Head of Department

Mrs C Herlihy

Subject Overview

Welcome to the Mathematics Department at Cornwallis Academy.  We are a large and dynamic department whose aim is for students to enjoy and excel in mathematics at all levels. We believe that all students, irrespective of ability, should be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential in mathematics.

We continuously strive to provide opportunities for all students to develop independently and solve problems logically, in a way that is suited to their learning style, so that they gain the confidence to share their ideas with their teachers and peers.

As a department, we believe that there is true value in understanding mathematics conceptually and being able to apply mathematics as opposed to simply learning how to answer exam questions. This is why you will not only find mathematics solely in mathematics lessons, but in all subjects and aspects of school life.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Overview:

The Key Stage 3 course is covered over a period of 2 years and covers the main content domains;
  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Geometry and Measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics
The Key Stage 3 course is designed to engage and encourage students. Our Mathematics lesson offer a vast amount of opportunities for students to develop their mastery of the subject, whilst teaching them how to apply it to real life situations, as this is the main focus for any person getting ready to enter into the work place.

Year 7 & 8:

Over the two years, all students will progress through a three-tiered scheme of work that has been designed to allows students of all abilities to access the subject and learn.  Students will also have the opportunity to move between the three tiers.  The course will be graded in line with the reformed GCSE (Grades 9-1 with the addition of Entry Level and Novice Level) to allow students see their progress across all five years of their secondary education. Students will be expected to arrive to all lessons with a full set of equipment: pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, a pair of compasses, rubber and scientific calculator.  Each week, students will be set one piece of homework - this may be paper based or set online via MathsWatch or the PiXL Maths App.

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

During the first two terms of Year 7, all students will take a baseline assessment to assess their current strengths and weaknesses and determine which tier we feel will suit each student best. All students in Years 7 and 8 will be expected to take an assessment at the end of each term, which will be based on the content they have covered in that term. There will also be regular assessments at the end of terms 2, 4 and 6 that consist of both non-calculator and calculator papers.
Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 Overview:

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 and proportion; 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 3 to 9

Years 9 and 10:

The GCSE Mathematics course allows students to further their understanding of the core basics covered in Key Stage 3. This is achieved with an exciting and engaging course which is designed to incorporate real life scenarios and situations which allow students to apply their mathematical knowledge and understanding to everyday problems. Students will need to bring their own equipment with them to lessons so that they can fully access the curriculum – a pen, a pencil, a ruler, a pair of compasses, a protractor and a scientific calculator will be required. We recommend the Casio fx-83GT PLUS calculator, which can be bought through the school or in most shops. A minimum of one piece of Mathematics homework will be set by the classroom teacher per week, and we encourage our students to use the MathsWatch website and the PiXL Maths App at home to help with their independent revision.

Years 11:

This is the final year of the GCSE Mathematics course, which will draw together all content learnt over the last two years and focus heavily on the application of this to different problems and exam style questions. Students will sit PPE examinations in Term 2, which will enable us to make final tier entry decisions in the January. In addition to this, students will sit a number of practice papers in exam style conditions and as Walking Talking Mocks to consolidate their exam writing skills. Students are expected to be continuously revising for the duration of Year 11 to ensure they are best prepared for their GCSE examinations in the summer term. To support students, a number of topic specific after school sessions run by Mathematics specialists are held weekly as well as additional resources provided to support learning at home.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Key stage 4 students follow the same assessment pattern as Key Stage 3 students in that they will have an end of topic assessment after every unit of work. In addition, all students will sit a GCSE paper at the end of terms 2, 4 and 6. At the end of Year 9 and 10, students will take an end of year assessment. which will be a set of all three GCSE papers to ensure that students are entered for the correct tier and to assess how well they have achieved during this year.
Key Stage 5

Course Title:

A-Level Mathematics

Examining Body:


Overview of the course:

A-Level Mathematics builds on GCSE Mathematics as well as introducing a number of new and exciting topics such as Statistics and Mechanics. This is a linear two year course with all final examinations taken at the end of the second year. Mathematics at this level, is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain a highly sought after qualification from future employers. Graduates of Mathematical based courses can go on to highly paid careers, often substantially higher than other disciplines.

What Will You Study:

Over the two year course you will study the following units:

Pure Mathematics:

  • Topic 1 – Proof
  • Topic 2 – Algebra and functions
  • Topic 3 – Coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane
  • Topic 4 – Sequences and series
  • Topic 5 – Trigonometry
  • Topic 6 – Exponentials and logarithms
  • Topic 7 – Differentiation
  • Topic 8 – Integration
  • Topic 9 – Numerical methods
  • Topic 10 – Vectors


  • Topic 1 – Statistical sampling
  • Topic 2 – Data presentation and interpretation
  • Topic 3 – Probability
  • Topic 4 – Statistical distributions
  • Topic 5 – Statistical hypothesis testing


  • Topic 6 – Quantities and units in mechanics
  • Topic 7 – Kinematics
  • Topic 9 – Forces and Newton’s laws
  • Topic 9 – Moments


At the end of the two-year course, students will sit three examination papers:

Paper 1:

  • Pure Mathematics 1
  • Worth 33.33% of the final grade
  • Two-hour paper
  • 100 marks available
  • Calculator

Paper 2:

  • Pure mathematics 2
  • Worth 33.33 % of the final grade
  • Two-hour paper
  • 100 marks available
  • Calculator

Paper 3:

  • Statistics and Mechanics
  • worth 33.33% of the final grade
  • Two-hour paper
  • 100 marks available
  • Calculator

Possible Career Paths:  

“Maths is the only A level proven to increase earnings in later life - by an average of 10%.” -  Elizabeth Truss There is a huge shortage of people with STEM skills needed to enter the workforce. As well as the most commonly thought of Mathematics based careers, there are a number of other career opportunities, for example:
  • Financial systems and online purchasing systems are underpinned by Mathematics, relying heavily on online security and encryption.

There are many new applications of Mathematics in technology as well as in engineering and science:

  • Games Design
  • Internet Security
  • Programming
  • Communications
  • Aircraft Modelling
  • Fluid Flows
  • Acoustic Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Quantum Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Forensics
  • DNA Sequencing


Course Title:

Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies (Core Mathematics)

Examining Body:


Overview of the course:

Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) is a new qualification designed for students who have achieved a grade 4 or above at GCSE. It helps to develop students’ mathematical skills and thinking and supports courses such as A-Level Psychology, Sciences, Geography, as well as technical and vocational qualifications. This qualification is a two year linear course with all final examinations taken at the end of the second year.

What Will You Study/Assessment:

Over the two year course you will study the following units:

Compulsory Content:

  • Topic 1 – Analysis of Data
  • Topic 2 – Maths for Personal Finance
  • Topic 3 – Estimation
  • Topic 4 – Critical Analysis of Given Data and Models

Optional Content:

  • Topic 1 – The Normal Distribution
  • Topic 2 – Probabilities and Estimation
  • Topic 3 – Correlation and Regression
  • Topic 4 – Critical Path and Risk Analysis
  • Topic 5 – Expectation
  • Topic 6 – Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Topic 7 – Graphical Methods
  • Topic 9 – Rates of Change
  • Topic 9 – Exponential Functions


At the end of the two-year course, students will sit two examination papers:

Paper 1:

  • Compulsory Content (Topics 1, 2 and 3)
  • Worth 50% of the final grade
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 60 marks available
  • Calculator allowed

Paper 2:

  • Compulsory Content (Topic 4) and Optional Content
  • Worth 50% of the final grade
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 60 marks available
  • Calculator allowed