Essential Skills transition resources: Notes for teachers

The most popular choice at A level is Mathematics; however, the transition from GCSE to A level remains a challenge for some students.

The Essential Skills transition materials were designed for students to work through and complete independently. Completion of these GCSE to AS/A level Mathematics transition resources will help students to develop fluency in the fundamental techniques and the key mathematical concepts that underpin A level Mathematics. These can be paired with support and additional guidance from a teacher where this is available.


We have also made printable versions of the Essential Skills resources for you to give to students with limited access to technology. They are available to download here. They also contain further information on how to get the most out of the printable resources and the differences you will find from the online versions.

It is vitally important that students are fluent and confident in applying these essential skills, so they are successful in making the transition to the academic standard required at A level.

Review, recall, and consolidation are important factors in the transition process, and overarching skills that are transferable across key topics are vital to developing a depth of understanding. Consequently, these resources focus on the following six essential skills from the Higher tier GCSE curriculum and how they are applied across a number of key topics at AS and A level.

There are six sets of resources available:

  • Simplifying 
  • Expanding 
  • Factorising
  • Rearranging
  • Solving
  • Sketching

Each section contains:

  • transition materials - skill review a review of skills and a check on understanding
  • transition materials - practice skills a chance to practice skills and explore the topic
  • transition materials - extension an opportunity to deepen understanding and focus on the purpose of these skills through extension and enrichment resources

We hope that students will find the materials enriching and enjoyable; there will be problems to solve and links to intriguing aspects of maths that will expand student’s knowledge and give them more insight into the application of maths and provoke a genuine interest and love for the subject.

As always we welcome any feedback. If you would like to contact us then please email us.