Key Stage 4

(Years 9 to 11)

Course outline

Mathematics at GCSE continues and adds to the work of KS3. The five main themes of the course are number (confident calculations with or without a calculator), algebra, shapes (areas, volumes, measurements etc.), ratio with proportion and statistics (including probability). 

For pupils in Year 11 following the A* to G course there are two levels of entry; higher level entry with grades A* to D available and foundation level giving grades C to G. Pupils who are in sets 1 and 2 will be entered for the Edexcel higher tier exam and pupils in sets 3 and 4 will be entered either into either the Edexcel higher tier or the OCR foundation tier on an individual basis.

For pupils in Years 9 and 10 following the 9 to 1 course there are two tiers of entry; higher level entry with grades 9 to 4 available and foundation level giving grades 5 to 1. Tiered entries will again be based upon classes but changes are considered on an individual basis. Pupils in the higher classes will also follow an additional qualification in Further Mathematics; this is a level 2 qualification which grades from A** to C and acts as excellent preparation for KS5 Mathematics.

Teaching group organisation

Based on their work in year 7 and 8 students are allocated to sets in year 9. Sets will either be working towards the higher or foundation tier of entry. Pupils in Years 9 and 10 will have 3 hours teaching time and four hours in Year 11.


Assessment will occur on a regular basis in lessons as students attempt the tasks set. There will, however, be more formal assessments throughout the school year. In Year 9 pupils will sit a formal test at the end of each term which will be used to monitor progress and to verify that pupils are appropriately set. Pupils will sit a formal baseline test at the beginning of Year 10 and an end of year mock exam and then a further four mock examinations in Year 11 to prepare them for the real thing.


One piece of homework will normally be set each week and this is expected to last about 35 minutes. It is expected that pupils in Year 11 are also continuously undertaking independent revision as well as set homework.


The Mathematics department offers various revision guides and workbooks to assist with all the KS4 courses; it is strongly recommended that all pupils have access to at least one of these. A letter will come home during the first term concerning this. 



Maths KS4

Diss High School

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