“We offer Core Maths to students who achieved at least a Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics and teach it as a one-year course, following the AQA Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies… Core Maths is given the same prominence as A level courses, with our lessons timetabled in the same teaching block as A level Mathematics.”Jon Pritchard
The Spires College
Meet Jon Pritchard
About The Spires College
The Spires College is an 11-18 bilateral school in Torquay with over 1100 students on roll. In the sixth form, A level Mathematics and Core Maths are offered along with GCSE retake.
What they’re doing in relation to Core Maths
Core Maths is offered to students who achieve at least a Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics and is taught as a one-year course, following the AQA Level 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies. The majority of students choose to take it in Year 12. Core Maths is given the same prominence as A level courses, with lessons timetabled in the same teaching block as A level Mathematics. At the Spires College, this means that students have nine one-hour lessons per fortnight. Core Maths classes vary in size each year between ten to fifteen students.
The teaching of Core Maths is shared between two teachers, with Teacher 1 teaching five hours per fortnight and Teacher 2 teaching four hours per fortnight. The content is shared so that both teachers will teach parts of Paper 1 (mostly in the autumn term) and parts of Paper 2 (mostly in the spring term). The Scheme of Learning is designed to be completed by end of the spring term, leaving the summer term to focus on revision, exam preparation, and making the best use of the Pre-release Material for the summer exams. At least one teacher each year will attend the AMSP’s webinars for the Pre-release material. Topics are currently divided in the following way:
|Teacher 1 (five hours)||Teacher 2 (four hours)|
Critical path analysis
Critical analysis of data
|Analysis of data|
Critical analysis of data
All teachers in our maths department are trained in the different maths courses and routes for post-16 students, and offer guidance and support to students towards the right Level 3 option. Year 10 and 11 teachers promote and offer guidance to students in lessons and at parents evenings, suggesting the most appropriate course for the student. In Year 11, our recruitment becomes more targeted through our sixth form open evening and one to one post-16 guidance meetings with members of the sixth form team. During the summer term, after the examinations are completed, students attend an induction event designed to give them a taste of the course, and are given suggested reading and work to complete before beginning the course in September. During an induction lesson, students typically experience content that is unique to Core Maths, such as finance, fermi estimation, and critical analysis of data.