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Meet Milena Lee

We’re fortunate to have a team of very enthusiastic Core Maths teachers who are extremely strong at delivering this fantastic and useful course to its full potential!

Milena Lee
The Blandford School

About The Blandford School

The Blandford School is a 11-18 local authority school in rural North Dorset with approximately 1,000 students on roll, around 150 of which are in our sixth form.

Our central and beautiful location within the region enables us to frequently host events from external organisations for both teachers and students in the area.

What they’re doing in relation to Core Maths

We’ve been offering Core Maths since 2015, the year after the qualification was launched.

We’re fortunate to have a team of very enthusiastic Core Maths teachers who are extremely strong at delivering this fantastic and useful course to its full potential! They always keep its foci of ‘real-life maths’, critical thinking, and debating and reasoning at the forefront thus equipping students with invaluable skills for employment, further education, and life. Students who are currently on the course appreciate the value of gaining these skills and are clearly talking about it with their peers – we’ve had several inquiries this year from Year 12 students who hadn’t initially signed up for the course.

We’ve established a close liaison between our maths faculty and our geography, psychology, and biology faculties. We aim to meet regularly to try to align sequences of teaching, and use topical and exam resources from these subjects in our Core Maths lessons. These subjects, as well as PE, Health and Social Care, Sociology, and Business and Economics, explain the value of studying Core Maths alongside their subject to support the maths content and to encourage students to take the opportunity to study it at open evenings and by displaying the AMSP’s Core Maths posters. This, along with promotion in the relevant Year 11 classes by teachers and students currently studying Core Maths, we’re hoping to further increase the already healthy uptake over the coming years.

Initially the qualification was taken over two years with five teaching hours a fortnight, and was offered in the extension option block alongside the Extended Project Qualificatin (EPQ) and Sports Leader. With the current Year 12 cohort however, we’re trialling teaching Core Maths in one year with nine teaching hours a fortnight and with exams sat in the summer of Year 12. This is mainly to enable students to fully focus on their 3 A levels in their final year of school without having to spend time on a fourth option. Next year, we’re hoping to extend this one-year offer to Year 13 students that haven’t chosen Core Maths initially. Many students realise the value of the course only when they’re in Year 12 whilst studying for their other A levels and discovering the maths required, or when looking at university entry requirements which are often reduced for candidates with a good Core Maths grade.

To accommodate the teaching hours required to allow successful completion of the qualification whilst maintaining the invaluable ethos of the course of it being so much more than merely learning mathematical methods, the Core Maths option has been moved to one of our main A level option blocks.

Further information

Around 12% of Year 12 students who are eligible to study Core Maths but don’t study A level Mathematics will take their Core Maths exam in summer 2022. 33% of students in Year 12 who meet the entry requirements for A level Mathematics study this and around 25% of our eligible sixth formers study Level 3 maths courses.

 CourseTeaching time/ftntEntry requirementsBoard
Year 12 onlyCore Maths9 hoursGCSE grade 5OCR/MEI B
Year 12/13A level Mathematics9 hoursGCSE grade 7AQA
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