Maths (Y7-13)

(Exam board: AQA)

Subject Aims

It is our aim to make Mathematics challenging, enriching and enjoyable. All members of the department have a keen enthusiasm for the subject, which we hope to communicate to students.

The department currently has seven dedicated rooms and all contain interactive whiteboards. We are fortunate to have new and up to date textbooks and a good range of practical equipment to support learning.

We subscribe to an online maths website called “Mathswatch” and students are encouraged to use this to develop knowledge and understanding. It is also a good source of revision material

Maths classes are set by ability which allows similar ability students to be taught at an appropriate pace. Through regular assessment students may move up or down a set as appropriate to ensure the teaching best matches the needs of the students.

Individual help for students, from all year groups, is available at lunchtime from 12.30 to 1pm each day and students are strongly encouraged to attend if they need help with any topic. In addition, there are a number of lunchtime and after school interventions sessions arranged to help students to achieve their target grades.

Students are expected to bring a geometry set and calculator to every lesson and these can be purchased in school at cost price. We recommend the Casio fx-83GT.


Curriculum Overview

KS3 – Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 follow a key stage 3 curriculum where there are 5 main areas of study:

  • Number – e.g. addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, ratio and percentages
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change – e.g. percentage increase, dividing a given quantity into two or more parts
  • Geometry and Measure – e.g. properties of 2D and 3D shapes, angles, areas and volumes
  • Algebra – using letters to solve problems
  • Statistics – collecting, representing and analysing data, probability

There is a strong focus on mastery which has the primary aim of developing a sense of place value and number and linking all topics to problem solving.

KS4 – Years 9, 10 and 11

Years 9, 10 and 11 follow the key stage 4 curriculum which includes GCSE examinations. GCSE examinations are graded from 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest). Students will consolidate their numerical and mathematical capability from key stage 3 and be taught to select and use appropriate calculation strategies to solve increasingly complex problems. Students will be taught to use different representations to solve problems including numerical, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic representations. Students are expected to use mathematical language and properties precisely. Reasoning and problem solving are key skills which students need to develop whilst studying the 5 main subject areas of Number, Algebra, Ratio, proportion and rates of change, Geometry and measures, Probability and Statistics.

Students in the top set, in Years 10 and 11, also study Level 2 Further Maths, of which there is also a GCSE examination at the end of the course. This subject also helps support those students who wish to go on to study A level maths.

Any student who fails to achieve a grade 4 at GCSE in Year 11 is supported in the college by being taught maths weekly in order to resit the maths GCSE and to sit maths functional skills.

KS5 – Years 12 and 13

Students achieving at least a grade 7 at GCSE can go on to study for AS and A level Mathematics at our sixth form. Mathematics is a very highly valued AS and A level, by both Universities and employers. It is a challenging course but one which can support students’ studies in almost every other subject. All assessment is via written examination with no coursework component. Students will complete AS Mathematics at the end of year 12 and then A level Mathematics at the end of year 13.

How can I help support my child’s learning in Maths?

  • Encourage them to use the maths videos on Mathswatch if they are unsure.
  • If your child is struggling to do a question let them explain to you – often talking it through is all that is needed.  Sometimes they just haven’t read all the information in the question.
  • You can find the Painsley Catholic Academy Numeracy booklet on the Numeracy and Literacy page on the Painsley website. The booklet describes the methods and mathematical concepts that we use throughout the Academy, in order to ensure that there is a consistent approach.
  • Homework is 30 minutes in years 7 and 8, 45 minutes in year 9 and an hour in years 10 and 11.  If your child is done much more quickly have a look at the quality of the work.
  • Good maths revision is completing lots of practice questions and also checking the answers.  Challenge your child to show you what they have actually done.
  • When practice exam papers are given out check that they have tried every question

Maths Staff

Maths Staff from Sept 2021

Mrs C Wooldridge – Subject Leader for Mathematics
Mr A Pate – Maths Teaching and Learning Coordinator/ Emmaus Tutor
Mrs D Roberts – Emmaus tutor
Mr M Linney – Maths Hub Lead Teacher
Prof R Price – Emmaus Tutor
Mr S Handley – Emmaus Tutor
Mrs J Phillips – Emmaus Tutor
Mrs J Ingram – Emmaus Tutor
Mrs S Long – Emmaus Tutor
Mrs N Dubois – Emmaus tutor
Mr R Harris – Emmaus tutor
Mrs G White – Maths Hub Lead Teacher
Mr S Parkes (Science) – Emmaus tutor
Mr D Bullock – Assistant Principal

Useful links

DESMOS (graphing software)

Assessment Framework

Graph Paper

Wolfram Alpha

BBC GCSE Bitesize for Maths

Mr Barton Maths


Maths is Fun

Maths Dictionary


Integral Resources (for sixth form students)

Hegarty Maths (free registration needed)


Extra Curricular

Drop-in Maths support is available every lunchtime in Room C13.

Each year groups of students from years 7 to 13 participate in the annual UKMT Maths Challenges. This is a competition where students try to answer some multiple choice questions which are both intriguing and challenging. There are three levels, junior, intermediate and senior, with certificates for those who do well. The best students can also progress to the next rounds of the competition.

There are trips out of school which have included the Leicester Space Centre and a joint maths/science trip for year 8 to Twycross Zoo.  Students in year 7 and 9 were challenged to develop their personal learning and thinking skills and also their team skills in a puzzle day which focussed on logic and strategy.

Students in years 12 and 13 have the opportunity to study for an additional AS level in Further Maths over two years as part of the enrichment programme.  This AS qualification builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding set out in the whole GCSE subject content for mathematics and the subject content for AS and A-level mathematics.  Year 12 have participated in a Higher Level Problem Solving Conference at Keele University.

Each year, a team of four students (2 from Year 12 and 2 from Year 13) compete in the UKMT senior maths team challenge at Keele University. This competition gives the students the opportunity to tackle a variety of engaging mathematical activities while developing teamwork and communication skills.

Each year, a team of year 12 students participate in The Engineering Education Scheme (EES) working with engineers on a real engineering challenge posed by a local company (JCB). The project lasts around 6 months and includes a 2-day residential stay at Birmingham University. Recently, students were asked to design a system to optimise the boom swing on mini-excavators. Their project was judged to be one of the best on display at “The Big Bang Fair” and they won the award for “Engineer of the Year” for the West Midlands region.

Learning Journey

Maths Learning Journey