The Maths & IT Faculty

Emma Williams
Head of Maths & IT    Email –





 To most outsiders, modern mathematics is unknown territory. Its borders are protected by dense thickets of technical terms; its landscapes are a mass of indecipherable equations and incomprehensible concepts. Few realize that the world of modern mathematics is rich with vivid images and provocative ideas

  Ivars Peterson

What does it mean to be a Fearnhill Student?

At Fearnhill, we expect you to:

Be able to recall your times tables (up to 12).
– Come to school prepared with your maths equipment with you for every maths lesson (pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, compass, and calculator).
– Attempt to use mathematical vocabulary during your maths lessons.
– Follow the maths department expectations when presenting your work.
– Work collaboratively with peers and have mathematical discussions.
– Regularly use online resources for independent learning.
– Engage fully in your homework, completing it to the best of your ability.

We will give you the following opportunities during your years at Fearnhill.
How many can you do?

-Participate in a UK Maths Challenge.
– Represent your house in a Fearnhill Mathalon.
– Regularly participate in times tables challenges.
– Raise money for the NSPCC on National Number Day.
– Participate in a maths puzzle during form time.
– Become Maths student of the half term.
– Attend homework club to receive support or challenge yourself further.
– KS3 students have the opportunity to assist with the running of the primary mathalon.
– KS4 students have the opportunity to coach KS3 students by assisting with homework club.
– KS5 students have the opportunity to coach KS4 students by running intervention sessions.





Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
In year 7, we cover topics such as place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percentages, substitution, sequences and angles. Our scheme of work focuses on helping the students understand the topics at a much deeper level. We use a variety of resources including My Maths which is an online maths resource.  In year 8, we cover topics such as prime numbers, indices, solving equations, ratio, proportion, percentage change, perimeter, area, volume, statistical graphs and averages. Our scheme of work focuses on helping the students understand the topics at a much deeper level. We use a variety of resources including My Maths which is an online maths resource. In Year 9, we cover topics such as probability, formulae, graphs, sequences, quadratics and extended number skills. We focus on developing students’ ability to solve problems in a range of contexts and become independent learners. Students start studying the GCSE content from June, when they are introduced to some of the statistics topics which are part of the Stats GCSE specification. Our aim in Year 9 is to provide all students with a secure foundation of maths skills and confidence on which to build at KS4.
Maths GSCE 9-1 Assessment DescriptorMy Maths link

Year 10 Year 11
GCSE Statistics. The students complete a GCSE in Statistics at the end of the year 10 where they have the opportunity to gain an extra maths GCSE a year earlier than their GCSEs in Year 11. The overall grade is split with 75% of the grade coming from the exam and 25% of the grade coming from a piece of controlled assessment. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain an insight in to how it feels to sit a proper GCSE in Maths. Students will cover all topics from the new syllabus for Maths GCSE which is graded 9 – 1. They will learn how to unpick complex problems and will learn to apply their maths skills to multi-step problems There are a huge range of resources available to students, including My Maths, Method Maths, Pixl Maths app. These are online based resources which have practice questions, lessons and exam style questions for the students to practice. The Pixl Maths app also have PowerPoint and therapy videos available which can help students with their revision.

Maths GSCE 9-1 Assessment DescriptorMy Maths linkMethod Maths linkPixl Maths link

Year 12 Year 13
The current Year 12s are the last cohort of students to follow this model for A level mathematics. The new Maths A level will be taught for the first time in September 2017 and this has a slightly different structure to the existing model for A level Mathematics.  Students study 3 modules in this year which combine with their Year 12 results to make up the A level qualification. The modules studied are Core 3, Core 4 and Mechanics 1. Students can also continue the further maths A level.  Student will build on the foundations of key topics such as integration and differentiation and develop their knowledge further.

Gifted and Talented

Students have the opportunity to participate in the annual UK Maths Challenges at the Junior, Intermediate and Senior level. Some students regularly get through to the follow-on rounds. We also enter students in the team challenges which take place in Cambridge.
Two students in Year 9 regularly participate in the University of Hertfordshire Masterclasses.
Some students in Year 11 have the opportunity of studying for an ‘Additional Maths’ qualification, as well as their GCSE Maths.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Maths Homework club runs every lunch time in the computer rooms in the Maths block. There is always a maths teacher available to help the students with any problems the students may have. All students are welcome at any time to get support or extra work in maths from their teachers. A trip is organised every year for some students in Year 10 to visit a college in Cambridge. The morning is spent looking around the college and the afternoon is spent at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences taking part in maths activities



Do we need to buy text books?
No, we provide all text books that students need.
Do we need a calculator?
Yes, though they are not used every lesson, students should have their own Scientific calculator. Throughout their time at Fearnhill, we will teach them how to use it effectively in preparation for their GCSE exams.
What other equipment will they need?
Pen, pencil, ruler, eraser, protractor and a pair of compasses.



The Computing Faculty

About the faculty

Look at the world around us; you are never far away from a computing device. Life without on is now unimaginable. Almost everything in life now involves computing in some way.
In the  Computing department we want to revolutionise what you learn and the way you learn. We are constantly providing exciting and innovative curriculum that is timely, dynamic and industry focused to meet the needs of our students and rise up to the challenges of the modern day technology. We regularly review the Computing curriculum to ensure that all our students develop up to date knowledge and skills fit for the 21st century workplace.

Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living

Nicholas Negroponte

The aim of the computing department;

  • To stimulate interest and enjoyment in the study of  Computing.
  • Ensure that all students have a broad and balanced Computing curriculum.
  • To develop the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of Computing.
  • Encourage students to develop an understanding of the wider applications and effects of Computing.
  • Encourage students to solve problems through the use of information systems and associated principles and techniques.
  • Provide students with a broad and balanced view of the range of applications and information systems and an understanding of their capabilities and limitations.
  • To provide an opportunity for all students to achieve their potential through differentiated programmes of study.
  • To provide experiences which are challenging, stimulating and where appropriate directly relevant to the present and future needs of the students.
  • To provide learning activities which are varied in nature including: Practical tasks, Formal teaching, Interactive teaching, Project work and Group work

The Computing Framework as adopted by us provides an audit and planning tool that ensures smooth transition from KS 2 to KS 3 as well as enables students to progress appropriately up to KS 5.



In KS3 students will have two lessons per fortnight and will cover a range of topics that will help to develop their Computing skills and introduce them to computing concepts. Within KS3  Computing lessons, students are introduced to Computing through a clear framework of lessons that reflects the new Computing Programmes of Study.

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
In Year 7 students will identify and describe a range of computer components and distinguish the difference between hardware and software. They will also cover the topic of E-safety and learn more about this important area to create their own webpages. Students are introduced to data collection, modelling and animation through enjoyable schemes of learning. In Year 8  students are  challenged to implement their computing skills to use a range of software and also introduced to the theoretical side of the subject. This will involve students learning and using a range of computer programming languages, algorithms and computational abstractions. The units of work will develop students’ ability to use their Computing skills in a range of different contexts to solve more complex problems. In Year  9 students are further challenged to implement their computing skills to use a range of software and also introduced to the theoretical side of the subject. This will involve students learning and using a range of computer programming languages, algorithms and computational abstractions. The units of work will develop students’ ability to use their Computing skills in a range of different contexts to solve more complex problems.

ICT Assessment Descriptor

The Computing Department offers courses at Key Stage 4 that catering to a wide range of student interests and learning preferences. The Computing courses place a strong emphasis on using computer applications to solve problems. The GCSE Computing course moves that emphasis to understanding and developing new software and goes to the heart of how a computer functions from the lowest level.

Computing is a subject distinct from ICT in that the focus is on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding to create computer systems including software and applications in use on computers and mobile devices. This course teaches students to understand the fundamental concepts of computing and develop software applications to solve a range of problems. Students with a keen interest in solving abstract problems and logic will find this course highly engaging. The course is assessed through two controlled assessment tasks completed throughout the two years of study (contributing 60% of the marks)  and a written exam (weight at 40% of the course) undertaken in year 11. Topics covered include practical programming projects using the Python programming language, computer memory and data storage, networking, hardware and software components and logic. Students should consider GCSE computing if they wish to pursue further studies in computing or programming or a career in software or game development

Course description

This Computer Science qualification will, above all else, be relevant to the modern and changing world of computer science. Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. It is an intensely creative subject that involves invention and excitement. Computer Science GCSE will value computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so. These skills will be the best preparation for learners who want to go on to studyComputer Science at AS or A Level and beyond. The qualification will also provide a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.

Component title Content overview
Computer Systems

Systems architecture
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
System security
Systems software
Moral, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

Systems architecture
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
System security
Systems software
Moral, legal, cultural and environmental concerns

Programming Project

Programming techniques
Testing and evaluation and conclusions



Year 11 Computing OCR Information Year 10 GCSE Computer Science information


ICT Assessment Descriptor

Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (2010 specification)

The 60-credit BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma extends the specialist work-related focus of the BTEC Level 3 Certificate and covers the key knowledge and practical skills required in the appropriate vocational sector. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma offers greater flexibility and a choice of emphasis through the optional units. It is broadly equivalent to one GCE A Level.

The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma offers an engaging programme for those who are clear about the area of employment that they wish to enter. These learners may wish to extend their programme through the study of a general qualifications such as GCE AS Levels, additional specialist learning (for example through another BTEC qualification) or a complementary NVQ. These learning programmes can be developed to allow learners to study related and complementary qualifications without duplication of content.

The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in IT is a 60-credit and 360-guided-learning-hour (GLH) qualification that consists of two mandatory units plus optional units that provide for a combined total of 60 credits (where at least 45 credits must be at level 3 or above).

A maximum of 20 credits of specialist units and 20 credits of vendor units may count towards the optional credit allowance.

Pearson BTEC level 3 Extended certificate in Computing (2016 specification)

This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the computing sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in the computing sector.

It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC National or A Levels

What will you study?

Year 13 more information Year 12 more information

Future Pathways

ICT supports a number of pathways and could form a basis for progression into further learning, including: university courses, or employment where they can take further training in such areas as programming, computer science, systems analysis, communications, multimedia, software systems, and project management or hardware applications.

Computing supports a number of further education and career pathways and is very well respected academically and will be a strong support to students intending to study medicine, law, engineering, computing, foreign languages, physical sciences or maths based courses at university. As computing pervades all aspects of study and contemporary research, this course supports a very wide range of career paths at university in addition to those listed above.


Gifted and Talented

Students are encouraged to attend ICT/computing club which is run once a week during lunch time. The school has invested in the Raspberry Pi programme which is a credit card size single-board computer with the intention of learning basic computer science.


Extra-Curricular Activities

Computer club during which students are involved in game making, animation, multimedia, digital creations and programming.

Club details can be found here

Visits and trips to various computing establishments



For further details please do not hesitate to contact any member of staff in the department.