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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 their problem solving skills.

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 to solving problems.

'In the Mathematics Department we aim to help students at every age and ability level to reach their full potential in the subject. We are a team of well qualified, experienced teachers who strive to share our enthusiasm for mathematics with the students, in order to help them make sense of maths in the world around them. 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. We also place great emphasis on the development of the key skills that support a student’s mathematical development during their time at secondary school. At key stage 4, 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 and we enrich their mathematical experiences further with participation in national competitions and visits to higher education conferences and events.'

Mr. I. Russell, 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 by applying their skills to problem solving contexts.

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.

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 throughout 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 seven 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 8 to 14.

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 –