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Head of Department: Mrs J Barrett

Maths Teachers:
Mrs Nicola Brown -
Mrs Helena Elliott -
Mrs Nina Goldsack -
Mrs Amanda Gough -
Mr Phil Loughlin -
Miss Alex Mihai -
Mr Simon Vaughan -

At BWS our aim is to fit the mathematics to each student’s needs and interests. More than for any other subject we have courses tailored to suit different paces of learning and different aspirations. While we hope everyone will leave us with confidence, and without the anxiety about the subject that some people feel, we aim to provide a rich set of opportunities for enthusiasts to pursue it to the highest level. We have a strong tradition of students studying maths at Oxford, Cambridge and other prestigious universities, and we and our students are enthusiastic problem solvers and partakers in national competitions.

Main School Curriculum/Mathematics:

The mathematics syllabus for Key Stage three covers all of the subject content from the National Curriculum’s programme of study. Details of this can be found here.

We integrate into our teaching many opportunities for boys to develop their mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills and hence become fluent in mathematics.

Year 7

Students entering BWS in year 7 will extend their range of mental and written calculation skills across the Number, Algebra, Shape and Space and Data Handling areas of mathematics, with an emphasis on clear presentation of all written solutions. We follow the Maths Frameworking scheme using the, most challenging, Pupil book 1.3.


The text books are kept at school and they boys are provided with Homework book 1 from which homework questions will be set.

Investigative work is integral to the scheme with boys learning how to apply their knowledge to reach solutions to real-life problems.

The five year 7 sets consist of the five tutor groups, and so they are all mixed ability sets. They are assessed termly and then in an end of year exam.

Details of the topics covered, the timescales and assessments can be found in the Curriculum Planner for Year 7 Mathematics

Year 8

There is a greater emphasis on algebra once the students enter year 8. In addition to developing the pupils’ understanding of fractions, percentages, and probability, we introduce circles, graphs, transformations and Pythagoras’ Theorem.

In year 8, the boys are placed into 5 sets according to their test and exam performance in year 7: two parallel Upper sets (8U1 and 8U2), one middle set (8M1) and two parallel Lower sets (8L1 and 8L2).

All 5 sets are taught the same material, again from the most challenging Maths Frameworking Textbook 2.3, and they sit the same termly tests and end of year exam.



Details of the topics covered, the timescales and assessments can be found in the Curriculum Planner for Year 8 Mathematics.

Years 9, 10 and 11

In Year 9 we start teaching of the 9-1 GCSE syllabus. This course has a high level of content so teaching it as a 3 year course provides us with more opportunity to develop depth of understanding and opportunities to perform problem solving.

All pupils will take the AQA Mathematics 9 -1 GCSE maths exam which provides opportunities to stretch the more able whilst being accessible to all.

The new 9 - 1 GCSE includes some additional topics, such as set theory, functions and differentiation, helps to bridge the gap for those going on to study A level Mathematics. It has a very similar content to the IGCSE which was our previous exam for boys, and in previous years over 85% of our students have gained A* and A grades, with all of the remainder achieving a B or a C.

The Mathematics 9 -1 GCSE course is assessed terminally by way of three 1.5 hour papers, two calculator and one non-calculator, each worth 1/3 of the final mark.

In addition, our most able boys in Set 1 will also take the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics, equivalent to another GCSE. The additional topics required for this course will be taught in a fully integrated way during the boys’ weekly Mathematics lessons. This course is assessed via two examinations, one 1.5 hour non-calculator paper and one 2 hour calculator paper.

There are 5 sets in Years 9 (9U1, 9U2, 9M1, 9L1, 9L2 as for Year 8), and then 4 in Years 10 and 11, Set 1, Set 2 and Sets 3B and 3B which are two parallel sets. Year 9 sets are ordered by ability, based on the boys’ performances during Year 8, but all the pupils learn the same material and sit the same tests.

The higher set boys are likely to work faster and get onto the more challenging questions. The only exception to this is that set 1 are also challenged with the additional Further Mathematics topics from Year 10.


For the AQA Mathematics 9 -1 GCSE course we use the Oxford University Press’ AQA GCSE Maths Higher Student Book which also links to MyMaths. ISBN 978-0-19-835166-5

These books remain in the classroom and the boys can access an electronic version of it via their Kerboodle login using This electronic book also includes on-line video tutorials and direct links to MyMaths to help the boys with independent study and revision.

Details of the topics covered, the timescales and assessments can be found in the Curriculum Planner for Year 9,1-&11 GCSE 9-1 Mathematics.

Revision guides can be purchased from many local book shops and on line, any revision guide covering the new 9 – 1 Mathematics GCSE will be suitable. We recommend the new GCSE 9 – 1 Mathematics AQA Revision Guide and Workbook (and Answer book) published by CGP. Details are:

  • New GCSE Maths AQA Revision Guide: Higher - for the Grade 9-1 Course (with Online Edition) ISBN 978 1 78294 395 2
  • New GCSE Maths AQA Workbook: Higher - for the Grade 9-1 Course ISBN 978 1 78294 397 6
  • New GCSE Maths AQA Answers for Workbook: Higher - for the Grade 9-1 Course ISBN 978 1 78294 393 8

Click here for Year 10 Preparing for your end of Year Exam


Boys have the opportunity to take part in the Maths Challenges organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, UKMT.

The Senior Challenge is in November and up to 40 sixth form students can choose to take part.

The Intermediate Challenge is in February and up to 40 Year 11 and 10 boys can take part.

The Junior Challenge is in April and we have 60 places open to boys from Years 7 and 8.

We also take a team of 4 students to both the Senior Team Challenge (for Years 12/13) and the Team Challenge (for Years 8/9). Last year both teams made it through to compete in the National Finals in London.

Further information about all of these and sample questions can be found on the UKMT website