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Howden School

Howden School


During the first two years at Howden, we build on the knowledge students have acquired in primary school and help them to develop their knowledge base and problem solving skills, also providing students with the opportunity​ to apply their skills in real life contexts.

  • The curriculum in year 7 and 8 has a mastery focus for teaching and learning and we aim to review and practice key skills repeatedly throughout the course, in order to help students build their knowledge, confidence and resilience in mathematics.
  • In Year 9, students embark formally onto the GCSE course, continuing to access mathematics at increasingly higher levels, as well as developing their ability to select and apply appropriate methods for solving problems.​

'The Mathematics Department are a team of well-qualified, experienced teachers and we aim to help students at every age and ability level to reach their full potential in the subject.  We strive to help students become comfortable and confident with mathematics, by encouraging a mastery of the subject through 'teaching for understanding'.  This Develops a broad and sound level of understanding of key mathematical concepts enables students to develop a fluency in the subject.  We hope to provide students with a 'mathematical toolbox' full of skills from which they can choose the correct one to apply to solving problems.​ 

We encourage an awareness and love of mathematics by linking the subject to everyday life, using examples of how mathematics is used in our daily lives, and how mathematics can be used to explain the world around us.​ 

We are always available to provide support and advice relating to all things mathematical for all our students.  During key stage 3, we build on students’ progress at primary school with a structured teaching program differentiated to meet the needs of all learners.  Students make excellent progress and GCSE results are consistently good, with attainment and progress above national expectations.  

Opportunities are provided for our most talented students to study for qualifications beyond the normal GCSE mathematics course, including the further mathematics course.  We actively encourage students to take their mathematics into further and higher education and we enrich their mathematical experiences further with participation in national competitions and visits to higher education conferences and events.  We have a strong tradition of students from Howden choosing Mathematics at A-level. 

The mathematics curriculum at Howden plays a key role in helping prepare young people for further and higher education.  In addition, a strong mathematics qualification provides a route to economic stability and well-being in adult life, with potentially greater earning capacity and a broader range of career choices available to those who achieve this.'​​ 

Mr N Issatt, Head of Maths 

Key Stage 3 

Year 7

Students study a broad range of topics across the mathematics curriculum. The aim is to consolidate and extend all students’ knowledge with a well differentiated teaching program. There are regular opportunities for students to improve their understanding of mathematics and apply their skills to problem solving in context.​  We begin to introduce mathematics as a skill beyond the classroom, making links to everyday uses of maths and to real life applications.

Year 8

Building on attainment levels and progress made in year 7, students are grouped on ability in year 8 and are challenged to move on with their mathematics, both in terms of their skills knowledge and their ability to apply appropriate methods to solving problems. There is an increased emphasis on mathematics in real life contexts, encouraging greater use of mathematics as a transferable skill. ​

Key Stage 4

Year 9

The GCSE course begins in year 9, with students working towards sitting the Edexcel GCSE 9-1 examination, specification code 1MA1.​

Most students will follow either a foundation tier or higher tier route in principle, though there is flexibility for movement between the two at certain points in the course, as necessary, in order to meet the individual needs of all learners.​

There is an option for some students to follow an Entry Level Certificate course and/or an Access to Foundation GCSE course during year 9 if needed, in order to help them prepare for the rigours and demands of GCSE mathematics.​

Most students will complete the first five units of the GCSE course in year 9.​

At the end of each unit, students complete an ‘open book’ assessment, in which they can use their own notes and resources during a topic test.​

More formal assessments are completed after units 2 and 5 and then an adapted GCSE style examination is done at the end of the year.​

Year 10

The GCSE course continues in year 10, with the majority of students completing units 6 to 13.​

Open book and more formal assessments during the year are followed by a full GCSE practice exam paper at the end of the year.​

Year 11

The GCSE course studies will be completed in year 11, up to unit 19 or 20 for higher or foundation respectively.​

Two separate full mock GCSE examinations are done, in December and March, which help to inform the revision and intervention programs that individual students will follow, in preparation for the final GCSE examination in the summer of year 11.​

The foundation GCSE examination leads to the award of grades 1 to 5.​

The higher GCSE examination leads to the award of grades 4 to 9.​

Some of the most able students also have the opportunity to study towards sitting the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics.​

Useful Links

Maths Watch –

MyMaths –

Just Maths –