GCSE Mathematics

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What will I learn?

In Mathematics you will be studying the Linear Syllabus which is designed to spread the learning of the four major areas of Number, Algebra, Shape and Space and Handling Data over the two year period of Key Stage 4. It is expected that the course would be completed by the end of the Autumn term of Year 11 allowing for sufficient revision time before the final examinations the following June. Number explores the properties of numbers, how to manipulate them using various numerical techniques and enabling you to solve a wide range of problems and real-life situations involving mathematics. Algebraic rules are learnt and applied both in a ‘pure’ mathematical form and as a tool to solving problems as well as using graphs in a wide range of activities.  Shape and Space involves you in exploring properties of shapes, both in 2D and 3D, using aspects of trigonometry for finding lengths and angles of shapes and calculation of areas and volumes. Handling Data includes aspects of probability and statistical calculations. There is a new emphasis on solving multi-faceted problems involving more than one technique at a time – very much a ‘lateral thinking’ approach which makes the subject so much more interesting and applicable to the real world.

How will I learn?

You will use a variety of computational, algebraic, communication and ICT skills to explore the world of mathematics and be able to use your knowledge to mathematical applications in the real world and real-life situations. The new syllabus which applied from September 2010 is very much focused on you being able think mathematically when faced with these practical problems and you will be able to learn how to tackle multi-layered problems with confidence.

How will I be assessed?

The formal internal assessments are based on the WJEC papers and these will take place after an appropriate time in Year 10 and in Year 11 to support the reporting of progress. Being a Linear course you will sit the final external examinations at the end of Year 11 and the exam consists of two papers, one of which does not allow use of a calculator. There will be further internal assessments at the end of each unit of study and these will occur regularly throughout the course.

What next after the course?

The GCSE course leads on to the AS and A level courses offered here at St. Brigids. You can study three units for an AS award or 6 units for the A level. We offer both Mechanics and Statistics as well as Pure Maths units and there is also the opportunity to study Further Maths

Future employment opportunities?

Mathematics underlies a vast range of human activity and the list of careers where A-level Mathematics are essential or desirable is endless;  some examples are  engineering, surveying, banking and finance, economics, medicine and aerospace. A Degree in Mathematics is a passport to being considered a serious contender for a wide range of jobs in the 21st Century.