The Mathematics Department is housed in the Theatre Building,
and the mathematical formulae adorning the walls leave no doubt as
to the purpose of this area of the School.
The Department is hugely subscribed for post-GCSE courses, with
many students studying both A level Mathematics and Further
Academic achievement is a large part of what we aim for, and the
Department continues to have fantastic results at all levels,
including at Standard grade, GCSE, AS and A-level.
Activities during the year include the Maths Fun Day (organised
by Mr Lucas) for P5 pupils; many students also take part in the
UKMT Maths Challenges throughout the year.
Stephen Campbell BSc: Head of
Mr Campbell is Timetable Coordinator, and a member of the Academic
Management Team. His interests include football (he assists with
afternoon activities on the field) and music. He plays a key role
in the academic management of the School. He also is a tutor in
Marion Muetzelfeldt BSc: Dean of
Mrs Muetzelfeldt is a highly valued teacher of boys at all levels,
specialising in Further Pure Mathematics.
Julian Vaughan BSc
Mr Vaughan retired from the full time staff in 2012, but still
returns to teach in the VI Form.
Richard Lucas MEng, MA
Mr Lucas's interests are diverse and include football, where he
assists with afternoon options, magic (he has frequently
demonstrated tricks within the School) and motorsport. He also
plays the cornet, and tutors in Pringle House.
Richard McCorkell BSc
Richard is from Northern Ireland, and is a graduate of Edinburgh
University. He has many sporting interests, in particular hockey
Federica Vian BSc, PhD
Part time teacher of Mathematics.
Mary Watson BSc
Part time teacher of Mathematics and ICT.
Nicola Ledingham BEng
Part time teacher of Mathematics.
Juliet Vaughan BA
As well as teaching Mathematics, Miss Vaughan is Head of
Support for Learning in Pringle, where she helps many pupils on a
one-to one basis and in small groups.
Nathan Mylin MSc
Nathan Mylin hails from Indiana, USA, and is
Pringle. Nathan teaches Mathematics at various
levels in the School, and delivers specialist Mathematics
teaching in the Support for Learning Department.
William Clayton MA
Mr Clayton is Merchiston's Head of Economics; he
also currently teaches one of our GCSE Mathematics sets.
The Department recently opened a new facility in the upstairs
foyer of the theatre, allowing for lessons with the huge amount of
extra teaching which takes place with small groups, as well as an
area in which pupils and staff can relax. This was funded
through a kind donation to the department from the parents of two
Merchistonians, Ben and Douglas Quayle.
I Form: The scheme used in First Form is Teejay
mathematics, as used in most Scottish Primary schools.
Mathematics is taught in a differentiated way, according to each
student's level at 5-14. Daily mental testing is carried out.
II & III Forms: The scheme used here is
Mathematics in Action, and there are normally two sets in Second
Form and three in Third Form. By the end of the Third Form, pupils
have covered all of the topics set out in 5-14.
IV Form: Pupils begin a three-year preparation
for GCSE. As a core subject, all pupils will study it to the
end of V Form, normally with the same member of staff. Two
tests (NFER and MidYIS) are used in conjunction with knowledge of
pupils' abilities and attitudes to get the most accurate possible
setting. All boys possess a calculator recommended by the
school, but also spend time working without it. Many sit the
Junior Mathematics Challenge, which is a National competition,
designed to stimulate enquiring minds.
Shell and V Forms: Currently, most
sets are entered for both Standard Grade and GCSE, as the A*
grade is available at GCSE. Many students in these year groups
take the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge.
AS and A level: The scheme is modular, assessed by written
papers at the end of both years. For an A level, students
take six modules: four in Pure Mathematics (called Core
Mathematics), one in Mechanics and one in Probability and
Statistics. Some will take anything up to seven Core Mathematics
modules towards a total of nine or twelve to qualify for Further
Mathematics certification either at AS or A Level. Upper Sixth
courses all include more Pure mathematics, but the precise balance
will be chosen by the department to reflect the best interests of
those in the set.
Higher: This course builds on the Credit level of the
Standard Grade. The syllabus is of Pure Mathematics, applied in a
wide variety of problem contexts. During the Lower VI, these
students often take the Intermediate 2 course, as a preparation for
the full Higher.
SQA Modules: Some pupils who do not wish to commit
themselves to Higher may nevertheless wish to continue to acquire
mathematical skills. To this end a course is provided which, as
well as possessing intrinsic value, leads to SQA Modules (formerly
known as ScotVec) which may prove of use when applying to, or
studying within, Higher Education.
The Department takes part regularly in national competitions. In
last year's (2010-11) 'Maths Challenge' we gained:
At Senior Level: 17 Gold Awards, 9 Silver
Awards and 9 Bronze Awards
At Intermediate Level: 10 Gold Awards, 20 Silver
Awards and 10 Bronze Awards
At Junior Level: 10 Gold Awards, 10 Silver Awards
and 13 Bronze Awards