Purpose of study

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history's most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which 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 should develop and consolidate connections across mathematical ideas. They should build on learning from key stage 3 to further develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge wherever relevant in other subjects and in financial contexts.

High Attainers will study the following topics during their 5 year course:

Key Stage 3  
Year 7 Year 8  
Unit 1 Analysing and displaying data Unit 1 Factors and powers  
Unit 2 Number skills Unit 2 Working with powers  
Unit 3 Equations, functions and formulae Unit 3 2D shapes and 3D solids  
Unit 4 Fractions Unit 4 Real-life graphs  
Unit 5 Angles and shapes Unit 5 Transformations  
Unit 6 Decimals Unit 6 Fractions, decimals and percentages  
Unit 7 Equations Unit 7 Constructions and loci  
Unit 8 Multiplicative reasoning Unit 8 Probability  
Unit 9 Perimeter, area and volume Unit 9 Scale drawings and measurements  
Unit 10 Sequences and graphs Unit 10 Graphs  
Key Stage 4 (Higher GCSE)
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Unit 1 Number  Unit 9 Equations and inequalities Unit 18 Vectors and geometric proof
Unit 2 Algebra Unit 10 Probability  Unit 19 Proportion and graphs 
Unit 3 Interpreting and representing data  Unit 11 Multiplicative reasoning Revision for GCSE Exams 
Unit 4 Fractions, ratio and proportion  Unit 12 Similarly and congruence   
Unit 5 Angles and trigonometry  Unit 13 More trigonometry   
Unit 6 Graphs Unit 14 Further statistics   
Unit 7 Area and volume  Unit 15 Equations and graphs  
Unit 8 Transformation and constructions Unit 16 Circle theorems   
  Unit 17 More algebra   
Middle Attainers will study the following topics during their 5 year course:
Key Stage 3  
Year 7 Year 8  
Unit 1 Analysing and displaying data Unit 1 Number and lesson  
Unit 2 Number skills Unit 2 Area and volume  
Unit 3 Expressions, functions and formulae Unit 3 Statistics, graphs and charts  
Unit 4 Decimals and measures Unit 4 Expressions and equations  
Unit 5 Fractions Unit 5 Real-life graphs  
Unit 6 Probability Unit 6 Decimals and ratio  
Unit 7 Ratio and proportion Unit 7 Lines and angles  
Unit 8 Lines and angles Unit 8 Calculating with fractions  
Unit 9 Sequences and graphs Unit 9 Straight-line graphs  
Unit 10 Transformations Unit 10 Percentages, decimals and fractions  
Key Stage 4  
At the end of Year 8/start of Year 9, it will be decided whether you will follow the Foundation or Higher route in Years 9-11. Then following the overviews identified above for Higher Tier GCSE and below for Foundation Tier GCSE.
Low Attainers will study the following topics during their 5 year course:
Key Stage 3  
Year 7 Year 8  
Unit 1 Analysing and displaying data Unit 1 Number properties and calculations  
Unit 2 Calculating  Unit 2 Shapes and measures in 3D   
Unit 3 Expressions, functions and formulae  Unit 3 Statistics   
Unit 4 Graphs  Unit 4 Expressions and equations   
Unit 5 Factors and multiples Unit 5 Decimals calculations   
Unit 6 Decimals and measures  Unit 6 Angles   
Unit 7 Angles and lines  Unit 7 Number properties  
Unit 8 Measuring and shapes Unit 8 Sequences   
Unit 9 Fractions, decimals and percentages  Unit 9 Fractions and percentages  
Unit 10 Transformations  Unit 10 Probability   
Key Stage 4 (Foundation GCSE)   
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Unit 1 Number Unit 9 Graphs Unit 18 Fractions, indices and standard form
Unit 2 Algebra  Unit 10 Transformations  Unit 19 Congruence, similarity and vectors 
Unit 3 Graphs, tables and charts Unit 11 Ratio and proportion Unit 20 More algebra 
Unit 4 Fractions and percentages  Unit 12 Right-angled triangles  Revision for GCSE Exams 
Unit 5 Equations, inequalities and sequences Unit 13 Probability  
Unit 6 Angles Unit 14 Multiplicative reasoning   
Unit 7 Averages and range  Unit 15 Constructions, loci and bearings  
Unit 8 Perimeter, area and volume 1  Unit 16 Quadratic equations and graphs   
  Unit 17 Perimeter, area and volume 2  

Please follow the link below for further details about the GCSE Maths specification: