Pupils who sit GCSE Mathematics from 2017 onwards will have the opportunity to be awarded two qualifications in the subject.
These qualifications will be Mathematics, and Mathematics (Numeracy). The final grade will depend entirely on the assessments held at the end of the course, being two written examinations for both awards. One paper will be non-calculator, whilst the other will allow usage.
For both qualifications, there will be three entry tiers, allowing all pupils to strive for the best possible grade.
The grades A* to C will be available in the Higher Tier.
The grades B to E will be available in the Intermediate Tier.
The grades D to G will be available in the Foundation Tier.
We foresee that the vast majority of Penweddig pupils will be Higher Tier or Intermediate tier candidates.
As regards content, the emphasis in the Mathematics (Numeracy) award will be on a pupil’s ability to deal capably and intelligently with numbers, choosing appropriate methods of calculating and effective strategies.
Candidates are expected to be familiar with habits and calculating methods in the financial world, and be able to solve associated practical problems.
Candidates will need to be capable of clear reasoning, and to be able to interpret answers, and to justify them using clear terminology and notation.
In comparison with previous syllabi, there will be some multiple-choice questions which will follow the form of questions which are common in the international ‘PISA’ tests.
For the Mathematics award, candidates will be expected to be familiar with all the content of the Mathematics (Numeracy) course, but additional work on Algebra and Geometry will be an essential part of the course.
It is not entirely clear at the moment if pupils will be allowed to sit the examinations in November of Year 11.
The Welsh Joint Education Committee offers two different GCSE courses in mathematics.
Pupils will follow either one course or the other according to their needs.
The final assessment depends on the pupil’s achievement in two examinations which are equally weighed.
The examinations are sat in June at the end of year 11.
Two tiers are offered, with the Higher Tier studying A* to D material, and the Foundation Tiers studying C to G material.
Paper 1 is non-calculator, with emphasis on number, angle and algebra work.
A calculator is allowed in paper 2, and here work on measurement, statistics and solving equations is emphasised.
The unitary GCSE mathematics course comprises 3 units, as follows :
Unit1 : Mathematics in everyday life (30%)
Work on money, area, speed and practical mathematics is studied.
Unit 2 : Non-calculator mathematics (30%)
The content here is similar to the content of paper 1 in the linear course,
but with a more specific syllabus.
Unit 3 : Calculator mathematics (40%)
The content here is similar to the content of paper 2 in the linear course,
but with a more specific syllabus
There is no coursework, and the pupils will sit the examinations at the end of year 11. Every unit will be offered at the Foundation Tier (C to G), or the Higher Tier ( A* i D ). It is possible for pupils to sit a combination of foundation tier papers and higher tier papers in the unitary course .
The most appropriate course and tier for each pupil will be decided upon at the start of year10. However, circumstances might lead to changes during the two years. The department will discuss each pupil’s requirements with their parents.
An entry level course also exists for pupils who find the GCSE course too difficult.