- Maths and Computer Science

Maths

At BSJ student needs are very much at the centre of the learning process. Everyone is valued for his or her experiences and questions are welcomed as part of the learning experience. Students are encouraged to develop an independent learning attitude through investigational tasks and regular homework.

In the Primary School students are introduced to Mathematics in an exciting and dynamic way. They are taught to manipulate and process numbers from a very early age and standards in Mathematics are very high. Students are expected and encouraged to do mental calculations in addition to learning their multiplication tables.

In Year 7 to 11 students are placed in classes according to their level of mathematical proficiency. All students are valued and respected for their application and effort as much as their academic achievement. Our aim is to facilitate the highest level of achievement for each student according to their aptitude and ability as an individual within this core subject.

Key Stage 3 includes Years 7, 8 and 9. During this period students will follow a curriculum modelled around the former National Curriculum of England and adapted to prepare them for the IGCSE Examinations. We aim to develop student skills and confidence to reach their potential. We encourage our students to learn through investigation and practical work as well as more traditional “teacher-led’ lessons. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and they have a wide range of material available to them to assist their learning outside the classroom.

Key Stage 4 includes Year 10 and 11 and students follow a curriculum which will prepare them for IGCSE examinations. There will also be an opportunity for some students to take Additional Mathematics too.

In Years 12 and 13 students participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme. Mathematics is a compulsory subject and can be followed as ‘Maths Studies’ or at Standard or Higher Level.  The course followed will depend upon each student’s mathematical ability and their preferred university or career choice and the specific requirements of this.

Enrichment in Maths is particularly important at BSJ. It is ongoing in lessons and delivered through activities in a dedicated Maths week. Activities include codebreaking, modelling polyhedra, constructing fractals and learning about the history of maths through theatre.

In addition there is a Maths competition club, Alpha Beta Gamma, which runs after school and develops students’ problem solving skills. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of global Maths competitions including the UKMT Maths challenges, American Maths Contest (AMC), the Canadian Intermediate and Senior Maths Contests and the South East Asian Maths Competition (SEAMC). Our students have been successful reaching the Olympiad rounds in all three UKMT challenges and the American Invitational Mathematics Examination. Notable achievements include Harry Sung Won Cho who achieved a Merit award in the Junior Mathematics Olympiad whilst in Year 6 and Moses Mayer who achieved a top ten place in the Final round of the British Mathematics Olympiad whilst in Year 10 (this competition is for Year 12 & Year 13 students). Moses has also represented Indonesia in the International Mathematics Olympiad. In SEAMC 2016, the BSJ Year 10 team achieved 4th place overall (out of 80 teams) and Moses Mayer achieved 3rd place (out of 240) in the Individual Competition.

 

Computer Science

Computing at BSJ prepares students to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology.

GCSE Computer Science

There is more to Computer Science than simply programming. Computer Science is the study of how computer systems work how they are constructed and programmed. This course consists of a body of knowledge, a set of techniques and methods for solving problems, as well as practical programming skills.

Therefore a course in Computer Science includes a both theory teaching, as well as practical problem solving and programming.

The important elements of computer science are: principles of logic, decomposition, algorithms, data representation, and communication. The written paper, ‘Principles of Computer Science’, is a rigorous, intellectually challenging examination with a weighting of 75% that requires a high level of computational thinking.

Practical programming skills are assessed in the controlled assessment, which has a weighting of 25%.

IGCSE ICT

The ICT IGCSE course is a 100% exam based qualification which builds upon the skills learnt during Key Stage 3. New topics are introduced, such as Networking, Justifying choices of material used, Types of Computers and Hardware, Software and Storage Devices.

IGCSE qualifications provide students with an exceptional standard of education which is both modern and relevant.

IB Computer science

IB Computer Science is a challenging course for those who wish to learn how to create software and use computers to solve real-world problems.  All students create at least one software product which demonstrates complexity and might be an online system, a complex computer game, a mobile app, or a desktop system. Programming is taught in the “Java” language but students may also learn other languages depending on what they choose to do as their project.

As well as software development, students will study many interesting theory areas for example how computer security works, how computers “think”, how complex algorithms have changed our word, number representation, boolean logic, computational thinking. Students have the option to choose between several areas of specialism to reflect their interests, and the questions they choose to answer in one of their exams will be based on this choice.

Assessment is by means of a project and 2 exams but Higher Level students have an additional paper based on a case study with is covered in class.

Enrichment in Computer Science is offered through two after school activities: Website Design and Technovation which is an app design club but with the proviso that the app must help to address a problem within the school community. There are also Computing competitions that students may participate in which are problem solving challenges related to skills needed for Computer Science.

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