electronic Engineering. I worked as a Network Engineer before deciding on a career change and training as a teacher. I have a special interest in coding and programming as well as Latin American history and culture.

  • Mrs Tasmina Ahmed, BSc (Hons), PGCE  - Second in Maths

I graduated from Aston University with a degree in Maths and Computer Science. I then went on  to The University of Birmingham to gain my PGCE qualification. I’ve always had a love and enthusiasm for numbers. Having worked in a diverse number of schools in different mathematical roles, I have a passion to help pupils succeed in education to achieve their full potential.

  • Ms Alexandra Badea, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in Architecture and, after a spell working in an architecture company, I decided to specialise in Maths and start my teacher training. I am passionate about Maths and education, and I believe every child can learn Maths. 

  • Miss Rachael Cox, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from Plymouth University with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics and went on to train as a teacher at the University of Bristol. Alongside being passionate about supporting trainee and early career teachers, I am also a keen sportsperson and try to encourage all students to partake in extra-curricular activities.

  • Ms Laura Evans, BA (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Chichester with a degree in Childhood, Youth and Society and then went on to complete a Mathematics Enhancement Course and PGCE at Bath Spa University. I am a maths examiner for two examination boards. I have a passion for Restorative Justice and am currently working towards my National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders.

  • Ms Sophie Hampton, MA (Hons), PGDE

I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Philosophy and Mathematics. I then taught English as a foreign language in Hanoi, Vietnam before returning to the UK to complete the Teach First teacher training programme. I have a firm belief that every student can be successful in mathematics, and I seek to foster a love of maths for all students.

  • Ms Sarah Hardy BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics with Teaching. I am passionate about making Maths education a positive experience for all and have a particular interest in health and wellbeing within schools.

  • Mrs Bev Jervis, BSc (Hons), ACA, PGCE

I graduated from the University of Leicester with a degree in Psychology and went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, specialising  in Forensic Accountancy.  I retrained as a Mathematics teacher and now specialise in interventions to help students gain confidence in mathematics and to maximise their potential. 

  • Mr Ruori McIntyre, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from UWE with a degree in Mathematics. My final year project was on Cryptography, and how our bank accounts and emails can be kept safe into the future. I am heavily invested in making sure our students grow up with a focus on empathy and compassion. I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching.

  • Miss Phoebe Pham, BSc (Hons), MSc, QTS

I studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics and went on to graduate from Warwick University with a degree in Economics. I also obtained a Masters in Business and Management from Bath Spa University. Due to my background in Economics, my favourite strand of Maths is Statistics. I am also a trained English as a Foreign Language teacher with a CELTA qualification.

Curriculum Features 

Our curriculum is designed to build on students’ prior learning through Maths Mastery. With this approach, students develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. This encourages students to further develop resilience, to become independent learners while also developing problem solving skills which can be applied in any context. Inherent in the curriculum is a foundation of support and opportunity for all students to maximise their progress regardless of prior attainment in maths. 

In Year 7 we consolidate and stretch the fundamental elements of Number in Mathematics before introducing algebraic concepts. We develop these skills across other areas of mathematics throughout the year. In Year 8 we further develop students’ algebraic fluency and their problem solving skills. We also introduce the concepts of probability, sequences and data analysis. 

From this strong platform, our students embark on the GCSE curriculum: a curriculum rich in content with further opportunities for them to develop their mathematical and problem solving skills.