GCSE Mathematics

Mathematics is a core subject that everyone studies and there are extremely good reasons for this. It is a precise discipline that trains pupils to have an unparalleled clarity of intellectual thought based on logic and accuracy. This style of thinking is becoming ever more important both in our careers and personal lives. Without this understanding of Mathematics, we cannot make effective decisions when, for example, running a business, saving for a holiday or critically understanding statistical information presented in the media. But as well as being useful, this style of thinking becomes progressively more elegant and beautiful as we progress through the course with introductions to calculus, sets and algebraic proof. Ask any mathematician and they will share their delight at tackling tricky problems and this is because of the excitement that comes from the moment that the penny drops and you see your way through the problem.

Course content

The Key Stage 4 course builds on what has been studied in Key Stage 3 with, for example, linear equations extended into quadratic and rational equations. The course has very many elements and so this listing is a representative sample of what is studied.

Number – Decimals, percentages, fractions. Proportionality. Types of number such as primes, factors and multiples and their uses. Surds.
Statistics – A selection of forms of representation of data both through calculation and through drawing graphs.
Algebra – Manipulating expressions. Solving equations and inequalities. Algebraic graphs. Calculus. Algebraic proof.
Probability – Probability calculations and use of sets.
Shape and Space – Pythagoras and trigonometry in 2D and 3D. Angle rules in a range of contexts and geometric proof.
Problem solving – Using the techniques studied to solve real life problems. Explaining why using the evidence resulting from calculations.
The course is linear and examined at the end of year 11. There are two exams that are both 2 hours long and you are allowed a calculator in both.

Co-curricular / Extended Qualifications

Pupils can participate in the Mathematics challenges and Code Breaking Club. Pupils in the top division will also be given the opportunity to sit the Further Mathematics extended qualification, which provides an excellent bridge into the A Level. It is not compulsory, but study for it does also help pupils access the top grades at GCSE.

Next steps

The Mathematics IGCSE is a highly regarded qualification that is excellent preparation for a wide variety of further study. A good grade is essential preparation for progression to Mathematics A Level. It will also be of great benefit in other subjects such as the Sciences.

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