The Purbeck School Mathematics Curriculum

Why study Maths at the Purbeck School?

Our Mathematics Department runs very popular and successful courses throughout The Purbeck School.  There is a notable consistency of high performance of students in Mathematics at all levels.  We have a reputation for being creative and innovative in our teaching and learning.

Our vision is…

  • To be a CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE in mathematics in order to achieve success for all.
  • To MOTIVATE & INSPIRE all students through great teaching and learning.
  • To provide a PERSONALISED LEARNING curriculum tailored to our student’s needs.

After a period of research, we have introduced a ‘Mastery’ curriculum into the department to raise performance further. The research shows that teaching fewer topics in much greater depth improves outcomes. We believe that this can done if students are allowed the right amount of time to learn are provided with the appropriate conditions to learn. Our lessons are based on developing students’ key knowledge and skills required for success at the end of Year 11 and for when they leave school.

As well as being taught mathematics, pupils are encouraged to apply their skills beyond the curriculum. Maths lessons include problem solving activities that stimulate the minds of our students.  We also organise numeracy activities as enrichment at lunch time. Students from all year groups also enter The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Challenges.


How is Mathematics taught?

This diagram illustrates the mastery learning cycle:

  • Our curriculum is content specific, coherent, cumulative and challenging.
  • Revise and improve time cements the foundations and closes the knowledge/skills gap.
  • Deliberate practice is planned that provides a variety of contexts to use and apply knowledge and skills.
  • Review and improve time celebrates students successes and allows intervention opportunities.
  • Formative assessment is specific and checks student understanding regularly. It identifies errors and misconceptions, which are addressed rapidly.
  • Low stakes quizzing supports students learn knowledge and skills off by heart.
  • Concrete, pictorial and abstract representations are used to provide students access to new learning.
  • Mathematical language is developed until fluent and confident.

In each year group, students are placed in maths classes based on ability.  These sets are reviewed regularly and because our schemes of work are common and differentiated, students can move between sets at any time.  We conduct our own internal key assessments to measure students’ progress and these (together with classwork, homework and attitude) determine their set.


Rationale and ambition for The Purbeck School Mathematics Curriculum:

In mathematics, we want to enable students to:

  1. Develop fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts;
  2. Acquire, select and apply mathematical techniques to solve problems;
  3. Reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions;
  4. Comprehend, interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

At The Purbeck School, we follow the AQA GCSE Maths exam board.  All students will follow a linear programme of study.  There are 2 tiers of entry – Higher and Foundation.  There is NO coursework in Maths.  We seek to enter students in top set maths classes into Level 2 Certificate of Further Mathematics.

In A level Maths, a positive attitude and it may be seen as an interesting but challenging subject.  We constantly seek to give our pupils confidence that enables them to express ideas fluently, to talk about the subject with assurance and to use the language of mathematics.

Further mathematics offers opportunities to extend A level work on mechanics, statistics and calculus techniques, engages with concepts of abstract algebra and learns how pure mathematics develops after A level.  To study Further Maths, a Grade 8 at GCSE is vital, together with a serious expectation of a Grade 7 at A level Maths.

Many students progress to using their mathematical knowledge by studying degrees in mathematics, engineering, a multitude of different sciences, medicine, dentistry, economics, business and more.  Students are successful in securing places to study mathematics at universities that include Oxbridge.



Our Maths curriculum reflect the aims and learning outcomes outlined in the GCSE Maths specifications. All knowledge, understanding and skills to be successful at both Higher and Foundation tier is specified in detail. These are grouped within the following units of work…

  • Number: place value, addition and subtraction
  • Number: multiplication and division
  • Fractions
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Algebra
  • Equations
  • Sequences
  • Graphs
  • Geometry
  • Perimeter Area and Volume
  • Transformations
  • Trigonometry
  • Probability
  • Statistics

Students can be said to have confidence and competence with mathematical content when they can apply it flexibly to solve problems.


Careers guidance:

Most jobs and careers will need you to use maths in some way and it’s particularly useful in job families like accountancy, banking and finance, management, environmental sciences, construction, engineering and manufacturing, medical technology, and science and research. To explore the long list of careers that involve maths in more detail, click here…


Useful Links:

GCSE Maths Exam specification:

A LEVEL Maths Exam specification:


Contact information:

If you have any questions then please contact Carl Morris, Head of Mathematics


Long term plans:


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