Key Stage Three

We believe that Mathematics equips students with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world and therefore, is such is a critical part of the core curriculum. Students in Key Stage 3 study Mathematics for four 50 minute lessons per week.

When students enter the school in year 7, they are placed in ability groups based upon Key Stage 2 results and information provided by the primary school. Each term our students are tested to assess their progress, which is constantly monitored and set changes are made throughout the school year to suit their students’ attainment. Pupils with special needs are catered for by differentiated work in lessons, by the provision of specialist support staff and a Mathematics specialist teaching assistant attached to the faculty.

Students are fully supported throughout their time at Harlington School with excellent resources, targeted teaching, and opportunities to attend after school sessions as well as extra support from teachers in the department on an individual and small group basis. In line with the school’s home learning policy and to reinforce and extend skills, homework is set and expected to be handed in every week.

In mathematics you will learn about:

  • How to apply a broad range of mathematical concepts to solve problems, both abstract and in context;
  • The number system and how to effectively work with numbers including percentages, fractions, decimals and ratios;
  • The use of algebra to solve problems involving unknowns;
  • Properties of shapes and space and how to effectively use measures;
  • The use of statistics and data handling to collect, present and analyse data.

You will learn by:

  • Working on investigations and rich tasks to solve problems and make mathematical connections and discoveries for yourself;
  • Completing paired and group work to build team working and communication skills alongside developing your mathematical knowledge and skills;
  • Exploring mathematical concepts and how they relate to and describe the world around us;
  • Using maths related ICT programmes and software where possible.


  • All students require a scientific calculator and basic geometry equipment (protractor and pair of compasses).These can be purchased in school or from any stationery retailer.

Key Stage Four

Course Information –GCSE Mathematics 2017

The GCSE Mathematics course is based upon the Edexcel GCSE Mathematics 9-1 and Mathematics is a compulsory subject at GCSE.

During the course, pupils will develop knowledge and skills in understanding mathematical methods and concepts including Number, Algebra, Ratio and Proportion, Rates of change, Geometry and Measures and Statistics and Probability.

The course will be assessed at the end of year 11 through three written papers, each contributing one third of the final grade. One paper will be non-calculator and the other two calculator and each of length 1 hour 30 minutes.

Each paper will have a range of question types, utilising both structured and unstructured questions. Some questions on the paper will be set in context, both mathematical and non-mathematical. The exams will be testing skills of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Throughout the syllabus, teaching will explore concepts with emphasis on conversation and problem solving skills to build confidence in understanding.

There are clear distinctions in content at Higher and Foundation level. A decision based on prior attainment, mock examinations and teacher assessment in class as well as homework, will be made as to the tier of entry prior to the examination. The grading in higher tier will be grades 9-4 and the foundation 5-1. The full specification can be downloaded at:

Main topic changes

New skills to Foundation tier

Index laws: zero and negative powers (numeric and algebraic), Standard form, Compound interest and reverse percentages, Direct and indirect proportion (numeric and algebraic), Expand the product of two linear expressions, Factorise quadratic expressions in the form x2, Solve linear/linear simultaneous equations, Solve quadratic equations by factorisation, Plot cubic and reciprocal graphs, recognise quadratic and cubic graphs, Trigonometric ratios in 2D right-angled triangles, Fractional scale enlargements in transformations, Lengths of arcs and areas of sectors of circles, Mensuration problems, Vectors (except geometric problems/ proofs), Density, Tree diagrams, Congruence and similarity.

New skills to Higher tier

Expand the products of more than two binomials, Interpret the reverse process as the ‘inverse function’; interpret the succession of two functions as a ‘composite function’ (using formal function notation), Deduce turning points by completing the square, Calculate or estimate gradients of graphs and areas under graphs, and interpret results in real-life cases (not including calculus), Simple geometric progressions including surds, and other sequences, Deduce expressions to calculate the nth term of quadratic sequences, Quadratic inequalities, Calculate and interpret conditional probabilities through representation using expected frequencies with Venn diagrams, Calculating the equation of a circle.

Useful websites: