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.



Half-termly tests 

End of Year examinations, 1 Calculator, 1 Non-calculator paper


Subject content



Ratio, proportion and rates of change

Geometry and measures




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, OCR Additional Mathematics, to provide them with an insight of A-Level Mathematics. 


Assessments end of Year 11

Paper 1 - Non calculator 

Paper 2 - Calculator

Paper 3 - Calculator


GCSE Mathematics will cover the following content headings: 



Ratio, proportion and rates of change 

Geometry and measures 





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. 


Assessments end of Year 13

Paper 1 - Pure Mathematics 1 

Paper 2 - Pure Mathematics 2

Paper 3 - Statistics and Mechanics


A-Level Mathematics will cover the following content headings: 





Algebra and functions,

Coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane,

Sequences and series,


Exponentials and logarithms,



Numerical methods,


Statistical sampling,

Data presentation and interpretation,


Statistical distributions,

Statistical hypothesis testing,

Quantities and units in mechanics,


Forces and Newton’s laws



Further Maths


If students chose to also study A-Level Further Mathematics they will have an additional 4 papers and will be taught the content alongside the standard A-level. 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 is a separate A level that is taken in addition to taking A level Mathematics. Half of the content of this will be Further Pure and the remainder will be the option modules of Mechanics and Statistics. 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. 


Assessments end of Year 13

Paper 1 - Core Pure Mathematics 1

Paper 2 - Core Pure Mathematics 2

Paper 3 - Further Statistics 1

Paper 4 - Further Mechanics 1


A-Level Further Mathematics will cover the following content headings: 


Core Pure

Further Statistics

Further Mechanics


Complex numbers,


Further algebra and functions,

Further calculus,

Further vectors,

Polar coordinates,

Hyperbolic functions, Differential equations,

Discrete probability distributions,

Poisson & binomial distributions,

Geometric and negative binomial distributions,

Hypothesis Testing,

Central Limit Theorem,

Chi Squared Tests,

Probability generating functions,

Quality of tests,

Momentum and impulse,

Work, energy and power,

Elastic strings and springs and elastic energy,

Elastic collisions in one dimension,

Elastic collisions in two dimensions,


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

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