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Mathematics Overview

Steven Underwood - Head of Mathematics

Steven Underwood
Head of Mathematics

Head of Department

Please email Steven Underwood if you need to make an enquiry about Mathematics at Ryedale School.

Curriculum Time

In Years 7, 8 and 9 all students receive 6 hours per fortnightly cycle. In Year 10 they receive 7 hours and in Year 11 they will receive 6 hours per cycle.


Homework is set twice a week in all year groups. In Years 7, 8 and 9 it should take between 20 – 30 minutes. In Years 10 and 11 it should take between 30 – 40 minutes. The tasks in KS3 will include consolidation, practice, learning, puzzles and research. In KS4 tasks will include consolidation, revision and practice exam papers.

Class Groupings

Students are set in Year 7 based on their prior performance in the KS2 assessments. Setting reviews take place regularly each term to ensure each student is challenged to make better than expected progress.

GCSE Specification

The department uses the AQA Mathematics 8300 specification. There are two tiers of entry – Foundation and Higher. The Foundation tier targets grades 5 to 1. The Higher tier targets grades 9 to 4. There are 3 papers at each level. Paper 1 is a non-calculator paper. Papers 2 and 3 are calculator papers. All papers are worth 80 marks. There is no coursework. The AQA website has further details on

Rooming and Resources

The department has 6 well qualified and enthusiastic staff in a suite of well-resourced maths rooms. There are texts, worksheets, games, puzzles and 16 PCs and 16 laptops for departmental use with subject specific software.

Departmental Ethos

The curriculum in KS3 is about enjoying Maths and solving problems and puzzles to develop their mathematical skills. Students are encouraged to think mathematically ie. precisely, logically and creatively developing an understanding of mathematical ideas and how to communicate them. We cultivate an appreciation of the link between the different areas of maths by interleaving topics and develop the ability to solve unfamiliar and multi-stage problems. This continues in KS4 although the emphasis is on developing knowledge, skills and techniques to perform as well as possible in the GCSE exams. The course gives students a firm foundation for further study across the curriculum.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Study club is available for KS4 students after school every week. Staff are available at lunchtime for any student needing extra help in KS3 or KS4. Additional Maths is available as an optional extra maths course to develop the brightest mathematicians who can begin to work at AS level. Students can enter a maths challenge competing against students from other schools.

Other Information

Maths packs are available for new students to purchase which contain all the equipment they will need. Items of stationery and calculators are also available to all students. ‘Securing Skills’ and ‘One to One’ sessions are available for students who find maths more challenging. Entry Level Certificate (ELC) will be available for those students working below grade 1.

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