Mathematics Department

Welcome to the Mathematics Department.  Mathematics is a core subject with every pupil completing a full GCSE in KS4.  Pupils experience excellent teaching from an enthusiastic mathematics team.  Pupils experience challenge during their lessons and are encouraged to look beyond the classroom and apply the maths in context.


Meet the Department
  • Mr Jacobs – Subject Leader of Mathematics & Assistant Principal
  • Mr Campbell – Teacher of Mathematics & Assistant Principal/Year 11 Pastoral Leader
  • Mr Eyre – Teacher of Mathematics
  • Miss Kent – KS3 Coordinator for Mathematics & Numeracy Coordinator
  • Miss Machin – Teacher of Mathematics & Curriculum Lead
  • Mr Massey – KS4 Coordinator for Mathematics
  • Mr Parker-Harding – Teacher of Mathematics
  • Mr Rome – Teacher of Mathematics
  • Mr Stickland – Teacher of Mathematics
  • Ms Vanvuchelen – Teacher of Mathematics and R.E.


GCSE Mathematics Exam Results

There is a strong culture of academic success in the department. We achieve consistently strong results and are always reflecting on our practice to see where we can make further improvements.

2020: 90%, 9-4, 73% 9-5 (Centre Assessed Grades)

2019: 83% 9-4, 65% 9-5

2018: 87% 9-4, 65% 9-5

2017: 83%, 9-4; 55% 9-5

2016: 86% A*-C

2015: 81% A*-C

2014: 83% A*-C

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Teaching for Mastery at St Richards



In September 2020 we introduced a new approach to mathematics at St Richards’ by incorporating and developing teaching for mastery ideas into our practice. The use of the phrase “teaching for mastery” refers to the classroom concepts and approaches that best help pupils to “master” the mathematics they are taught. These concepts and approaches include incorporating a new KS3 scheme of work where concepts are looked at for longer and in more depth with the aim of pupils’ achieving a deeper, more connected, and more fluid understanding of the mathematics they are taught.


Teaching for Mastery: 5 Big Ideas

As part of our move towards teaching for mastery we are working with the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) and Sussex MathsHub and incorporating their “5 Big Ideas” which underpin teaching for mastery. These concepts form the foundations of the new scheme of work taught in year 7, with elements introduced into our teaching for the other year groups. These are:


  1. Coherence: Lessons are broken down into small connected steps to enable all pupils to access the ideas. These steps are then built up, leading to a generalisation of the concept and enabling pupils to apply their knowledge to a range of contexts.


  1. Representation and Structure: Concepts and ideas are represented in a range of ways, developing from the ‘concrete’ such as using Dienes blocks, onto the ‘pictorial’ and the use of bar models and number lines, through to the ‘abstract’. The aim is for all pupils to be able to complete the maths without using relying on the physical or pictorial representation, but it is used when teaching concepts for the first time to provide sufficient meaning and understanding with key ideas.


  1. Mathematical Thinking: For ideas to be truly understood pupils must engage with the ideas actively. Pupils are therefore encouraged to discuss and reason their ideas with each other and actively think about the mathematics concerned.


  1. Fluency: For pupils to be able to move onto higher level content, they must have fluency in their foundation knowledge, including times tables and other core numeracy ideas, such as number bonds, place value and both mental and written calculations. Developing fluency in mathematics enables pupils to move easily between different contexts and develop a strong understanding of the connections between different concepts.


  1. Variation: This is a concept that concerns not adding “variety” to lessons but focusing on how and why varying small parts of an idea or a question, can lead to changes in the answer. It is a very effective way of drawing pupils’ attention to core concepts, and encourages pupils to explore and think more deeply about mathematical relationship and structure.


Challenge and Support


Our belief is that all children can understand and succeed in mathematics. Each key stage 3 cohort has a booster class for pupils who find maths particularly challenging. In these lessons pupils focus on core topics which include the key numeracy concepts and skills. As part of our teaching for mastery approach, we have adapted the scheme of work further for these pupils to give them the time to really understand and practice key ideas that are required before moving onto further content.


As part of our teaching for mastery approach pupils study similar mathematical concepts at the same time, regardless of their prior attainment. Support is provided through greater scaffolding. A core idea within teaching for mastery is that those pupils who grasp an idea quickly are not rushed on to new content, instead they cover the same content as all other pupils but are challenged further by exploring concepts in greater depth and given questions where they need to apply the ideas to new and unfamiliar problem-solving contexts.


For further detail regarding teaching for mastery ideas, please visit:

The curriculum map for KS3 teaching for pupils starting at the school from September 2020 is shown below.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Pupils start formally studying for their GCSE mathematics exams at the start of Year 9. Their GCSE exam consists of three papers at either foundation (aiming for grades 1 – 5) or higher (aiming for grades 4 – 9) tier, each 90 minutes long. One of the exams is a non-calculator exam so it is important that pupils have mastered the essential numeracy skills covered earlier in their school career. The other two papers allow the use of a calculator.


The topics studied include:


Foundation and Higher Tiers:


Number Foundations

Algebra Foundations

Graphs, Tables and Charts

Fractions and Percentages

Equations, Inequalities and Sequences


Averages and Range

Perimeter, Area and Volume

Straight Line Graphs


Ration and Proportion

Pythagoras and Trigonometry


Multiplicative Reasoning

Compound Measures

Constructions, Loci and Bearings

Quadratic Equations and Graphs


3D Objects


Standard Form

Congruence and Similarity


Simultaneous Equations

Other Types of Graphs

Rearranging Formulae




Higher Tier Only:



Simultaneous Equations with a Non-Linear Equation

Trigonometric Functions

Sine Rule & Cosine Rule

Solving Quadratics using the Quadratic Formula or Completing the Square

Transforming Graphs

Cumulative Frequency


Solving Equations and Inequalities Graphically

Circle Theorems

Algebraic Fractions

Proportionality Formulae

Advanced Vectors


There is a large amount of content in both tiers and it is important that pupils make the most of every lesson and complete additional independent work on areas that they identify as development areas. We do offer intervention sessions that become extensive when pupils reach Year 11.


Assessment in Mathematics

For every unit studied, pupils are assessed using a mixture of class, homework and formal end of unit assessment. Pupils are provided with written feedback on success and areas for development and are given the opportunity to address any misconceptions.




Pupils are generally set two pieces of homework per week in Mathematics. We make use of three websites for the majority of homework tasks, Times Table Rock Stars (mainly year 7), MathsWatch and Hegarty Maths. The last two websites contain support videos attached to the majority of questions, meaning that pupils can access support with the subject without the pressure on parents being able to understand and explain the work. Please do remind your child of this feature if they are ever struggling.


Chapter Tests and Mock Exams


Throughout the KS3 and KS4 curriculum pupils will take assessments in class on the topics covered. These will be marked and feedback on them returned on a ‘yellow form’. Please look out for these in your child’s maths book and sign to acknowledge that you have seen and discussed each assessment. Pupils will begin to sit full GCSE papers as mock examinations from the end of year 10. Pupils are given detailed feedback of their performance after every mock exam series in year 11 showing the areas of the course that each pupil needs to work on in order to progress.