Mathematics is a core subject. Every boy who comes to Arnold House will become numerate and develop a facility and a confidence with numbers which will be of use throughout his life. It is also our hope that he will find in Mathematics a way of making sense of the world, of seeing patterns and structure, of having tools with which to solve problems and analyse data. When boys come to Arnold House we teach them about numbers – certainly – but also give them practical experience of handling cubes and objects which will aid their understanding. We develop mathematical vocabulary so that boys can make the link between objects that they see and numbers as represented on a page. Arithmetic becomes then not just a set of arbitrary rules, but a way of representing numbers that have a meaning in practical contexts.
As they go through the school they will be encouraged to think and will develop problem-solving skills to go alongside technical skills in number, shape, space measures, data handling and probability, and, in the middle and senior parts of the school, algebra. There will be a mix of very traditional methods – learning multiplication tables, writing sums or using compasses just as children did 50 years ago – and very modern methods which are constantly being updated – puzzles and investigations, software programs used weekly, colourful demonstrations on the interactive whiteboard, card games and dice games.
Boys at Arnold House are naturally energetic, curious and keen to make progress. In the Mathematics Department we always try to channel the natural enthusiasm of boys of this age into a dynamic, varied and interesting programme of study. Understanding and high standards of written work go hand in hand with enjoyment and the sense of making the fast progress necessary for senior school entrance examinations.