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GCSE Mathematics

Mathematics - Years 10 and 11

Click here to return to our Mathematics curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in mathematics for Years 10 and 11 students, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how mathematics links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mr Buck if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

Depending on ability, students will sit the exam at either Higher level or Foundation level.

Sets 1, 2, 3, 4 - Higher
Sets 5a and 5b - Foundation (although there is still a possibility to transfer to Higher)
Sets 7a , 7b and 7C - Foundation

N.B.: Sets 5a and 5b are parallel sets where students are of similar ability, as are sets 7a and 7b.

What characteristics does a successful mathematics student have?

A mathematical student will be inquisitive looking for links between different topics and how they link to other subjects. They will enjoy problem solving and always be willing to give a question a go and persevere even if it does not go right the first time.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

The GCSE course at both Foundation and Higher Level consists of questions covering the following areas:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Students are expected to apply their knowledge to problem solving tasks.

What will students learn at this level?

GCSE Paper 1

Non-calculator topics and skills within the six key concepts above

GCSE Papers 2 and 3

Calculator topics and skills within the six key concepts above

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts
  • Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems
  • Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
  • Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

How will students learn at this level?

Mathematics is taught using a variety of techniques including the use of calculators but also written methods. Much of our work at GCSE is individual work but there are additional opportunities for students to work in pairs and small groups. Groups are prepared well for the exam by extensive exam type question practice. Students are expected to be able to explain their methods and show workings to support their answers.

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Students are assessed at the end of Year 11 by three examination papers each 1.5 hours in duration. One paper is a non-calculator assessment with the other two allowing calculators to be used.

When do key assessments take place?

May of Year 10 – End of year exam (2 papers one non-calculator and one calculator)
January of Year 11 – Mock exam (3 papers)
June of Year 11 – GCSE external exams

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Monitor that your child is doing homework set to the best of their ability and is being proactive where they do not understand.
  • Purchase revision guides, workbooks - we sell these during Year 10.
  • Encourage them to work on My Maths or Maths Watch (that the school pay a subscription for) to look up topics they need more support or further practice on.
  • Revision classes are held in Term 2 of Year 11 after school. Encourage your child to attend them.
  • Revision classes are also put on during study leave. Please encourage your child to attend them.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

  • Scientific calculator – can be purchased from school
  • Pair of compasses
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Pencil

How does mathematics link to other subjects?

Science and Technology - Science and Maths are intimately connected, particularly in fields such as chemistry, astronomy and physics. Students who can't master basic arithmetic skills will struggle to read scientific charts and graphs. More complex Maths such as geometry and algebra can help students solve scientific problems. Maths is also important in practical sciences, such as engineering and computer science. Students may have to solve equations when writing computer programs and figuring out algorithms.

Humanities - Humanities often require students to review charts and graphs that provide data or information. Knowledge of basic mathematical terms and formulas makes statistical information accessible.

The Arts - Musical rhythm often follows complex mathematical series, and Maths can help students learn the basic rhythms of dances used in ballet and theatre performances. Art thrives on geometry, and students who understand basic geometric formulas can craft impressive art pieces.

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?





YouTube can be a useful site to find video explanations of different concepts


CGP GCSE Workbooks and Revision Guides

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in mathematics at this level?

  • Set 1 are entered for the Edexcel Level 3 Award in Algebra
  • Set 7C are entered for the Edexcel Level 1 Awards in Number and Measure and Statistics
  • UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge (Year 10 set 1) and UKMT Senior Maths Challenge (Year 11 set 1)

What sort of careers can mathematics lead to?

  • Business decision making;
  • Engineering and construction;
  • Accountancy and other financial services;
  • Statistical analysis e.g. business, sport etc.;
  • Encryption coding;
  • Security;
  • Visual presentation of data-media services;
  • Catering industry and a myriad of other careers.

What does student’s work look like in mathematics at this level?

Students mostly work in squared exercise books or on worksheets stuck into the books.

How does mathematics support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

Broad and balanced curriculum - Maths links to multiple subject areas using a range of skills. We deal with all major concepts of maths in every term. Many of the topics are covered in real world concepts.

Meeting the needs of all students - The students are taught in ability groups within their bands. There are different resources used according to ability.

Traditional core skills - Non-calculator techniques are emphasised throughout and mental problem solving skills are encouraged. Students are taught how to use a calculator, checking the output makes sense rather than just blindly believing the answer given.

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?

Creativity and critical thinking - Problem solving and making links between different concepts.

Practice, perseverance and resilience - We actively encourage students to revise for tests and exams and to always have a go at a question

Making links - Where possible, links are made between different subject areas such as Geography and Science.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Enrichment and cultural capital - Links are made to a variety of other subjects from science, economics, music, art.

Deep learning - Topics are presented in different contexts to encourage the use of different strategies and deeper understanding

Inclusivity - The context of questions is closely monitored and adapted if necessary