Subject Maths

"As a mathematician, I'm often challenged to come up with compelling reasons to study mathematics. If the questioner is serious, I reply that there are three reasons or, more accurately, three broad classes of reasons to study mathematics. Only the first and most basic class is practical. It pertains to job skills and the needs of science and technology. The second concerns the understandings that are essential to an informed and effective citizenry. The last class of reasons involves considerations of curiosity, beauty, playfulness, perhaps even transcendence and wisdom." J. A. Paulos


Mathematics is a beautiful and diverse subject.  It is far more than the study of numbers; it enables us to see patterns, make new discoveries and find links to the world around us.  Over the course of the two years, pupils will build on the key skills and knowledge that they have gained at Key Stage Three, so that they develop competence in several areas of Mathematics.


GCSE Mathematics is changing for 2015-17, with the new course offering more depth and rigour.  This will ensure a really solid foundation for A levels and beyond.  Pupils will no longer be awarded A*-G grades, but instead be given a grade on the scale 9-1.  A ‘9’ is approximately equivalent to the upper end of an A* (roughly 3-5% of the national cohort).


The new GCSE Mathematics course will prepare pupils thoroughly for their next step – whether they choose to study Maths at a higher level or not.


Why study Maths?


  • Studying Maths helps to develop key skills such as reasoning and logic
  • Pupils will gain experience both of abstract Mathematical concepts and of their real-world applications
  • The content links across to other areas of the curriculum, such as Science and Geography, and will support learning in these areas
  • GCSE Maths is an essential requirement for further study at all levels
  • Pupils hoping to work in medicine, science, technology or engineering will need a solid understanding of Mathematics – and the skills gained will be useful in all careers.


Exam Board and Specification EdExcel
Key areas of content


  • Number
  • Algebra – including forming and solving equations,
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics


Assessment arrangements This is a linear course and so pupils will be assessed on all content in the Summer of Year 11.    


  • 3 papers, each 1.5 hours long
  • 1 non-calculator paper, 2 calculator papers
  • Each paper could contain questions on any area of the course


GCSE Mathematics is split into two tiers: Foundation and Higher.  All of the Foundation content is included on the Higher paper.  The Higher paper also examines harder content that is not included on the Foundation paper.  The following grades are applied to each paper:


Foundation: 1-5   Higher: 4-9


4 of the 5 groups will initially work towards the Higher paper, but a final decision about which tier individual pupils are entered into will not be made until the Spring Term of Year 11.


Setting arrangements Maths will be taught in five ability groups, to ensure that all pupils are supported and challenged at the appropriate level.  The highest group will also have the opportunity to study an additional Mathematics qualification.
Textbooks, websites and other relevant material We will continue to follow the Mathematics Mastery programme, and are piloting their Year 10/11 resources over the coming years.  Pupils will all be given practice books to work and revise from, as well as their usual work in exercise books.  More information about Mathematics Mastery can be found at    




There are a number of websites that may be useful for revision:


In addition, often has videos that explain concepts or give ideas for remembering tricky methods.

Any other information Although these exams will have a slightly different format from previous exams, it is still useful to practise exam-style questions.  Pupils should complete as many past paper questions as they can over the course of Year 10 and 11.