GCSE Maths

Mathematics is an interconnected subject - pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programme of study for key stage 4 is organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils will develop and consolidate connections across mathematical ideas. They will build on learning from key stage 3 to further develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They will also be given opportunities to apply their mathematical knowledge wherever relevant in other subjects and in financial contexts.

“The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics.” P. HALMOS

Course description

Pupils will further develop their skills across all areas of mathematics – at key stage 4 the main foci will be; number, algebra, ratio & proportion, geometry & measures, probability & statistics. The recent reforms of the Mathematics GCSE has increased the content for both Foundation and Higher levels. This means that the pupils will have a real opportunity to stretch themselves and tackle problems previously only seen at A Level. The question style has also been revamped, with a much heavier focus on applying mathematical skills in unfamiliar contexts. As such the pupils can expect lots of practice in deconstructing challenging problems and developing strategies for approaching questions where the path to the solution is not obvious.

The final assessment now consists of three 1.5 hour exams. The first is non-calculator, and the second and third are both calculator papers. The marks are equally weighted between three papers meaning that calculator skills are even more important than previously. The exam is now graded from 1 to 9, with 9 being the strongest grade. The Foundation paper covers grades 1 to 5, while the Higher paper goes from grades 4 to 9.

Exam board

  • Edexcel

Course code

  • 1MA1

Exam board website

Link to past papers

Practice and past papers, as well as specifications and full details of the course content, can be downloaded from:

  • http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/mathematics-2015.html


  • Students are assessed at the end of each half term with a full GCSE paper, meaning that progress is very closely monitored.  As a result, we can address any difficulties quickly and effectively and can also celebrate successes on a regular basis.

Ways to help my child succeed

Ensure your child has access to a revision guide and access to the internet. Discuss their weekly homework with them and maybe ask them to teach you what they’ve learned that week. Encourage them to complete practice papers (as they become available) so that they are confident in what the exam will look like. Remind your child that the only way to revise math's is to practise math's.

Useful websites – top 3 only

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