Course Title: Mathematics

Exam Board and Specification No: Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9 - 1) in Mathematics (1MA1)

Why is this subject important, valuable and engaging?

“Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health.”

Andreas Schleicher, OECD.

Mathematics is used in every aspect of our lives at work and in practical everyday activities at home and beyond. We use Mathematics when we go shopping or plan a holiday, decide on a mortgage or decorate a room. Decisions in life are so often based on numerical information: to make the best choices, we need to be numerate.

What do I need to have studied, or have knowledge of, before I begin this course?

Mathematics is a compulsory subject at Key Stage 4 and Students will be expected to continue with their study of Mathematics after the age of 16 if they have not achieved the qualification at the end of Year 11. 

What will I learn on this course?

GCSE Mathematics covers a wide range of content from six key areas. 

1. Number

2. Algebra

3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change

4. Geometry and measures

5. Probability

6. Statistics

The course builds on content, knowledge and skills developed in Key Stage 3. 

What key skills will I develop?

In recent years, higher education institutions and employers have consistently flagged the need for students to develop a range of transferable skills to enable them to respond with confidence to the demands of undergraduate study and the world of work.

The adapted National Research Council’s framework of skills involves:

Cognitive skills

● Non-routine problem solving – expert thinking, metacognition, creativity.

● Systems thinking – decision making and reasoning.

● Critical thinking – definitions of critical thinking are broad and usually involve general cognitive skills such as analysing, synthesising and reasoning skills.

● ICT literacy - access, manage, integrate, evaluate, construct and communicate.

Interpersonal skills

● Communication – active listening, oral communication, written communication, assertive communication and non-verbal communication.

● Relationship-building skills – teamwork, trust, intercultural sensitivity, service orientation, self-presentation, social influence, conflict resolution and negotiation.

● Collaborative problem solving – establishing and maintaining shared understanding, taking appropriate action, establishing and maintaining team organisation.


Intrapersonal skills

● Adaptability – ability and willingness to cope with the uncertain, handling work stress, adapting to different personalities, communication styles and cultures, and physical adaptability to various indoor and outdoor work environments.

● Self-management and self-development – ability to work remotely in virtual teams, work autonomously, be self-motivating and self-monitoring, willing and able to acquire new information and skills related to work.

How will I be assessed? (details of examinations/coursework)

Three examinations at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1 – Non-calculator

Paper 2 – Calculator

Paper 3 – Calculator 

What could this course lead to?

Students can progress from this qualification to Level 3 qualifications in numerate disciplines, such as:

● Core Mathematics

● GCE (A Level) Mathematics and GCE Further Mathematics

● GCEs in the sciences

● GCE Geography

● GCE Psychology

● GCE Economics

● Other qualifications that require mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding.

There is a clear progression path from Foundation tier to Higher tier within this qualification.

This qualification also supports further training and employment where mathematical skills are required.

GCSE Mathematics is a requirement for progression to a wide range of courses at Level 3. 

What additional events, trips or enrichment activities does this course include?

A trip in Year 11 to a nearby racecourse run by Racing to School. This offers students the opportunity to see how Mathematics skills are used every day in industry and in sport. Activities include weighing the horses, working out the distance a horse needs to jump over each fence and planning a jockey’s diet. 

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?