Examination Board:  EDEXCEL

Exact Course Title: GCSE Mathematics

Why should I study Mathematics?

Your brain is a muscle; when it is used regularly it gets stronger and more efficient. Learning something new creates new connections in your brain, and repeatedly doing the same thing will increase the strength of that connection. Our brains are great at adapting existing knowledge and skills to a new purpose. Mathematics is all about logic and problem solving. When you boost your brain power in Mathematics you will get better at analysing and solving real life problems. You will learn to identify the best deals in shops, for a loan, mortgage or phone contract. You will know whether that bit of furniture will fit through a doorway and be able to calculate the number of tiles you should buy to cover your bathroom wall.

Employers know this! The reason that most jobs require a good pass in Mathematics is because employers want people working for them who can problem solve on the job. It does not necessarily mean you will be using the quadratic formula in your career, but the brain connections that you have made will be invaluable to the person offering you a job.

Mathematics is so important that all students will be expected to get a good pass in Mathematics (Grade 5 or better), or they will need to re-sit their GCSE during years 12 & 13.

What will I learn?

Mathematics is broken down into 6 units of study: Number, Algebra, Shape, Statistics, Ratio and Probability. Each of these will be covered throughout your GCSE.

What will be expected of me?

You will be expected to take notes in lessons, copy examples and to always write out the question and show your full working out. You will not be afraid to make mistakes, because we learn from our errors, but you will always be able to justify and explain where you got an answer from. Mathematics is not a subject where you should be guessing, it is the application of skills and knowledge to obtain a sensible answer.

What skills will I develop?

You will learn to give a rational and reasoned response to functional problems, to identify key words and recognise the best method to tackle a problem. You will memorise and use a range of formulae to solve complex problems, and will demonstrate or justify your methods.

How will I be assessed?

Students will sit 3 examinations at the end of the course, totalling 4 hours and 30 minutes. Two of the examinations will allow the use of a calculator, but paper 1 is a non-calculator paper.

Where will this qualification lead me?

Most college courses and apprenticeships require a good pass in Mathematics in order to get onto the course. Able students who achieve a grade 6 may wish to consider taking A-level mathematics. Good grades in Mathematics can lead to a variety of careers, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Accountancy.