St John Plessington Catholic College


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Head of Department:

Mrs K Jones 




GCSE in Mathematics 

Programme of study

We use mathematics to explain and understand the world we live in and to make predictions about what will happen in the future. Mathematics is a problem-solving tool that allows us to develop an understanding of all things in the world in which we live. 

You will continue to build on the skills learnt at Key Stage 3 covering number, ratio, algebra, geometry and handling data in more detail. 

You will learn new skills and techniques in these areas, and then apply them in practical situations to see how mathematics solves real life problems. There is now a much greater emphasis in the assessment of mathematics being used in real life situations. 

How is the course structured? 

The GCSE mathematics course relies on you having grasped mathematical methods in Years 7, 8, and 9. 

Mathematics in every year continues to build on the knowledge learnt in previous years to ensure progress over time. Problem solving underpins maths lessons to enable you to tackle complex problems and to apply knowledge learnt across the age range to deepen mathematical concepts and to become great problem 

solvers. You have the opportunity to apply your problem solving skills to answer a range of questions in an examination series at the end of Year 11. You require these skills to access the questions and show your mathematical ability and application of maths in everyday life. 

How will my work be assessed? 

There are two main ways that your work is assessed: 

You will take a full GCSE examination at the end of Year 11. This comprises of three examination papers with the duration of 1 hour 30 minutes per examination. All exams carry equal weighting. Paper 1 is a non-calculator exam and papers 2 and 3 will require a scientific calculator. 

You will be entered at either Higher or Foundation Tier.  Higher Tier (Possible grades achieved 9 - 4) or Foundation Tier (possible grades achieved 5 - 1) based on your performance and teacher assessment. 

What can these qualifications lead to? 

Many careers and higher education courses require a ‘standard pass’ at a grade 4 and ‘strong pass’ at a grade 5. 

Pupils who achieve the higher grades are generally encouraged to consider taking Mathematics at A Level in the Sixth Form.