Abbey Gate College
TEACHER OF MATHEMATICS
Abbey Gate College
Abbey Gate College is situated in superb surroundings south of the historic city of Chester. It was
founded as an independent co-educational 11-18 School in 1977 under the Deeside House
Educational Trust, as a charitable foundation. Our Junior and Infant Department is sited in the old
village school at Aldford, 2½ miles from the main site at Saighton. The College now numbers
491 pupils, including a Sixth Form of 69. Academic results in all subjects are excellent and
100% pass rate at A level and GCSE is the norm. The majority of our Sixth Formers go on to
University or other place of further education. The College has a three form entry at Year 7 from
an annual Entrance Examination held in January; places are oversubscribed and there are waiting
lists operating at some age groups in the College.
The building and facilities are impressive. The main building is the former stately home of the
Duke of Westminster and the College has added its own purpose-built accommodation, including
fully equipped science laboratories, IT rooms and a Sports Hall. A new Arts and Media Centre
was completed in 2004, housing Music, a theatre and two IT rooms. Work on the second phase,
housing Art and Technology, was completed in March 2008 and a new science laboratory and
Sixth Form Centre completed the development in the Summer Term.
The Junior and Infant Department is based in the former village school building in Aldford and
numbers 120, with one class entry per year group from 4 -11. The school is set in idyllic
surroundings with its own playing fields, playground, ecology pond and log bark area. Recent
improvements have included an atrium reception and Head of Department office, medical room,
interactive whiteboards and a large mezzanine floor area above the hall for storage and small
class teaching. Juniors from Years 3 -5 enjoy half a day’s timetable per week at Saighton Grange
and J6 spend a full day. Specialist teaching is shared across both sites and collaboration is
The Mathematics Department Specifications
We are seeking a dynamic and committed teacher of Mathematics to join our enthusiastic and growing
department. The successful candidate will teach GCSE and KS3 Mathematics with the possibility of
teaching Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level for a suitable candidate. An ability to teach
Mechanics could be an advantage. The position arises following the retirement of a full time member of
staff who has been in post for eleven years.
The Department consists of six staff, some of whom have additional responsibilities on the Senior
Management Team. The Mathematics Department team work together to share good and innovative
practice and resources, and to develop the curriculum and schemes of work, departmental strategy for
assessment and pupil support and enrichment opportunities in response to the needs of our pupils. We are
looking for someone who is keen to bring their own ideas and experience to the department and to develop
and share good practice and innovation.
Lessons take place in three specialised rooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and wireless mice as
well as class sets of show and tell whiteboards and activity files (including Tarsia puzzles). We also
subscribe to a number of websites such as My Maths and Mathsnet and have other software resources such
as Whiteboardmaths to support learning and teaching.
The Mathematics Department’s Ethos & Aims are as follows:
• We believe Maths is fun – we want our pupils to develop a love of and an enthusiasm for
mathematics, to be inspired by the subjects beauty and elegance and to be intrigued by the
mystery of mathematical conundrums. We want our pupils to discover the joys of number patterns
and problem solving, and how mathematics underpins so many aspects of the real world.
Our lessons involve pupils participating in a wide range of learning activities, including card
matching, interactive games and puzzles, show and tell whiteboards, use of the internet and maths
software, poster making, open-ended investigations and experiments.
We believe Maths is relevant – we want to inspire pupils to see the potential of mathematics to
solve problems in a variety of contexts and its relevance across a number of real world
applications. We aspire to help them make connections between different areas of mathematics
and to realise how mathematics is used in other subjects and in the world outside. For example,
we want our pupils to know that even quadratic equations have many applications in the real
world explaining as they do the golden ratio; the pattern of sunflower seeds; the orbits of the
planets; how telescope lenses and satellite dishes work; the braking distance of cars; circuit boards
in mobile phones and the perfect drop-goal. We encourage pupils to use appropriate ICT such as
Autograph, Excel and graphical calculators to help in their understanding of mathematics and in
presenting their work.
• We believe Maths is rewarding - whether it is the self-esteem pupils enjoy from cracking a tricky
maths puzzle or the knowledge that numeracy and problem solving skills are in great demand with
employers, there is no doubt that pupils can reap the benefit of studying maths. We want pupils to
enjoy developing the ability to independently plan and execute their own work.
• We believe there is so much more to Maths - we encourage our pupils to undertake Mathematics
enrichment activities, such as poster and logo design competitions where pupils can explore
interesting areas of mathematics beyond the specifications. There are opportunities to take part in
national and local Maths Challenges and attend Maths lectures and roadshows which this year will
include the Maths Inspiration events and visits to Liverpool University to hear Jim Al-Khalili and
Ian Stewart. We enter teams in both the Regional Junior and Senior Team Maths Challenge.
In-house, we run a Key Stage 3 Maths club Numbers Rule! and an annual Fun Maths Roadshow
where KS3 pupils enjoy trying to crack challenging hands-on problems. Other events include
celebrating World Pi Day, World Maths Day and fundraising for the NSPCC Numbers Day.
We appreciate that not every one finds Maths easy – We want to encourage students to become
confident in their use of mathematics and to improve their understanding, developing and
improving their mathematical vocabulary and understanding of concepts and definitions. The
department runs an after-school Maths Surgery once a week as well as providing individual and
small group support to pupils in break and lunchtimes and comprehensive revision workshop
programmes in both the run up to external module exams and to enrichment opportunities such as
the National Maths Challenges.
We believe that the best mathematicians should be challenged and develop the pursuit of
excellence in mathematics. We encourage every pupil to attain the highest standards of which
they are capable, to develop a positive attitude to the subject, to enjoy the learning experience and
to learn to persevere with topics that they may at first find difficult. We aspire for pupils to learn
the skills needed to think and reason mathematically and to develop their understanding and use of
methods of formal reasoning. In order to provide a firm foundation for appropriate further study,
pupils must appreciate the need for accuracy and develop academic rigour in their work.
Pupils have four 45 minute lessons a week and are placed in appropriate sets to best support their learning
from Christmas of Year 7. Set sizes allow each pupil to work confidently and effectively at a suitable level
and pace, with both an appropriate level of support and opportunities to explore the mathematical ideas in
greater detail. We have a flexible approach and students are regularly monitored and moved, if necessary,
in order to enable the highest possible achievement; set sizes are between eight (set four) and twenty-two
(set one). From March of Year 9, pupils begin studying for the Modular GCSE (AQA specifications)
either at Higher Level (3 sets) or Foundation Level (1 set). GCSE Statistics is offered as an additional
qualification to well-motivated and able students in Year 11 in a lunchtime session. For particularly able
students, the FSMQ Additional Mathematics qualification is also available.
In the Sixth Form, students are given the option of studying AS/A2 Mathematics and AS/A2 Further
Mathematics (MEI-OCR specifications) in six 45 minute lessons a week per subject. The numbers
choosing both subjects has grown appreciably in the last two years, and there are currently two sets
studying AS Mathematics in the Lower Sixth. The small set sizes allow strong support and a personalised
learning approach to all students. In addition, comprehensive support is provided to Mathematics degree
applicants including preparation for the Oxford entrance exams and STEP papers and interview practice.
Abbey Gate College has its own pay scale slightly above the national guidelines for salaries and
this post will be offered at the appropriate point on the scale. (Commensurate with qualifications
and teaching experience)
Abbey Gate College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and
successful applicants will be subject to enhanced disclosure procedure. The College adheres to a
code of good practice with regard to Safer Recruitment and details are included in the College
Abbey Gate College is committed to securing equality of opportunity through the creation of an
environment in which individuals are treated on the sole basis of their relevant skills and abilities.
This commitment is shared by pupils, staff, parents, governors and the trustees of the College.
We oppose all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity,
gender or disability and aim to ensure equal treatment for all.
Candidates should complete an Abbey Gate College application form and submit this together
with a letter explaining their interest in and suitability for the post addressed to Mrs L M Horner,
Headmistress, outlining their suitability for the post.
Interviews will be held after the 14th March 2011
The closing date for applications is 7th March 2011
Candidates will meet Mathematics Staff and have a tour of The College
A teacher observed lesson will take place on interview.
References will be taken up prior to interview, please inform your referees
Please mark the envelope clearly ‘APPLICATION FOR MATHEMATICS’.