GCSE Mathematics

Mathematics is an integral part of our everyday lives and it appears in many different forms. When we use the telephone, manage our finances, travel abroad, play football, decorate our houses; Mathematics underpins it all.  Mathematics also plays an important part in over half of the job market in the UK.  Medicine, Architecture, Joinery, Building, Packaging and Engineering are some examples of hundreds of careers which are heavily reliant on Mathematics.

Our department has a suite of six well-resourced classrooms. Teachers have access to up-to-date technology, such as data projectors and interactive whiteboards.  ICT suites are also available for students to use.  The highly skilled and experienced Mathematics teachers at The Catholic High School Chester use innovative teaching methods to empower students to take responsibility for their own learning.  Our aim is not only to deliver the Mathematics curriculum to our students, but to develop their thinking skills and metacognition, to enable them to make decisions, solve problems and reflect, evaluate and improve on their own learning.  We recognise the importance of enjoyment in Mathematics and combine essential practice with a variety of engaging activities.

The Curriculum

We are proud to offer a personalised curriculum for students of all ability levels. Our close relationship with our feeder primary schools allows us to get to know our students before they join us in Year 7.  This ensures that all students receive sufficient support to allow them to make progress from their first day at The Catholic High School Chester.  Support packages offered to our students include additional focus sessions and student mentoring. 

Key stage 3

Years 7 and 8 students follow a Maths Mastery scheme of work provided by White Rose Maths. The mastery programme encourages students to master the concepts behind the mathematics rather than  to ‘just be able to do it’, encouraging a deep understanding of all branches of maths and allowing students to grow within the subject.

There is a link below to their website:

Key Stage 3 Mastery 

Key stage 4

All students are entered for OCR GCSE Maths. Students will sit their exam at either Higher or Foundation level.  Higher level students will be striving for Grades 9 to 5.  Foundation students will be striving for Grades 5 to 1.  There are half termly tests which inform decisions on setting and tier of entry in Year 11.  Some of our more able and talented students sit GCSE Mathematics and a Level 2 Further Mathematics qualification (run by AQA), giving them useful insight into A Level Mathematics. 

Key areas of study for all key stages are as follows:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and Measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Awarding Body for GCSE: OCR

Awarding Body for Further Maths GCSE (Set 1 only) AQA Further Maths GCSE 

A Level Mathematics

A Level Mathematics is a highly regarded subject which complements the majority of other subjects. Many of the country’s top universities look favourably upon students with A Level Mathematics, as it provides a broad skill set which can be transferred to a wide range of disciplines.  Recent reports suggest that A Level Mathematicians go on to earn 10% higher salaries than other A Level students, with careers in Medicine, Accounting, Finance, Architecture, Insurance and Computing among the most common.

Students follow the A Level specification run by Edexcel which consists of a pure and a statistics and mechanics content. Both aspects of the course are taught across years 12 and 13. The course runs as follows:

Year 12:

Pure Mathematics: Algebra and Functions, Further algebra, Differentiation, Integration, Vectors in 2 dimensions, Coordinate Geometry, Trigonometry, Exponentials and Logarithms

Statistics and mechanics: Representing and interpreting Data, Probability, Statistical distributions including the discrete uniform and binomial distributions, statistical sampling and hypothesis testing, Kinematics, Forces and Newton’s laws

Year 13:

Pure Mathematics: Algebra and Partial fractions, Trigonometry, Further Differentiation and Integration, Numerical Methods, Proof, Functions and modelling, Series and sequences, The binomial theorem, parametric equations, Vectors in 3 dimensions.

Statistics and Mechanics: The Normal distribution, probability, Correlation and regression, Forces at any angle, Further kinematics and applications of kinematics, Applications of forces, Moments. 

Students will be examined in the form of three two hour written examinations. Papers one and two will test the pure aspect of the course; paper three will test the statistics and mechanics. 

A Level Further Mathematics

For students with a serious interest in Mathematics, Further mathematics A Level provides an opportunity to explore more complex mathematical ideas. Students who take this challenging course find it an enjoyable and empowering experience, which offers the exposure to establish themselves as outstanding mathematicians.  A Level Further Mathematics students applying to study university courses with a mathematical content, often find that they receive lower conditional offers than other students.  Furthermore, some prestigious universities will only offer places to students with at least an AS Level in Further Mathematics, particularly if they are applying to study Mathematics. 

Further Mathematics A Level is divided into four modules with various routes available that can, within reason, be tailored to the students’ needs. Some modules may be taught in collaboration with the Further Mathematics Support programme. Students will be examined in the form of four written examinations; papers 1 and 2 will test the core aspect of the course, papers 3 and 4 will test the chose option module.

Year 12

Core Pure Year 1: Complex Numbers, Matrices, Series, Algebra and functions, Proof, Vectors, Calculus

One of the following: Decision 1, Mechanics 1 or Statistics 1. 

Year 13

Core Pure Year 2: Complex numbers, Hyperbolic functions, Polar coordinates, Series, Further calculus, Differential equations.

One of the following: Decision 1, Mechanics 1 or Statistics 1 (depending on the choice in year 12) 

Awarding body Edexcel A level maths and further maths 

The Department

Mr. Aubrey BSc                 The University of Liverpool                          (Head of Mathematics)

Mrs. Wilkinson BSc          Edge Hill University                                         (Assistant Head of Mathematics)

Mrs. Holmes BSc              The Open University                                      (Teacher of Mathematics)

Mrs. O’Reilly BSc              Liverpool John Moores University            (Teacher of Mathematics)

Mr. Barnsley                   Glyndwr University                                       (Teacher of Mathematics)