Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts


Head of Department: Mr Adam Creen

Director of Mathematics: Mr Ben McCann

The Mathematics Department is a large team of subject specialists working together to put mathematical understanding at the heart of the school. 

Key Stage 3 Maths

Students study Maths for 6 hours per fortnight in Year 7, and 7 hours in Years 8 and 9. It is one of the core subjects that follows directly on from the primary school curriculum. The skills and methods learnt at Key Stage 3 develop understanding and confidence, to prepare students for the GCSE curriculum.

In each year, students study the following topics:

  • Number (fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios, powers)
  • Algebra (formulae, sequences, graphs, equations
  • Shape (area, volume, co-ordinates, transformations, trigonometry)
  • Data (probability, analyzing and representing data, averages)

Students are set from the beginning of Year 7 based on data from primary schools and our own assessments. Setting is reviewed twice a year, to enable students to aim for outstanding progress.

Extra-curricular opportunities include the Junior Maths Challenge in Year 8, and Maths Masterclasses held at the University of Surrey.

Key Stage 4 Maths

Maths is a core subject at GCSE. Employers and further education institutions expect students to hold at least a C grade (Grade 5 from 2017) as an indicator of their numeracy and readiness for further study or work.

In Year 10 students study Maths for 8 hours per fortnight, and in Year 11 for 6 hours. They will continue to develop the skills and knowledge they have developed at Key Stage 3, working to ever higher levels of challenge and difficulty. More advanced topics at GCSE level include:

  • Number (limits of accuracy, repeated percentage change)
  • Algebra (quadratic equations, advanced formulae)
  • Shape (Pythagoras, combined transformations, loci)
  • Data (histograms, cumulative frequency, averages of grouped data)

Assessment is entirely through examination at the end of the two years of study. We follow the 1MA1 specification (Year 10) and the 1MA0 specification (Year 11). Students are entered for either Foundation (grades C-G, or 5-1) or Higher tier exams (grades A*-C, or 9-4), according to how well they perform.

Extra-curricular opportunities

Extra-curricular opportunities include the Intermediate Maths Challenge in Year 10, and STEM events linking Maths and Industry run by local businesses. For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Studying Maths at GCSE leads directly to A Levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, with specialisation possible in Mechanics or Statistics. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.


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