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The Mathematics Department at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School aims to provide an environment in which students have every opportunity to develop their full mathematical potential.  Every learner will be provided with the tools to become a resilient learner in an environment where high expectations are at the forefront of learning.

We believe in a spiral approach to teaching, visiting topics “little and often.”  We use the principle of active recall of prior learning to embed long term retention of topics.

The Maths Department make use of assessment to identify gaps in prior learning, regularly revisiting topics to ensure a consistent understanding of those which are non-negotiable and key for students' success in their GCSE examinations.

We provide an inclusive environment that stimulates progress for all learners, regardless of ability or background. As a department we encourage and celebrate individual success in lessons and assessment.  We provide the opportunity for extended learning.

The Year 11 curriculum focuses on embedding the non-negotiable skills that students require, whilst developing and strengthening their understanding of links within the Mathematics curriculum. The teaching ensures that students are given the opportunity to fully explore their ability to problem solve, building on the 'creativity' meta-skill. 

The department uses regular assessment to allow students and teachers to be reflective of their/their class' current understanding and address the areas they have identified as weak.  Students are supported to develop their independent study skills and a love of learning.

Curriculum Summary

Key Stage 3

Programme of Study

Over the two years, the students will study the following:
During Years 7 & 8, they will follow the Pearson scheme of work.

The types of topics to be covered are:

  1. Number and algebra
    1. rational numbers, their properties and their different representations
    2. rules of arithmetic applied to calculations and manipulations with rational numbers
    3. applications of ratio and proportion
    4. accuracy and rounding
    5. algebra as generalised arithmetic
    6. linear equations, formulae, expressions and identities
    7. analytical, graphical and numerical methods for solving equations
    8. polynomial graphs, sequences and functions
  2. Geometry and measures
    1. properties of 2D and 3D shapes
    2. constructions, loci and bearings
    3. Pythagoras' theorem
    4. transformations
    5. similarity, including the use of scale
    6. points, lines and shapes in 2D coordinate systems
    7. units, compound measures and conversions
    8. perimeters, areas, surface areas and volumes
  3. Statistics
    1. the handling data cycle
    2. presentation and analysis of grouped and ungrouped data, including time series and lines of best fit
    3. measures of central tendency and spread
    4. experimental and theoretical probabilities, including those based on equally likely outcomes.


Learning/Teaching Approach

Students will develop the following skills:

  • 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.
  • Problem solving 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.


Students will be assessed through cumulative testing each half term. These assessments are the basis of how they are set alongside teacher judgement from lessons.

Key Stage 4

Qualification: GCSE 

Awarding Body and Paper: Edexcel 1 MA1 linear

Programme of Study

The scheme of work follows the Edexcel GCSE 9-1 specification over the course of two years.

The main aims of the GCSE are to:

  • develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts 
  • acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems 
  • reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions 
  • comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

The course is built on 6 main content areas:

1 Number 

2 Algebra 

3 Ratio, proportion and rates of change 

4 Geometry and measures 

5 Probability 

6 Statistics

The GCSE is split into two tiers; Higher and Foundation, with the majority of students sitting the higher tier.  

Learning/Teaching Approach

  • Mathematics is studied by all students in Years 9, 10 and 11.
  • Each year group is divided into sets; this enables every student to work at the pace best suited to her ability.
  • The progress of each student is monitored carefully with regular assessment and target setting opportunities.
  • Sets 1 to 6 are prepared for Higher tier entry and set 7 for Foundation tier


  • Assessment in mathematics consists of 3 terminal exam papers at the end of Year 11. Two of these papers are calculator and one non-calculator. Each exam paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
  • There are two tiers: Higher, covering grades 4 to 9 and Foundation, covering grades 1 to 5.

What it can lead to

GCSE Mathematics is a qualification which is a necessary entry requirement for many further education courses and employment opportunities. It is an important stepping-stone for A-levels in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology and Economics.

Success in Mathematics can lead to careers in many prominent fields including Medicine, Finance and Engineering.

Additional Points

The new GCSE specification involves greater mathematical rigour. All students at KS4 are expected to continuously review and revise to meet these demands.
All students need to be prepared for every lesson with the appropriate scientific calculator and geometry set.

Tier of Entry

Foundation/Higher Tier

Key Stage 5

Qualification: A-Level Mathematics

Awarding Body and Papers: Edexcel

Paper 1: Pure Mathematics 1 (Paper code: 9MA0/01)

Paper 2: Pure Mathematics 2 (Paper code: 9MA0/02)

Paper 3: Statistics and Mechanics (Paper code: 9MA0/03)

Each paper is a 2-hour written examination,  33.33% of the qualification

Entry Requirements: Grade 7 or above in Mathematics GCSE 

The Mathematics Department at BUCHS comprises a team of experienced specialists, who are passionate about their subject and love to share their enthusiasm for Mathematics.

In completing a Mathematics A level at BUCHS, you will also benefit from smaller class sizes (typically less than 15 students in a class) which allows for more tailored and individual learning to take place. The Mathematics Department aims to provide an environment in which students have every opportunity to develop their full Mathematical potential in an inclusive environment that stimulates progress for all learners, regardless of ability or background.

During this course, you will study Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics.   The content builds on your understanding from GCSE and explores a variety of topics including; coordinate geometry, trigonometry, calculus, proof, algebra & functions, numerical methods, vectors, sequences and series, probability, data representation, statistics distributions and hypothesis testing, forces and Newtons Laws, moments and kinematics. You will also develop into strong problem solvers with an understanding of how to apply mathematics to real life situations with the use of mathematical modelling.

The main reasons for studying mathematics to an advanced level is that you find it interesting and enjoyable, you like its challenge, its clarity, and the fact that you generally know when you are right. For many university courses, a knowledge of mathematics at A2 level is seen as desirable, and in some cases essential. Studies have shown that people with an A level in mathematics also tend to earn more on average than those without. Ultimately, mathematics is an amazing subject to have studied at A Level. Provided you have a solid understanding of the GCSE concepts before you start, with perseverance and effort, you should find this course extremely rewarding.

Qualification: A-Level Further Mathematics

Awarding Body and Papers: Edexcel 

Paper 1: Core Pure Mathematics 1 (Paper code: 9FM0/01)

Paper 2: Core Pure Mathematics 2 (Paper code: 9FM0/02)

Paper 3: Further Statistics 1 (Paper code: 9FM0/3B)

Paper 4: Further Statistics 1 (Paper code: 9FM0/3C)

Each paper is: 1-hour 30 minutes written examination 25% of the qualification

Entry Requirements: Grade 8 or above in Mathematics GCSE 

At BUCHS, we have an extremely well qualified Mathematics department with teachers who are experienced at delivering the Further Mathematics A level and who achieve excellent outcomes from their students.

In the Further Mathematics A-level, students study two compulsory modules; Core Pure 1 and Core Pure 2 along-side Further Statistics 1 and Further Mechanics 1.  During this course, you will extend the content you cover in Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics, as well having the opportunity to explore new and fascinating areas of mathematics. As part of this A level, you will encounter complex numbers, matrices, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions, springs and Hooke’s law and probability generating functions, to name but a few!

It is a requirement of Further Mathematics that you also take Mathematics.  Further Mathematics A Level is hugely rewarding and held in very high esteem by universities and employers. It is designed for students who have a genuine passion for Mathematics and want to discover more about the subject but who also thrive on challenge. Further Mathematics broadens students’ mathematical skills and promotes deeper mathematical thinking and understanding and is an ideal choice for students looking to advance to degrees in Mathematics, Finance, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Economics.