Outline of Course/Qualification:
- GCSE Mathematics
- AQA Exam Board
- The GCSE follows two tiers based on the previous Higher tier (grade point scores 9 – 5) and the Foundation tier (grade point scores 1 – 6).
- GCSE skills are taught from the start of Year 7 and GCSE maths questions and problems from Foundation level papers are practiced regularly to develop exam skills, strategy and a deeper understanding of the topics. Pupils are in classes with pupils aiming for similar grades so that a focused personalised curriculum can be delivered.
- Year 9 is the beginning of the KS4 content working up to the higher tier.
- 9 lessons a fortnight (9 hours) are dedicated for Mathematics lessons.
What skills and interests are needed to be successful for this course?
To succeed in GCSE Mathematics, pupils need to be able to:
- 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.
What will I study?
The 5 key areas of maths that are studied are:
- Ratio, proportion and rates of change
- Geometry and measures
- Probability and data handling
Each of the 5 areas contains their own smaller topics and these will be taught in sections of around 2 weeks per topic on average over the course.
Skills will be taught in the following areas within the course content:
- Efficient use of calculators both scientific and basic. Different brands will be used for optimum understanding.
- Exam skills, problem solving and breaking down of larger tasks.
- Methods – primarily how to set work out and communicate the answer clearly.
- Mental and written arithmetic and remembering necessary formulae.
Assessment of applying mathematics and using mathematics to solve problems will also be set in contexts that pupils should be expected to deal with in the real world. Pupils might be asked to answer questions on, for instance, decorating a room or designing a garden; or paying bills or sorting out rotas for shop staff. Finance and real life applications for maths have also become a large focus in the new curriculum.
Students are now expected to communicate their mathematics much more clearly through their working out. This means that they need to set work out in logical steps that demonstrate to the reader/marker what they are doing and what their thought processes entail. Students are also required to remember key formulae and apply that in their answers without the support of a formulae sheet being provided in the exam as in previous years.
How will I be assessed?
- You will be assessed by a final examination in the June of Year 11.
- Students will sit 3 exams consisting of 2 calculator papers both worth 80 marks and a non-calculator paper, also worth 80 marks. Problem solving, functional uses of maths and modelling are a key focus in the exams.
- Throughout the KS4 programme there will be further assessment so that progress can be monitored. Mock exams will take place over Years 10 and 11 and Learning Cycle Exams will still take place as normal.
There is a much higher weighting of the following objective skills/areas:
- Carry out routine procedures efficiently, with precision, especially in relation to algebra and number
- Reason and communicate accurately, using appropriate terms and correct grammar when developing a mathematical argument (e.g. deduce, justify, generalise, prove)
- Apply mathematical knowledge and reasoning, linking mathematical ideas and using mathematical modelling to solve problems
- Make connections between different parts of mathematics
- Solve real world modelling problems that are less well defined, making assumptions and simplifications
How would I use this qualification in the future?
Mathematics is an essential qualification if you are planning to go onto study the subject further at A level in the King’s 6th Form and at degree level, but the subject is also an essential qualification for life. Number skills are required in almost all everyday situations, such as working out bills, calculating your salary, shopping, dealing with mortgages and investments. Thinking like a mathematician will help to improve your problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Mathematics is used in a number of jobs and professions in areas such as Environment, Market
Research, Medicine, Teaching, Design and Architecture, Computer Gaming, Accountancy, Health
& Society, Business & Money, Entertainment, Science & Engineering, Economics and Sport.
Home Learning/Independent Learning and Extended Learning:
- One weekly maths enrichment club after school is an opportunity for pupils to seek further support.
- Home Learning is set every week and consists of practice papers, booklets made specifically to a target grade or to develop a particular topic in more detail and revision/research tasks. Up to 1.5 hours a week will be expected.
- Maths videos and clips are also available for every topic which allows pupils to study at home and are suited to iPad software. These are emailed out to all students when the topic is being covered. All lessons and resources are uploaded onto Google classroom.
- MyMaths may also be used to help extend home learning or revision periods. There are many good lesson, activity and GCSE Booster packs available within this software.
- Revision materials will be provided by the school in the form of practice papers, videos, worksheets, topic booklets, detailed PowerPoints with questions, and after school provision.
What are the current top 5 universities in the UK for this subject?
- Imperial College London
- St Andrews
Check the UCAS website (www.ucas.com) for entry requirements to Higher Education courses of interest; this will provide you with information on courses which have specific subject entry requirements.