Our philosophy is that children learn Mathematics by doing Mathematics. This may take the form of written or mental exercises, work in the ICT suites, privately at home, class discussion or practical work.
The Cargilfield mathematics syllabus covers the key objectives of the National Curriculum but is specifically designed for the needs of our pupils. They are given an excellent grounding in the mathematical skills they will need for entrance examinations to Senior Schools. However, we endeavour not to be too restrictive due to the examination syllabus and children are also encouraged to tackle new ideas through practical experience and investigation.
There is no setting in the early part of the school. However, in Year Four there is the opportunity for children to be divided into groups for each of the lessons of the week, giving those who find the subject easier the chance to do some more advanced investigation whilst those who struggle in certain areas have the opportunity for consolidation. Setting then continues for the pupils in the final years, as they sit foundation, standard or higher tier examination papers in their Common Entrance Examinations. Those taking scholarships sit papers set by the school to which they are going or the ISEB.
We have gained considerable success in recent years in competitions including the prestigious UK Junior Mathematical Challenge – pupils from Years 7 and 8 sit the challenge in April and our best performers have an opportunity to go forward to the UK Junior Mathematical Olympiad. In recent years we have also entered pupils into the Intermediate Challenge for 14-16 year olds and have been very successful in this as well. For the third year in a row, we have participated in the UKMT Team Challenge Finals in London. This year we beat 20 other Scottish schools to win our regional final and represent Scotland along with three other Scottish regional winners. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the finals held in London in June; an exciting and inspirational venture for the children. We also take part in the Primary Mathematics Challenge in November, and take teams to compete in the Merchiston Castle Primary 5 Maths Fun Day.