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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College


Head of Department: Heather Lilley

Welcome to the Mathematics Department at Ivybridge Community College.  We are a fun and dynamic Department whose aim is for students to enjoy excellent and productive working relationships with their Mathematics teachers and through collaboration develop their knowledge and love of the subject!  We believe that all students of varying abilities and interests should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential in Mathematics at a level and rate of progress appropriate for them.

At Ivybridge, we believe that Mathematics provides opportunities for students to be creative and independent, but it also allows for co-operation and debate to take place through logical thinking.  It enables communication to be precise, elegant and informed.  Above all Mathematics should be enjoyed.  We are keen to promote games and puzzles as a learning tool throughout the Key Stages, as this not only increases the interest and enjoyment for our students but also develops their thinking skills.  As a Department we believe that there is true value in understanding Mathematics and being able to apply Mathematics as opposed to simply learning how to answer exam questions. 

Key Stage 3 

Throughout Key Stage 3 students will be encouraged to develop their mathematical knowledge through a variety of topics and activities.

We aim to develop students’ numerical, spatial and practical skills, to improve their ability to reason and approach problems in a logical and systematic manner.  Students should build on Key Stage 2 and connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.  They will undertake investigative work regularly for which they will need to represent, analyse, interpret, evaluate, communicate and reflect, in line with the new Key Stage 3 Mathematics curriculum.

Through the mathematics content, students should be taught to:

  • Develop fluency
  • Reason mathematically
  • Solve problems

Within this framework we aim to stimulate students’ interest and their enjoyment in the subject.

Course content

Across the two years of Key Stage 3, students will study the main content strands of Mathematics: Number, Algebra, Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change, Geometry and Measures, Probability and Statistics, in order to prepare them fully to begin their GCSE course in Year 9.


Students will learn how to use a range of computational methods and apply them to problems, using calculators and computer software, where appropriate.


Students will learn about relationships and patterns between numbers, operations, develop simple algebraic techniques and apply these as appropriate.

Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change:

Students will learn about proportional relationships and ratio and be able to apply these to a range of problems in a variety of contexts.

Geometry and Measures:

Students will learn about the properties of, and patterns within, various shapes, along with the application of various measures to shapes.


Students will learn how to collect, represent and analyse and interpret data in one or two variables, using a variety of mediums


They will learn about probability, both experimental and theoretical, including suitable diagrams and set notation.

A numeracy mental/oral session will be incorporated into most lessons at Key Stage 3, building on the work done in primary schools during the Numeracy lessons.  Students will be encouraged to adopt efficient methods of mental calculation and will practice verbalising methods to the class.

Information Technology will be integrated into these four areas using a wide range of Mathematical software packages.  These include Microsoft Excel, Autograph, Geometer’s Sketchpad and GeoGebra.

Year 7 and 8 both follow a Scheme of Work that has been designed to encourage them to spot more subtle links between topics, and develop their mathematical reasoning and independent learning.

Key Stage 4 

All students follow the reformed Edexcel GCSE (9–1) in Mathematics (1MA1) course. There are six content domains covered within the specification: number; algebra; ratio, proportion and rates of change; geometry and measures; probability; and statistics.

There are two overlapping tiers of entry, with students being entered for the most appropriate tier.  Although students generally follow the same tier that they begin in Year 9, movement between tiers is possible.  The final level of entry will be decided at the time of entry for GCSE, which is normally in January of Year 11.

This qualification consists of three equally-weighted written examination papers at either Foundation tier or Higher tier.  Paper 1 is a non-calculator assessment and both Paper 2 and 3 are calculator assessments.  Each paper is 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration and each paper contains a total of 80 marks.  Each paper has a range of question types; some questions will be set in both mathematical and non-mathematical contexts.

The qualification will be graded and certificated on a nine-grade scale from 9 to 1 using the total mark across all three papers, where 9 is the highest grade.  The available grades are as follows:

·Foundation tier: grades 1 to 5.

·Higher tier: grades 4 to 9 (grade 3 allowed).

Core Mathematics 

Core Maths Course Outline

Core Maths is a relatively new option that is currently being offered in about 25% of schools and colleges in Devon.  It has been introduced to provide students with an alternative to A Level Mathematics and is available to any student who has gained a C grade or higher at GCSE.  Although much of the content of the course is also on the GCSE Higher Tier syllabus, students will learn how to use mathematics to solve contextualised problems, explore new ways to use technology with mathematics and develop their ability to assimilate and use information presented in a variety of forms.

Core Maths is a two year course.  It leads to an AS equivalent qualification and is assessed at the end of the two years.  Students will have five hours teaching time a fortnight (half the contact time of a standard AS/A2 course).  Core Maths is worth the same number of UCAS points as any other AS qualification.

Course Content

Examination Board

Topic Area


Pearson/Edexcel (Mathematics in Context)


Further details can be found at the Edexcel website.



Applications of Statistics

Students will learn how to use:


Averages (including moving averages), measures of dispersion (standard deviation, inter-quartile range), measures of correlation, lines of regression, sampling.


Students will learn how to use:


Tree diagrams, Venn diagrams, probability notation, probability to analyse risk and inform decision making.

Linear Programming

Linear programming is a mathematical technique that enables users to maximise profit or minimise cost by setting and analysing straight line graphs.


Linear programming is used extensively in business, industry and engineering.

Sequences and Growth

Students will learn how to apply the mathematics of sequences and growth in a variety of real-life contexts and problem-solving tasks.


These may include topics such as financial mathematics, population growth, epidemics, earthquakes and radioactive decay.

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

Core Maths aims to support students with the mathematical content of other A Level courses and, as such, is recommended for students studying any science A Level subject, psychology, economics, geography, business studies, IT or computing.  Core Maths will support students intending to study degree courses with mathematical content.

A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics 

A Level Course Outline

Mathematics studied at GCSE is extended with students building on previous topics in addition to discovering Calculus.  Students will apply their mathematics skills through Statistics in Year 12 and a further applied module in Year 13.  Further mathematicians will study all three applied strands, Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Mathematics, in Year 12 along with further Pure content. 

The aims of the courses should enable students to:

  • Develop their understanding of mathematical principles and their interest in the subject.
  • Extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques and apply them to more complex problems.
  • Acquire the foundation necessary for the further study of Mathematics and Mathematics related subjects.
  • Develop the ability to recognise real life situations that can be modelled mathematically and knowledge of the appropriate procedures to be followed in order to produce useful results.
  • Recognise situations where the use of technology is appropriate and be confident in its application.
  • Develop confidence and enthusiasm in their approach to the subject.

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

Mathematics at A Level is a fascinating, rewarding and satisfying subject and forms the basis for many other subjects.  It is highly regarded by employers and Higher Education establishments, with many degrees containing some elements of mathematics.

Careers in Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Business, Economics, Geography and Design, amongst many others, will benefit from mathematical studies at a high level.

Course Content

Examination Board



Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the OCR website

Both the AS and the A2 are divided into three equally weighted modules, two Pure Mathematics and one Application.  All modules are assessed in the summer via a written examination with one small piece of coursework in Year 13. The outline of the unit content is shown below.

AS Level



Core 1

Core 2

Statistics 1

A2 Level



Core 3 (20% coursework),

Core 4

Choice of Statistics 2, Mechanics 1 or Decision 1


Examination Board



Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the OCR website

Both the AS and the A2 are divided into three equally weighted modules.  All modules are assessed in the summer via a written examination with one small piece of coursework in Year 13.  The outline of the unit content is shown below.

AS Level

Further Mathematics


Further Pure 1

Mechanics 1

Decision 1

A2 Level

Further Mathematics


Further Pure 2

Mechanics 2

Differential Equations (20% coursework)