John Ruskin School » GCSE Maths

GCSE Maths


Mathematics is important to help develop logical thinking and reasoning skills.  Practical mathematical skills are essential in everyday life, for example, understanding salaries and interest rates on loans and savings.  Good maths skills can increase your chance of being employed in a better job. Many college courses now require you to achieve a grade 5 or higher in mathematics, and it is usually a requirement for university entrance.

The course covers the following main areas:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Number
  • Probability
  • Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change
  • Statistics

Students do a progress test after each small unit of work and a full past paper each term. This allows us to monitor their progress, and support any student who may not be making the expected progress.

All students are now on the new specification and will be awarded a number not a letter grade. Numbers start from 1 to 9, 1 being the lowest (equivalent to a current grade G), 9 being the highest (equivalent to the top 50% of a current grade A*). Currently a C and above is considered to be a “good pass”, the new benchmark will be a number 5. Students will be awarded a 5 if they achieve the equivalent of the current top third of a grade C and bottom third of a grade B.

Students sit three exam papers at the end of Year 11. They each last 1 hour 30 minutes, are worth 80 marks, and are equally weighted at one third of the overall GCSE grade. Students are not allowed a calculator in the first exam, but they are for the second and third papers.

Please note: The Department for Education has told us that, for students in the current Year 11 and Year 10, they will not be required to resit if they achieve a grade 4. However, for current Year 9 onwards, they will be required to resit if they achieve a grade 4.

The new specification is Edexcel GCSE Mathematics (9-1).