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Approach/Learning Styles

Key Stage 3

Mathematics offers students the opportunities to acquire mathematical skills and knowledge, and to consolidate and extend their mathematical skills using a wide range of resources. Students are encouraged to stretch the limits of their understanding to ensure the high expectation of their progress is exceeded and allow problem solving activities to be undertaken with confidence, enjoyment and success. This should give students a solid platform for the work they do in Key Stage 4. Students are assessed on a minimum of 4 occasions each year using AQA Baseline and Termly Assessment papers. This provides the subject team and students with solid and correct data, allowing intervention to be put into place where required.

All students will be exposed to the language, vocabulary, style and format of GCSE Maths in all Year groups. The new Schemes of Work will ensure a 5 Year Plan towards the final 3 exams in Year 11.

Year 7

The aim is to ensure that the students’ experience of transitioning to secondary school is positive and challenging. Formal, whole class learning is introduced, especially of topics new to all. There is an intended overlap with the primary school syllabus on basic topics. Exercises are set on these basic topics to reassure, to build confidence and to challenge. Mathematical activities are planned which enable teachers to get to know students individually and which encourage students to work cooperatively. Students will follow the scheme which is appropriate to their ability. The schemes ensure a solid understanding and competence are established in fundamental mathematical topics – algebraic simplification, solving equations, using percentages and ratio, finding areas and volumes, drawing graphs, finding and using averages and calculating probability. Problem solving tasks and investigations are based on recognising patterns, solving puzzles and appreciating strategy in mathematical games.

Years 8 & 9

Students are exposed to more challenging topics and concepts, including those previously only contained within the Key Stage 4 curriculum. More able students will be assessed using GCSE Baseline and topic tests to ensure a more accurate picture of their learning and understanding. Students in Year 7 and 8, and some Year 9 groups also complete Numeracy Ninjas as part of the curriculum. This activity takes place once a week and has a key focus on number skills.

Years 10 & 11

Tasks are chosen in which it is possible for the student to relate their solution to the underlying mathematical structure. The curriculum provides the foundation from which students tackle their GCSE course in Years 10 and 11.


Homework – Key Stage 3 student’s complete homework using a SkillsCheck sheet. This has replaced the Homework Bingo sheets and has a more focused approach to number work.

Key Stage 4

Students will no longer offered Statistics as an additional GCSE in Year 11 Maths lessons if they are studying the new Maths GCSE. They can choose to complete this as an extra-curricular option. In order to cater for our more able Mathematicians, students may also be able to opt to study the AQA Level Certificate in Further Mathematics, or AQA Level 1/2 Use of Mathematics courses.

How will I be assessed (Current Year 11)?  

All students will be entered for the Edexcel (Pearson) GCSE in Mathematics. Students will also be entered for GCSE Statistics in Year 11.

The GCSE is available at Higher tier (grades A*-D) and Foundation tier (grades C-G). The assessment consists of two exam papers each lasting one hour forty-five minutes which are taken at the end of Year 11. One exam paper is non-calculator. There is no controlled assessment.

Mathematics is a core subject at GCSE and all students will take a full GCSE qualification. The Maths GCSE encourages students to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the importance of mathematics in their own lives and to society.

The students will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts in the following areas:

Number - Number, fractions, decimals and ratios, factors, powers and roots)

Algebra - Formulae and equations, inequalities, graphs, quadratic equations, sequences

Geometry and Measures - Shapes, coordinates, transformations and vectors, calculating lengths, areas and angles, measurements, Pythagoras’ theorem, trigonometry

Statistics and probability - Collecting data, averages, representing data, probability.

They will use their knowledge and understanding to make connections between mathematical concepts and apply the functional elements of mathematics in everyday and real-life situations. The content of the GCSE course is a natural progression from the Key Stage 3 syllabus. Topics covered in Year 9 will be revisited to ensure that progression through each unit of work is based on a solid foundation.

How will I assessed (New Maths GCSE)?

Students will study and be entered for the new Linear Edexcel GCSE in Mathematics (first teaching September 2015)

This new GCSE will be graded using a number system of 9-1 with 9 being the top grade awarded.

Students can sit either a Foundation or Higher Tier as in the old GCSE. Foundation Grades go from 1-5 and Higher from 4-9.

The content is now divided into six domains. Number, Algebra, Ratio Proportion and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Probability and Statistics. The approximate weightings of assessed questions in each area depends on the Tier being studied. For example, Algebra forms 20% in the Foundation but 30% in the Higher specification.

The reformed GCSE will require the coverage of a broader and deeper mathematical content. Content previously only found in the Higher tier such as Trigonometry has been moved into the Foundation. Conversely, topic from A’ Level has made its way down into the Higher Tier such as Interpreting Areas under Graphs.  

Assessment Objectives:  

Students will be assessed in 3 areas. A01 is Applying Standard Techniques, A02 is Reasoning, Interpreting and Communicating Mathematically, and A03 is Solving NonRoutine Problems in a context. Again there is a difference in the weighting depending on the tier. Higher students will be expected to cover more A03 (30% vs 25%), whereas Foundation students will be assessed more in A01 (50% vs 40%)


Students will sit 3 exam papers. Each is 1 hour 30 minutes long. Two exams are calculator papers, 1 is Non-Calculator.