Departmental approach to the curriculum

The Mathematics Key Stage 3 curriculum has the aim firstly to make all students fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with an increase in complexity with time. Students are to develop mathematical reason and apply their knowledge to solve complex problems. Students should be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to other subjects and in everyday situations.

The programme of study for Key Stage 4 is organised so that students are building on learning from Key Stage 3 to further develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. 

A level mathematics builds from GCSE level mathematics and introduces calculus and its applications. It prepares students for further study and employment in a wide range of disciplines involving the use of mathematics.



The Maths department at Rickmansworth School has built a Key Stage 3 Maths curriculum with the clear focus of building a strong foundation of knowledge and to seamlessly transition into Key Stage 4. We set classes in KS3 and 4 and these are reviewed on a half termly basis. Students in Year 7 will then complete a variety of tasks designed to assess prior knowledge. We will continue to monitor student progress and set changes will be made accordingly to meet the needs of our students. The aim is to have a challenging curriculum that allows students to take risks to stretch their knowledge.




At Rickmansworth School the mathematics department we aim to cover all the GCSE content in 2 years. Then, in Year 11, there is a clear focus on exam practice and to focus teaching at specific grades to ensure appropriate challenge. The 9-1 GCSE Edexcel Mathematics exam series uses two tiers, Foundation that covers grades 1 to 5 and Higher which cover grades 4-9. There will be 3 papers, each paper counts towards 33.3% of the overall Mathematics GCSE grade. Paper 1 is a non-calculator assessment and a calculator is allowed for Paper 2 and Paper 3. Each paper lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and are worth 80 marks.

Students in Set 1 will have the opportunity to gain an extra qualification, AQA Level 2 Further Mathematics, to provide them with an insight of A-Level Mathematics. Students in Set 4 may also be selected to complete the Edexcel Entry Level Certificate Mathematics, enabling lower attainers to develop the underpinning mathematical skills and understanding to provide a progression route to GCSE Mathematics.






The A-level Mathematics courses at Rickmansworth School continue to build on the knowledge learnt in Key Stage 4. We continue to use Edexcel allowing students to develop an understanding of mathematics and mathematical processes, develop the ability to reason logically and construct mathematical proofs, and understand coherence and progression in mathematics and how different areas of mathematics can be connected. 

The A-level Mathematics will consist of 3 papers, there are 2 Pure Mathematics papers and 1 Statistics and Mechanics. Calculators are allowed to be used in the examination and we recommend using a graphical calculator which you will be shown how to use. Each paper is a 2-hour written examination, worth a 100 marks and equally weighted. Students will have to be proficient with a large data set as this will form a part of the assessment. 

Further Maths

If students chose to also study A Level Further Mathematics they will sit 4 examination papers and will be taught the content alongside A Level Mathematics. Each paper is weighted equally consisting of 75 marks, 90 minutes. 2 papers will be Core Pure content, a Further Statistics paper and a Further Mechanics paper. A-Level Further Mathematics will extend the range of mathematical skills and techniques, it will both broadens and deepens the mathematics covered in A level Mathematics. 




Long Term Curriculum Overviews

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

This document will provide a visual overview of the department's curriculum from Key Stages 3 to 5. This is in a student-friendly format to support them in their understanding the of the department's curriculum. 

Big Picture Curriculum Map - Mathematics


Department Assessment Matrix

This document provides an overview for assessment for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

Assessment Matrix - Mathematics


Key Stage 3 Judgement Descriptors

These documents give you an overview of the criteria for Emerging, Developing, Secure and Mastery judgements at KS3 for this subject.

KS3 Judgement Descriptors - Mathematics - Year 7

KS3 Judgement Descriptors - Mathematics - Year 8

KS3 Judgement Descriptors - Mathematics - Year 9 Foundation

KS3 Judgement Descriptors - Mathematics - Year 9 Higher

Home Learning

Students use home learning time to consolidate, recap, and recall their learning from the lessons previously taught.  Home learning is a helpful tool to help students practise key skills they learnt in Key Stage 2 and identify any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge. Individual classroom teachers are then able to pick up these gaps and misconceptions and address them before moving them on.  

At Key Stage 3, students will be set one piece of home learning per week by their class teacher. In one full two week cycle, they will receive one piece of written home learning and one piece of online home learning. The online home learning will be set on either Maths Watch or My Maths. These online home learning pieces will be marked immediately and so the students will have an idea of what skills they know and which skills they still need to practise. To help the students with their written or online home learning, there are videos and lessons available to them on both these online portals as well as on BBC Bitesize, Maths Genie and Corbett Maths.   

In addition to home learning tasks, students will be set revision tasks on Maths Watch which will help them revise for their assessments. It is vital these are completed to the best of their ability to avoid students being at a disadvantage to other students in the class.

Students will receive appropriate rewards for home learning and should be keen to show their work to parents and carers at home. 

At KS4, students will be set one piece of home learning per week. This may be a written task completing questions based on what has been learned (review) or what is coming up (pre-learning), an online task (MathsWatch or MyMaths), or an examination paper. Students will receive instant feedback for their online work and will mark written work in class.

At KS5, students will be given homework every lesson. This could be finishing an exercise from the lesson, which they do in their exercise books, or an end of chapter review which is done on paper and handed in to be formally marked. In Year 13 they also have a practice paper a week to complete as homework

How can you help your child succeed in Mathematics?

Any time you can spend helping your child with their maths or discussing their learning is hugely beneficial. The more opportunities that children have to practise maths, the easier it becomes. These opportunities could come about through home learning, when demonstrating to you what they have learned in class or even during ordinary everyday situations.

Helpful websites and further information


Each student will be given access to the following resources to support their learning:

MyMaths KS3/4 

MyMaths is an interactive online teaching and homework subscription website that builds student engagement and consolidates maths knowledge. It builds on student’s skills, confidence and fluency in maths through lessons, home learning, games and booster packs. It provides immediate feedback and an animated support centre help develop reflective learners

MathsWatch KS3/4

MathsWatch provides ‘extra tuition’ for your child in GCSE Mathematics. It covers all topics examined in the subject from grade 1 to grade 9. Teachers will use this website to provide revision tasks to ensure students are ready for assessments. 

Active teach - KS5

Key Stage 5 students will have access to online textbooks that will be used throughout the course. All content will have examples and practice exam questions. The site also provides full worked solutions of all material. 

Careers in Mathematics



Mathematics UKposter