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GCSE Mathematics

What is Maths?

Maths is an essential life-skill in the modern, technologically advanced world. Knowledge of GCSE Maths is increasingly important in today’s, computer-based workplace. Maths has a wide application, and you will find yourself using Maths in some of the subjects that you study at school, especially the sciences and business related courses. This is why a good grade in Maths is often a requirement for moving on to higher level study.


Maths is considered one of the essential GCSEs in which every student should aim to get a good pass.

What will I study?

GCSE Maths can be studied at either Higher Level or Foundation Level. It is our experience that most students are better off studying for the Higher Level GCSE, and it is our usual practice to enter nearly all students for this exam. Some of the major GCSE topics are percentages, ratios, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, probability and statistics. Arithmetic and algebra provide the basis for most GCSE Maths topics, so your teacher will make sure you practise these to build up your confidence. At Blackwater, we find that if students have confidence in applying these basic skills then they get more enjoyment from the subject, click here for complete specification

Why should I study Maths?

Grade C or better in GCSE Maths is a formal requirement for entry to university in any course. It is also the minimum requirement that most employers will insist upon. In today’s society it is almost as important to be mathematically literate as it is to be literate in English. You will find that being good at Maths can help you to deal with problems found in everyday life – from deciding upon a mortgage to assessing a “special offer” in a supermarket. Maths is useful!

How is it assessed?

The exam is externally assessed and comprises two written papers, a non-calculator paper and a calculator paper. Each paper lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes. The highest grade you can achieve at Higher Level is an A*, whilst the highest grade you can achieve at Foundation Level is a C.

What do I need?

In Maths, learning takes place through practising the skills you are taught, so you need to be motivated and willing to work hard, both in and outside of class.

 It is also helpful if you are organised and neat in the way you set out and structure your work. If you are not, we will then encourage you to improve this aspect of your work.

Reading List

OCRGCSE Mathematics Higher Level

 CGP GCSE OCR Mathematics Higher Level

GCSE entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is 5 passes at a school level equivalent to year 9 in the UK. The admissions staff at Blackwater Academy Birmingham will be more than happy to provide advice on the equivalence of international qualifications

Students who are not 16 on the first day of the academic year (taken as September 1st) are classed as of ‘Compulsory School Age’. Such students will receive a higher level of supervision in school and in their living accommodation for the duration of the academic year.



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