We, as a department, consist of thirteen full time, qualified professionals who make every effort to work as a team towards every student fulfilling their potential in Mathematics. We are committed to the provision of high quality teaching through ongoing development of our practises and resources. We have twelve dedicated teaching classrooms housed in our ‘C Block’, and are regularly revising and updating our resources.
We believe that:
- Students will make very good progress if they are excited, stimulated, valued, praised and challenged.
- Students will become better individuals if we create caring learning environments where they can develop skills for collaboration, resilience, supportiveness, communication and independence and will be ready for further education and life beyond education.
- Students will be the best mathematicians they can be if we always challenge them, encourage mastery, communicate mathematically, get them to see and use Mathematics beyond the curriculum and across other curriculums and cultures.
The Mathematics Department at Dubai College has an outstanding record of achievement at both GCSE and GCE of which we are very proud.
Students follow a three-year ‘KS3 Maths Progress delta’ course which embeds evidence based approaches to create confident and numerate students able to progress to KS4 and beyond. Each year the course is based around 10 key principles designed to nurture confidence and raise achievement.
Students are taught in bands in Year 7 and then sets in Year 8 onwards, which facilitates greater scope for support and extension when required.
The GCSE course followed is Edexcel mathematics 1MA1 (9-1) Higher.
Currently, the top two sets take this examination in Year 10 and then progress onto an Additional Mathematics course in Year 11, whilst the remaining students take the GCSE at the usual time in their Year 11.
Last year all students taking the GCSE course (1MA1) passed with grades 4-9, and we had 96.7% achieving grades 6-9, and 90.8% achieving a grade 7-9 (which is equivalent to the legacy A-A*grade).
In September 2017 we embarked on the new Edexcel A-Level Mathematics 2017, and the Edexcel A-Level Further Mathematics 2017, linear courses.
We are currently the largest single subject choice in Dubai College at A-Level. In the coming year we will have ten Mathematics classes starting in Year 12 for and two Further Mathematics classes. We split the teaching between two teachers in each case so that a student can gain a more varied approach and support than with just one.
Last year, 92.2% of the A-Level students gained an A* - B grade in Mathematics and 74.4%, of the smaller cohort, gaining a grades A* - B in Further Mathematics.
What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?
There are many skills that are required to be a successful Mathematics Teacher: The ones that are perhaps the most obvious are a strong subject and curriculum knowledge; however, these alone are not enough. It is the relationships that are built up between a teacher and their class as well as a teacher and an individual student that makes the difference. A student has to trust that their teacher will provide the best learning environment for them, feel supported and enthused to learn. This is earned by the teacher through being many of the following: hardworking, committed, prepared, flexible, caring, enthusiastic, consistent and finally being the best human they can be. It is safe to say that the teaching team in the Mathematics department fills all these criteria and more. We all give freely of our own time when required for any student in the school.
What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?
To be successful in mathematics, a student needs to master skills and become fluent in using them; however, to become a successful mathematician they also need to understand what they are doing (critically analyse), make mistakes and learn from them, be inquisitive and be able to use their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar situations (problem solve).
We are very lucky to have very many able students at Dubai College, who enjoy going beyond simply doing maths to get a good examination result, as evidenced by participation in the open problem of the week and the numerous competitions that are made available.
In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?
DC is special because of the relationships and trust that exists between everyone in the community. For the staff who work here, whether a teaching or support, it is more than simply a job, and for the students I believe it is more than somewhere they have to go. We are all invested in maintaining the exceptional reputation that we have, whilst individually being able satisfy our own life aims.
Who or what inspires you?
I don’t want to sound cliché, but I am inspired by our student’s drive and persistence. There is so much talent, in so many fields (academic, creative, sporting and caring), that it is easy to dismiss the blood and sweat that is used to develop these talents and become our best possible self.
Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.
When I first started secondary school I totally flunked a very important maths test through nerves, and was then put in the bottom of 10 maths sets. My teacher did not notice for a full year that I was able to do all the work in no time at all, and that I was teaching and helping the other students in the class more effectively than her. At the end of the year I ensured that I was fully prepared for the examinations and performed well enough to be placed in one of the top sets the following year. It was this experience, and my continued love for Mathematics that drove me to do a degree in Mathematics and Education with the aim of becoming a teacher. Perhaps without this experience I would now be working in business or a hospital and fulfilling the aspirations my parents had for me at the time! Please note they could not be prouder now, that I am Head of Mathematics at Dubai College.
Mrs P Tragett, Head of Mathematics