Curriculum Intent

The Maths curriculum at The Archbishop’s School is ambitious, aspirational and inclusive for all. Students from all abilities are provided with challenge and prepared for the next stage in their education. Students will build resilience by completing non-routine Maths problems within each unit of work. In Maths, we aim to develop problem solving skills where students can apply their knowledge in other subjects within school, and in the outside world.  

The curriculum is designed in a way that enables teachers to identify gaps in knowledge and provide intervention to help students build on those skills in the future.


Curriculum Implementation

The Maths curriculum design provides students with opportunities for recalling prior knowledge through the use of starters and of problem-solving questions. Students apply content learnt in previous learning and use it in a contextualised questions in the current unit being taught.

Our feedback and feedforward policy uses Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs) to communicate teacher and student responses to new learning and guide improvements. Each unit students are given a mini test at the end of the topic, receive feedback and then have an intervention lesson to improve on misconceptions. Once mini test 2 is complete their progress is reflected on. After students complete a formal assessment, based on their learning throughout the year, students are provided with a gap analysis to improve on topics that have not been fully understood and provides us with data to adjust sets to support and challenge. 

In lessons teachers will use clear I do, we do, and you do modelling, followed by minimally different questions to build confidence with topics. This is followed by an application or problem-solving task.

We use exit tickets as an assessment for learning tool to inform planning.

Our Maths curriculum uses a Maths mastery approach to teaching, whereby teachers deliver content using a pictorial, concrete abstract approach, and should a student need it, the use of manipulatives in lesson. Students are also supported by homework. Each topic students receive homework on MathsWatch, this provides access to video lessons to support in answering those questions.


Mathematics Learning Journey

Examination Board: EDXCEL

The department wishes:

  • to create a fast-paced and positive working environment in Mathematics, where pupils want to learn, progress and upgrade.
  • to give you opportunities to apply your understanding of the skills of Mathematics to problem solving activities, real life situations and exam style questions.
  • enable you to exceed your predicted GCSE Grade in Mathematics and always push you to do your best.

The Course

The course is structured through a 5 Year curriculum to deliver the new specification of GCSE in Mathematics, with assessment differentiated into two tiers.

The Foundation Tier Grades 1-5 are equivalent to Grades G to B. The course includes basic concepts, skills and routine applications at the lower grades, up to two stage problems of number, algebra, shape and space and data handling at the higher grades.

The Higher Tier Grades 3 to 8 are equivalent to Grades D to A*, with Grade 9 being reserved for truly exceptional students. The course places greater emphasis upon applications and problem solving. Many of the examined questions will be unfamiliar to students, with the expectation that they will be able to use problem solving techniques to reach the final solution.

Although we prepare the majority of students for the Higher Paper from Year 7 onwards, a decision will be made during Year 11 over which tier of entry they will take. We therefore focus much of our intervention and revision on topics that appear on both papers until that decision is made.

This GCSE is assessed by 3 examinations in May/June, Paper 1 is Non-Calculator and Paper 2 and 3 require a Calculator. We recommend purchasing a Scientific Natural Display Calculator at the start of Year 10 (or earlier). Casio is the recommended brand and these cost between £7 and £13 from supermarkets and stationers.

All the external examinations will take place at the end of Year 11, however, regular Wave Assessments are used to monitor student progress throughout Year 10 and 11, so that interventions can be put into place for students who fall behind.


Pupils who have gained a Grade 6 or above at the Higher Tier may be advised to progress to 'A' Level Mathematics in the Sixth Form. Students achieving a Grade 5 or 6 at the Higher Tier may be offered the opportunity to do the Mathematics in Context course.

For further information, please contact Mr A. Purland, Director of Learning - Mathematics: