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 Throughout their time at The London Oratory School, pupils will study an intensive course of Mathematics.  Teaching focuses on both the underpinning conceptual principles of Mathematics – the ‘why’, of Mathematics, if you like – and the more process driven and applied approaches – the ‘how’ of Mathematics.  Appropriate banding and setting ensures that pupils are taught mathematical material at a pace that suits their current ability.  There is, of course, frequent scope for re-evaluating and evaluating pupil progress in mathematics to ensure that they are constantly pitched in the set that is right for them, on the basis of all of the evidence.

key stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum builds on the skills and processes pupils have learnt at Key Stage 2, consolidating operations on whole number, decimals and fractions as well as introducing ratio, percentages and standard form.  Algebra plays an important part with work on linear and quadratic equations, simultaneous equations, the coordinate system and graphs of functions.  Geometry work includes area and volume of two and 3 dimensional figures, circles, transformations, Pythagoras’ Theorem and basic trigonometry, while in Statistics pupils learn to construct a wider range of graphs and charts as well as calculating averages and probabilities.  In all areas problem-solving is an important part of the course, helping pupils to learn how to apply processes to a wide range of situations.

key stage 4

Outline of Syllabus

There are two tiers of study, Foundation (covering grades 1 – 5) and Higher (covering grades 4 – 9).

Each tier requires knowledge of the following aspects of mathematics in varying depth:

Numbers and calculations                                       Constructions and loci

Percentages and ratio                                               Pythagoras’ theorem

Direct and indirect proportion                                 Trigonometry in right angled triangles

Standard form                                                             Vectors

Formulae                                                                     Coordinates

Algebraic manipulation                                            Graphs

Linear and quadratic equations                              Symmetry and transformations

Sequences                                                                  Statistics

Geometrical figures and their properties              Probability

Mensuration, including area and volume                  


In addition the following are studied at the Higher tier:

The equation of a circle                                            Functions    

Gradients of curves and areas under graphs        Surds

Geometric progressions and quadratic series      3-dimensional applications

Trigonometry in non-right angled triangles                


Scheme of Assessment

Assessment is through three equally-weighted papers, each of which must be from the same tier of entry. Candidates for the Foundation tier will take Papers 1F, 2F and 3F, and candidates for the Higher tier Papers 1H, 2H and 3H. Each paper covers the entire specification assessed across three objectives:

  • use and apply standard techniques;
  • reason, interpret and communicate mathematically;
  • solve problems within mathematics and in other contexts.

Calculators may not be used in the first paper in each tier, i.e. in either paper 1F or 1H.  There is no controlled assessment.

It is essential that pupils be entered for the tier appropriate to their ability and likely performance in the examination since those who fail to achieve the lowest grade awarded in the tier will not have their achievement recorded.

All pupils will be expected to have a scientific calculator with the following functions as a minimum in addition to the basic functions of adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying: sinx, cosx, tanx and their inverses in degrees; powers and roots, standard form (scientific notation). Calculators with any of the following facilities are prohibited from any examination: databanks, retrieval of text or formulae, QWERTY keyboards, symbolic manipulation, symbolic differentiation or integration.  Mathematical equipment such as rulers, compasses and protractors will also be needed throughout the course.

Awarding Body: Edexcel                                        Specification: GCSE Mathematics 1MA