Elaine Charnock - Subject Leader - Maths

Belinda Heyes - Teacher - Maths

Susie Risley - Teacher - Maths


Achievement in maths is outstanding.
Students are full challenged and work together to find solutions.

Five year average at GCSE, grades A* - C is 79%, with A and A* at 27%.

Here at Cartmel we are a very experienced and dynamic team dedicated to developing every child’s confidence in mathematical and numeracy skills whilst fostering an enjoyment of learning. There is a strong ethos of nurture in our teaching methods where students are well supported with “drop in sessions” and extra tuition at all ages, as well as booster classes for GCSE students.


We have three classrooms all equipped with a projector and interactive whiteboard.  Teachers can book the nearby computer suite and two of our classrooms have a number of laptops for individual student use.

The school subscribes to two online resources MathsWatchVLE.  Every student has a personal login to access lessons, homework tasks and revision materials both inside and outside school.


Students are set on entry. Any changes made to sets are as a result of termly assessment levels and progress in class.


For Key Stage 3 we aim to set a minimum of thirty minutes of homework per week.

This will increase at Key Stage 4 to a minimum of forty five minutes. In Year 11 from the GCSE mock exams onwards, students are given a complete practice exam paper once a week which will take considerably longer to complete.


All students are expected to have the correct equipment in all lessons, as well as for internal exams and GCSE exams. All equipment can be purchased from the Maths department or from the school office: pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, sharpener, green pen, protractor, compasses  and scientific calculator – Casio fx-85GT PLUS preferred


In both Key Stages there is a strong emphasis on good written methods and presentation to communicate their understanding and mastery of skills.


Mathematics is divided into the main topics: Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics. Problem solving and real life context is an integral part of all topic areas.

During the Key Stage students will revisit and develop some topics previously learnt in Key Stage 2 to secure knowledge.  Students will acquire new knowledge on topics such as quadratic sequences, Pythagoras’ theorem, trigonometry and probability.

All students are tested regularly in order to assess their progress. Termly tests usually involve a problem solving and a basic skills paper. These tests are conducted in classrooms.

Each year group will sit full examinations towards the end of the academic year; this is March/April (Easter) for Years 7, 8 and 9.  Students will have three examination papers; one problem solving non-calculator paper, one problem solving calculator paper and one basic skills non calculator paper.

Mastery of Skills at KS3:

There is an expectation to master a variety of topics by the end of the Key Stage 3; proficiency in basic calculations, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions, basic algebra techniques of collecting terms, indices, BIDMAS, substitution, solving equations, area of rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, trapeziums, circles, volume of prisms, averages, probability and statistical diagrams.


We follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus.

GCSE is graded from 9 – 1 (9 is the highest grade, awarded to the top 3% of the cohort.)

Students are set on ability based on performance in Key Stage 3.

Students following the Higher Tier course will be expected to have mastered the Key Stage 3 skills listed above on entering Year 10 in order to access the new content. New topics include vectors, surds, binomials, circle theorems, transformations of formulae, sine rule, cosine rule, histograms, proofs and velocity-time graphs.  The Higher Tier course is challenging and designed to equip students with the appropriate mathematical knowledge for further study of mathematics at A level and beyond.  Higher Tier grades 9 – 5 are attainable.

Students following the Foundation Tier course will have opportunities to revisit topics learnt at KS3 before extending their knowledge and level of understanding.  The Foundation Tier course can still present an element of challenge as it now incorporates content previously studied at Higher Tier on the old exam syllabus. New topics include standard form, indices, solving quadratic equations, cubic and reciprocal graphs, compound interest, spheres, pyramids, cones, trigonometry and vectors.  Foundation Tier grades 5 – 1 are attainable.

All students are tested regularly in order to assess their progress.  Termly tests are conducted in maths classrooms.  Year 10 sit full examinations in June and Year 11 sit “mock” exams in November/December. At the end of Year 11, all students sit three exam papers, each one hour 30 minutes long, one is non-calculator and two are calculator allowed.

Additional Activities

We run the UKMT Maths Challenge annually for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Many students enjoy participating in the Alan Turing cryptography competition.

We have “Maths Mentors” in Years 9 and 10 dedicated to supporting basic numeracy skills with younger students through the activities like the “Lunchtime Times Table Club”.