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Curriculum intent

“Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers”

Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator

Our intention, through studying Maths, is to provide our pupils with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be successful in a wide range of fields, whatever their future career holds. Pupils will learn to understand the world around them, from counting and shopping to interpreting data, they will see that Maths is everywhere. Whilst working on mathematical functions, pupils will develop their problem-solving skills in other transferable ways, including pattern spotting, working backwards, visualising, working systematically and using logical reasoning. Our goal is to create strong mathematicians who are critical thinkers in industries of the future; the skills pupils learn while studying Maths are skills for life.

The Maths Department at Carlton le Willows is innovative and enthusiastic about the teaching and learning of mathematics and we aim to pass on this enthusiasm to students of all abilities and interests. We have a history of ensuring excellent progress through all key stages.

The department organises a number of opportunities for students to study the practical application of maths and to extend their skills. For example we run an annual inter-form pi recital for number week, and gifted and talented students are given the chance to take part in Maths Challenge competitions at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level.

All pupils complete homework through Sparx, an intelligent homework system which creates a profile of each student’s ability level, working speed and activity on specific topics. This allows pupils to complete homework at appropriate level to furthers their progress and understanding. We also expect all pupils to bring their own calcualtor to every lesson in order to maximise their engagement and learning. 


All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 at Carlton le Willows Academy study maths at KS3. The scheme of work covers objectives in number, algebra, handling data, shape, space and measure and using and applying mathematics. Students are set according to their ability, which is based on their KS2 SATS score. This ensures that lower attaining students in maths are given all the support they need to progress, while at the same time ensures our most talented mathematicians are stretched and challenged to master and link skills.

Through effective differentiation within lessons we strive to ensure that all students are suitably challenged and engaged in maths, and students who require additional support are effectively supported. The learning mentors work within classes to both support and extend students. Assessment data, coupled with regular discussions with classroom teachers, enables staff to highlight students who may require additional support after school. These students are provided with additional one to one support with the learning mentors within the department.


At Key Stage 4 students study towards the new 9-1 GCSE Maths. The Key Stage 4 scheme of work starts in Year 10 is split into different strands. At KS3 students will have already built competence at these particular strands of maths and the level of depth to which they go on certain topics will depend on their knowledge from Key Stage 3. Our awareness of this comes through regular assessments and through teacher judgement. The overlap in the higher and foundation schemes of work means that students are not restricted to a higher paper or foundation paper at an early stage.

We study the Edexcel board which is three 90 minute papers, one non-calculator and the other two calculator. We try to ensure that students remain with the same class teacher for Years 10 and 11 so that there are strong relationships and adequate support in place for what is always a difficult time for the children., We run weekly, dedicated Year 11 after school support sessions for extra help and support with homework, class work or revision.


At Key Stage 5 we offer A Level Mathematics with Statistics, Mechanics or Decision Maths as well as A Level Further Maths and a Core Maths qualification.

A level Maths (entry requirement Grade 7 or above at GCSE)

A-level Mathematics is an interesting and challenging course which extends the methods you learned at GCSE and includes new applications of mathematics such as Statistics and Mechanics. We study OCR Mei which is assessed through three two-hour exams at the end of year 13 – Pure Mathematics and Mechanics; Pure Mathematics and Statistics (both 36.4% of total A-level) and Pure Mathematics and Comprehension (27.3% of total A-level). The reason so many employers value mathematics qualifications so highly is that students become better at thinking logically and analytically. Through solving problems you develop resilience and are able to think creatively and strategically. The writing of structured solutions, proof and justification of results helps you formulate reasoned arguments. Importantly you will have excellent numeracy skills and the ability to process and interpret data.

Further Maths (entry requirement Grade 8 or above at GCSE)

Further Mathematics is a valuable qualification which gives added insight into how mathematics develops and why it is useful. The A-level consists of one mandatory core paper, with additional papers in Statistics and Mechanics. There are three exams at the end of year 13 – 2hrs 30mins Core paper (50% of total mark); 2hrs 15mins Statistics Option paper (33.33% of mark) and 1hr 15mins Mechanics Option paper (16 2/3% of total A-level mark). Students who wish to take Further Mathematics must take it in addition to A level Mathematics. It is for students who excel at GCSE and wish to take their Mathematics deeper in preparation for Maths-related degrees.

Core Maths (entry requirement Grade 5 or above at GCSE)

Level 3 Mathematical Studies AQA (Core Mathematics) is a new qualification designed for students who have achieved a grade 5 or above at GCSE and who want to continue mathematical studies of some sort without the high demands of an A-level. There are two exams of 1hour 30 minutes (60 marks each) Paper 1 covers Mathematics for personal finance, while Paper 2 is Analysis of data and evaluation of risk. Core Maths helps to develop students’ mathematical skills and thinking and supports courses such as A-level Psychology, Sciences and Geography as well as technical and vocational qualifications.