Senior school > Curriculum > Mathematics

As a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subject, the Mathematics Department is situated in the Dyson Building. A good qualification in Mathematics provides evidence of logical thought processes and the ability to cope with statistical and analytical skills. Each year three mathematics prizes are awarded on Speech Day.

This core subject is highly valued by most employers and is often required for entry to further and higher education. Our aim is for students to gain confidence in the subject by means of achieving success at the appropriate level of entry.

Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with strong skills in reasoning and problem solving; just the skills that are developed in a mathematics and statistics degree. Those who go on to study Mathematics will find an extremely wide range of career choices open to them. Many will find their communication, presentation and interpretation skills in demand in non-scientific areas such as finance, marketing, management and law. A Mathematics degree is an excellent training in problem solving and this skill is highly prized across an enormous range of professions. Hence mathematicians readily find employment in a very wide variety of careers, including industry, commerce and civil service.

Mathematics provides an excellent basis for those who are studying Chemistry, Physics and indeed Economics at this level. Pupils wanting to study Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary science must achieve an A grade in Mathematics to be a viable candidate in these very competitive disciplines. Anyone who wants to study Science, Engineering, Economics, Accountancy or Mathematics at top universities is advised to study Further Mathematics, a course that provides a real challenge for those who are more gifted in the subject and leads to a deep exploration of more advanced topics.

It is considered a core A level subject for entry to university and a high grade in the subject is viewed very favourably for entry to University across many courses.


Exam board: Edexcel for IGSCE and OCR for Additional Mathematics.

In Years 9, 10 and 11 all pupils are grouped according to their ability in Mathematics. The more able pupils in the top sets are accelerated at a rate which is both comfortable and challenging to them.

The set 1 pupils in Year 10 complete the Higher Level IGCSE course by the end of Year 10 and follow the OCR Additional Mathematics course in Year 11. This is an excellent stepping stone for the IB Diploma and a stimulating course for the more able pupil. Most sets take the exam at the end of the two year course. We also give special consideration to pupils who find the subject challenging, offering them the chance for early entry to allow two opportunities for those taking the Foundation Level papers.


Entry requirements: as high a grade as possible at IGCSE, such as grade 8 or 9, possibly a 7.

Applied Mathematics

This is the mathematics that is used to describe or to solve ‘real-world’ situations and problems. within this section there are three main areas: Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Mathematics (Decision Mathematics is only available to Further Mathematicians).

Statistics – Collecting and analysing data and using this to make predictions about future events. Many subjects make use of statistical information and techniques. An understanding of probability and risk is important in careers including insurance, medicine, engineering and sciences.

Mechanics – Modelling and analysing the physical world around us, including the study of forces and motion. Mechanics is particularly useful to pupils studying physics and engineering.

Decision Mathematics – Using algorithms and other methods to find efficient solutions to real life problems, such as finding the shortest route between two points in a network. Decision is particularly useful for business, computing and economic careers.

Core Mathematics

The easiest way to think of Core Mathematics is that it is mathematics done for its own sake, often referred to as Pure Mathematics. In fact, it is not that simple because even the most abstract mathematics will almost always have applications.


The course extends many of the topics that are covered in A level and also introduces brand new concepts, such as complex numbers and Decision Mathematics. Further Mathematics pupils study the course separately from those who take single Mathematics and so will have a greater number of lessons devoted to these two subjects.


Entry requirements: Grade 9 at GCSE or equivalent

Analysis and Approaches will only be offered at Higher Level and is most similar to the current Maths Higher Level course. It is for students who have strong algebra skills and who enjoy the thrill of mathematical problem solving and generalisation.


Entry requirements: A passing grade at GCSE or equivalent is necessary to study at Standard Level, or a grade 9 at GCSE or equivalent to study at Higher Level.

IB pupils can choose to study Maths in Group 5 at Higher Level or Standard Level from the Applications and Interpretation course; the Standard Level course includes an extra non-examined unit on Vectors making this a suitable course for all German Universities. Their choice of level will very much depend on prior learning, and future career choices. The course will last two years with a terminal examination consisting of two papers at the end of IB2. In addition, they also complete an internal assessment that counts towards 20% of their final grade.


Selected Lower School pupils take the Intermediate Mathematical Challenge in February. The most successful then take The International Mathematical Olympiad and Kangaroo (IMOK) in April.

All pupils taking Further Mathematics or Higher Mathematics take part in the Senior Mathematical Challenge in November. The most successful may be invited to take part in the British Mathematical Olympiad.

The School also enters teams for the Intermediate and Senior Team Challenges. There are training sessions for these teams before the events.

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IB Diploma