Theme of the week is: Target setting
All Year 10 students study mathematics leading to Key Stage 4 GCSE examination. All students now follow a linear course, with two exams taken at the end of Year 11 in either May or June. The most able candidates (typically those who attained Level 8 at Key Stage 3) also have the option to study an additional Free Standing Mathematics Qualification (FSMQ), which can act as a bridge between GCSE and A level.
The GCSE Mathematics specification is changing from next year, with a much greater emphasis on problem solving than before. The grading system will also change and this will be explained thoroughly once it is fully implemented. The content, however, will remain the same and the following areas of maths are covered:
The GCSE in Mathematics is examined at two tiers, Higher and Foundation. Candidates at both tiers have access to a C Grade, with possible grades as follows:
Higher (Grades A* - D); Foundation (Grades C - G).
Students will be prepared for the tier of entry most appropriate to their ability. The final decision on tier of entry will be taken following a Mock Examination paper in December of their Year 11.
The main class texts used to support the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics are “GCSE Maths 2 tier – higher” and “GCSE Maths 2 tier – foundation”, published by Collins and fully endorsed by the examining board Edexcel. These complement an ever-expanding bank of electronic and other resources, such as BoardWorks, Qwizdom and MyMaths. All students will be encouraged to uses the school’s subscription to www.mymaths.co.uk to consolidate the work covered in class and to help prepare for exams. Also students are provided with Revision Guides and Work Books. Students are prepared for the examination with Practice Exam Papers given at intervals throughout the course. Calculators are necessary pieces of equipment for the course and it is essential that each student has their own “Algebraic Calculator” so that they become familiar with its manipulation (these can be purchased through the Maths department).
Assessment is by means of two papers taken at the end of year 11. There is no coursework component. These are split into two papers:
The papers are of equal weighting and each 1hour and 45minutes.
A GCSE in Statistics is taken by the top set students and is studied during the academic course and taken at the end of year 11. Other students will be offered this opportunity in year 11, however it will be taken as an optional GCSE and offered as an after school subject. This GCSE does have a coursework component.
This course is assessed by a single written paper at the end of Year 10 (carrying 75% of the marks) and a data-handling project (25%). The main text used for this course is Key Maths Statistics (Edexcel Version).
The Examining Board used for both GCSE Mathematics and Statistics is EDEXCEL. The board used for the FSMQ is OCR. More details of the exam specifications may be obtained from the website: www.edexcel.com (follow the links to Mathematics GCSE).