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Mathematics is the study of topics such as number, structure, space and change. Through the use of abstraction and logic, mathematics developed from counting, calculation, measurement and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. It is a core subject within both the Primary and Secondary National Curriculum and all students are expected to achieve at least a level 4 at GCSE, before they go on to further study, apprenticeships or to employment.
Mathematics introduces young children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and support learning across the curriculum. It helps children make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world around them, offers ways of handling data in an increasingly digital world and makes a crucial contribution to their development as successful learners. Maths is assessed formally at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with SATs, which focus on arithmeitc and reasoning skills. For SATs the expected level is set at 100, with scores ranging from 80 to 120. Any score above 100 is regarded as a pass and any under as a fail.
GCSE and IGCSE Exam Boards for Mathematics include AQA, Edexcel, Eduqas, OCR, WJEC and the CIE IGCSE. Pupils taking GCSE or IGCSE maths have to sit four-and-a-half hours of Exams at the end of Year 11. Pupils have to show their working in all Exam Papers to earn full marks. Two Exam Papers allow the use of calculators, one ninety minute Exam Paper does not. GCSE level 4 is equivalent to a low grade C and is considered the minimum passing grade. Schools would expect a pupil to achieve GCSE level 7, or above, to go on to study A level. The most able pupils can achieve GCSE Level 9, which is equivalent to A**, which is awarded to the top 4% of each cohort.
A-Level Mathematics is a highly regarded qualification, which develops analytical and logical thinking used in many fields of work, such as engineering, medicine, computing, and natural sciences.
Students are required to study a number of modules including Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics. The A-Level Examination comprises of three 2 hour exams taken a the end of the two year course in May. Grades are awarded from A* through to E.
Further Maths is an A-Level qualification which both broadens and deepens the mathematics covered in A-Level Mathematics. It is a separate A-Level, taken in addition to taking A-Level Mathematics and suitable for the most able students. Half of the content is based on Further Pure Mathematics and the remainder chosen from options including Mechanics, Statistics, Decision Mathematics or extra Further Pure. Further Maths is currently one of the fastest-growing of all subjects taught at A-Level, which reflects the fact that greater knowledge of Maths often results in higher university admission chances at Russell Group and Oxbridge Universities.