Head of Department

Mrs G Barrass


Second in Department

Mrs N Oliver, Mr M Bouvier

Teaching Staff

Mr T Johnson, Mrs G Rodriguez, Mrs C Small, Mr I Murray, Miss A Peplow,

Mr D Flynn, Mr A Skeoch


Maths Coach

Mrs J Smith


Key Stage 3


The Mathematics Curriculum across all Key Stages has underwent significant changes over the last few years, both in content and assessment models.


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. 


Sacred Heart aims to ensure that girls develop these skills and that they have the confidence to apply their mathematical knowledge across a range of subjects and situations. We want students to believe and know that they “can do mathematics”.


During Key Stage 3 students are taught at the appropriate level a balanced variety of topics from areas of:


  • Number

  • Algebra

  • Geometry and Measure

  • Statistics


Alongside the new content, there will be lots of opportunities for students to check their understanding of previous content. Both new content and interleaved content will be regularly assessed, with opportunities to review previous material as and when required


Year 7 and 8 Mathematics – Mastery model

Research of best practice from around the world has shown that using a Mastery model to deliver the Mathematics curriculum enables students to develop a deeper understanding and recall of mathematical concepts and develop higher order thinking skills and strategies for problem solving.


Mastery in Mathematics enables students:

  • to spend longer on a topic to ensure full and deep understanding takes place

  • to use concrete manipulatives and visual representations to support students understanding

  • to recall key facts and concepts and apply them in contextual questions

  • to generalise and be able to apply mathematics in abstract situations

  • to apply their knowledge across topics and within problem solving situations


We will be deliberately slowing down the delivery of content and focusing on deep understanding, this may include re-visiting content already met at Key Stage 2 but the main difference will be in the time dedicated to reasoning and problem solving.


Year 9 Mathematics – Pre-GCSE year

In year 9, students will be spending time building strong foundations for GCSE mathematics. The pace of the curriculum will continue to be at a slower pace, allowing time for the students to gain a deep understanding and have lots of opportunities for problem solving and reasoning.



Key Stage 4


During Key Stage 4 students are taught at the appropriate level a balanced variety of topics from areas of:

  • Number

  • Algebra

  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change

  • Shape and Space

  • Handling Data


GCSE Mathematics is a linear course, which requires the candidates to sit three exams at the end of Year 11.  Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes, the first being non-calculator whist the remaining two are both calculator papers.


​The students will be entered for either the Foundation or Higher papers depending on their ability and progress during the two years leading up to the examinations.

​The Foundation paper covers grades 5 down to 1, whilst the Higher paper awards grades 9 to 4.

The GCSE also tests the student’s knowledge in three ways on all papers:

AO1: These are direct mathematical calculations, where the students can display their knowledge of methods and their ability to recall facts. 

AO2: Here the students are required to use reasoning and interpretation to help them answer the questions.  They are also expected to layout their work clearly, explaining their reasoning and methods at all stages and drawing conclusions from the answers.

AO3: These questions are normally the most probing.  They require the students to both interpret information often given in written or diagrammatical form as well as draw on their mathematical knowledge from all aspects of their work rather than from a single topic.  Here they are again expected to provide a clear narrative explaining their reasoning throughout the calculations and in a final conclusion.

This approach builds on Key Stage 3 Mathematics and cross curricular initiatives on thinking skills and independent working. It prepares learners to function mathematically in the world and provides a thorough grounding for further study in Mathematics.


For GCSE support:

Students can book one-to-one sessions with our Maths coach at lunchtime or after school. The sign up sheet is in the maths open area.  Students must sign their name up to a time slot and state which topic they would like to work on.


Key Stage 5


Mathematics AS and A level 

Students studying AS or A level Mathematics currently follow the Edexcel course, although since the change to linear examinations, all of the content in the AS/A level Mathematics qualification is compulsory and is the same for all examination boards:


Pure Mathematics (66%) methods and techniques which underpin the study of all other areas of mathematics, such as, proof, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and vectors.


Statistics (17%) statistical sampling, data presentation and probability leading to the study of statistical distributions

Mechanics  (17%) the study of the physical world, modelling the motion of objects and the forces acting on them. 

The students sit all exams in the summer of Year 13. Students taking AS Mathematics complete 2 papers, each of 1½ hours duration. A level Mathematics students complete 3 x 2 hour papers.


Further Mathematics

AS and A level Further Mathematics is offered to students studying AS/A level Mathematics. It covers a wider range of pure topics and gives students the opportunity to study additional application modules including further statistics, further mechanics, or discrete mathematics.


Re-Sit students

Students in sixth form who haven’t achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE Maths must complete a re-sit.  Students must attend all lessons and complete independent study during the year. There are opportunities for students to re-sit in November and June.


Extra Curricular


  • Revision and additional support of all ages is offered at lunchtime and after school

  • All Years - Maths Challenges during the Year

  • Sixth Form - Maths Inspiration Theatre Visit

  • Year 11 and Sixth Form – University visits

Parental Support & Information


As parents you will wish to support your daughter in her mathematical journey at Sacred Heart so the Mathematics Department would ask:


  • You take an interest in the mathematics she is studying at school and completing at home

  • Assist your daughter in her appreciation that maths is a journey to a solution not the solution alone

  • Take opportunities to engage with maths at home e.g. shopping, puzzles, timetables, journey and holiday planning, the applications of maths within your job

  • When she encounters a challenge or is struggling, to encourage her to be resilient

  • Be a positive role model for your daughter in her maths studies even if maths was not your strength at school. Continue to encourage your daughter to persevere when she finds some topics challenging.



At Sacred Heart. we hope that your daughter will find her mathematics lessons engaging and enjoyable.


We know that sometimes a student may struggle with a concept, often as a result of a knowledge gap from earlier years, and we have support systems in place to assist your daughter:


  • Class teacher support – during lessons, breaks and lunchtimes

  • Maths Coaching – 1:1 sessions with a member of the Maths Dept to spend time revisiting problem topics

  • Access to materials online – we use Mathswatch to allow students to complete supported independent work at home. Mathswatch has video’s for students to watch which will teach them topics. It is an excellent resource for revision and support.

  • Your daughter will use mathematical equipment in lessons and at home, so we ask that you ensure that she has a protractor, a pair of compasses and a scientific calculator.


​While not essential, you may wish your daughter to have a revision guide and/or workbook to use at home. These items can be bought from the Maths department at cost price.

Last updated: July 2021