foundation years: Year 7 and 8

Foundation Years

Mathematics is a core subject with students studying 7 periods per fortnight in Year 7 and 6 periods per fortnight in Year 8. In both years, pupils are taught in mixed ability groups, their forms. Topics cover the five areas of mathematics: number, algebra, data, ratio and proportion, and geometry.

Year 7

Year 7 builds on from their primary school knowledge with the teaching of new concepts such as algebra while consolidating their key skills of numeracy and shape, ensuring that all pupils do not have any gaps in their understanding. By the end of year 7, students will be skilled in GCSE grades 3-4 and will be developing their algebraic skills in preparation for more rigorous techniques covered in year 8.

The enrichment day allows the pupils to develop their 3D geometric and construction skills by building a Norman Church.

Regular assessment by use of homework assignments and end of term tests allow progress to be monitored and tracked by students, staff and parents/carers throughout the year as well as through monitoring.

Year 8

Year 8 continues this building of knowledge so that by the end of the year pupils have covered most of the content of the foundation level mathematics GCSE and covered much of, but not limited to, grade 5 material.

We also include an enrichment day to the Science Museum where the students explore the mathematics gallery, engineering the future exhibit and other areas in order to complete activities showcasing the use in mathematics in the real world.

Keystone Year: year 9

The Year 9 scheme of work has been written with the aim to create variety in the way in which topics are taught so that students participate in practical work, group work, investigations and e-learning. Furthermore, the course is written with an emphasis on building on the foundations set in Years 7 and 8 and preparing for the start of GCSE in year 10.

  • There is a strong emphasis on teaching the functional uses of Maths and applying Maths to real-life situations. An annual Maths trip to Canterbury city and Cathedral, along with a guided tour of the Cathedral, allows students to apply Maths skills acquired in class to measure the height of the Cathedral and also create a scale drawing of an area of the Cathedral grounds.
  • Other activities include using IT to present a Statistics project, investigating logic gates and other numerical systems, looking at matrices and an independent algebraic investigation project during the Summer term.
  • Throughout Year 9, students are taught in sets based on their results from their exams at the end of Year 8.
  • At the beginning of term 4, students are assessed on their progress by sitting a full GCSE Foundation exam. Students should be aiming for a grade 5, which is the top grade awarded at this level, but there will be some who are already beyond this level at this stage of their mathematical journey. Teaching groups are reset based on results from the exams. This exam also enables teaching staff to give a projected grade for each student in their final GCSE exam.

Year 9

In Year 9, students will be organised into sets to ensure that they study maths at a pace that is most suited to their ability. At the end of Year 8 students will sit an assessment that will determine which set they will be placed.   

GCSE: years 10 and 11

In Key Stage 4 all students study GCSE material up to Grade 9. This is when students apply the concepts which they have learnt in Key stage 3 to solve increasingly more difficult problems. Students will be supported in developing their understanding of the concepts behind the Mathematics which they are learning.

Year 10

In Year 10, students continue with their learning and preparation for GCSE Maths. Students continue in their setting groups from year 9.

Students are set regular homework along with 2 assignments per term. End of term assessments measure progress and also provide information for set changes to be made.

Top performing students take part in the Intermediate Maths Challenge – a national competition where students need to apply their mental arithmetic skills to solve a variety of problems.

Students will largely follow the same course order until the Spring when students will then follow a more tailored approach depending on which set they are in.

Ultimately, all students take the higher course following the Edexcel/ Pearson specification.

Year 11

All students take their GCSE Maths exam in the Summer of year 11, The expectation is that all students are aiming for a grade 7-9.

Students in set 1 are entered for an additional qualification, FSMQ, as they will have completed their GCSE course by the end of term 1 in Year 11. Similarly, students in set 2 are entered for an extra qualification, Further Maths.

Both courses enhance preparation for GCSE, ensuring that students are A-level ready, and they provide a useful head start on their A-Level course should they wish to take it.

Throughout the GCSE course, students are given mentoring opportunities from sixth-form students in order to fill any possible gaps in their understanding. In year 11, a full past exam paper is used for the first PPE exams which are taken in November. A second shorter PPE is taken in February.

Following the first PPE, a full analysis is made of the exam papers and lessons taught are used to deal with the gaps. Numerous past exam papers are provided for students. These papers are then marked and feedback given in lessons.

Other revision sessions are used to prepare the students for the exams. Throughout, Years 10 and 11, students are given the opportunity to purchase a range of revision guides.

The school subscribes to ‘maths watch’ and students are encouraged to use this as one of their revision tools.

A Level: years 12 and 13

Mathematics is a popular choice at A Level and it compliments many other subjects in the curriculum. The course follows the Pearson/ Edexcel specification and is split into pure maths and applied maths. There is a large emphasis on flipped learning, where students follow videos and fill in notes in preparation for lesson time. During lessons, students are then able to ask their teacher further questions regarding the topic and work through exam questions together. The aim is to create an independent mathematician with less dependence on a single resource and to ensure that the students are more inquisitive rather than “textbook clever”.

Year 12

Students in Year 12 will cover content that largely builds upon top end GCSE algebra before moving into brand-new material that lays the foundations for year 13 work. Pure maths comprises proof, algebra and functions, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integration, and vectors.


In applied maths students will learn about statistical sampling, data representation and interpretation, probability, binomial distribution, statistical hypothesis testing on the binomial distribution, quantities and units in mechanics, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws and moments. Throughout the A-Level course, there is a large emphasis on problem-solving. With these questions, students need to bring together multiple aspects of the course.

Year 13

In Year 13, students build upon the fundamentals learned in year 12 and work towards developing and mastering these skills in with more rigorous challenges. Pure maths comprises more advanced versions of the topics that are covered in year 12.

In applied maths students will learn about correlation and regression and hypothesis testing on the sample PMCC, more advanced probability, the Normal distribution, projectiles and more advanced areas of forces and Newton’s laws.

Throughout the A-level course students will have two specialist teachers, one for pure content and one for applied. Students are given notes, Power Points and textbooks to learn the theory and are exposed regularly to exam questions in lesson time, through tests and through homework assignments.

All students will sit three sets of two-hour papers at the end of year 13, two pure and one applied.

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is a requirement from most top universities should students wish to study mathematical based degrees. The course follows the Pearson/ Edexcel specification and counts for two A-levels – an A-level in mathematics and an A-level in further mathematics. Students will learn compulsory content in core maths and two additional options, further pure 1 and further mechanics 1. All students will sit both A Levels at the end of Year 13 – something which top universities prefer.


Year 12

  • In year 12 students complete the mathematics A-level in parallel with the earlier content of further mathematics.
  • Students will cover topics that they will not encounter in the mathematics A-level such as complex numbers, matrices, vector equations and planes, roots of polynomials and proof by induction.
  • By the end of year 12, students studying further maths will have finished the mathematics A-level and will then embark upon the further maths content in full. This will include starting the second half of the core maths course and further mechanics.


Year 13

  • Year 13 lessons will be totally dedicated to further maths, whilst the A-level mathematics will be revisited on a regular basis.
  • Students will cover more advanced series and complex numbers and brand-new topics such as polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions, differential equations and new areas of calculus.
  • The two option modules, further pure mathematics 1 and further mechanics 1, will be completed.
  • Further pure mathematics comprises further trigonometry, calculus, differential equations, coordinate systems, vectors, numerical methods and inequalities.
  • Further mechanics 1 comprises momentum and impulse, work, energy and power, elastic springs and elastic collisions in one and two dimensions.
  • Students are given notes, Power Points and textbooks to learn the theory and are exposed regularly to exam questions in lesson time, through tests and through homework assignments.