The teachers in the Mathematics department are a dedicated team who work hard to give every student a good grounding in the basics of Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics but also to design and create interesting and engaging lessons to promote the fascination and enjoyment of Mathematics for all students, whatever their level or grade. Students are expected to do their best in class and at home, thereby giving themselves the best possible chance of success at Key Stage 3 and in the GCSE examinations and Functional Skills Exams.

As Maths teachers at The Bishopton Centre, we aim to support this by:

  • having high expectations of performance, challenge and attitudes to/behaviours for learning;
  • understanding that students have different learning preferences and applying our teaching styles to take these into account;
  • providing a supportive and motivating environment;
  • acting as role models;
  • being aware of the importance of how a lesson is planned, constructed and delivered;
  • developing ‘thinking’ in our lessons.
  • We also aim to:
  • develop an awareness of the fascination and mystery of Mathematics.
  • maximise the achievement of all students.
  • develop the ability to communicate using Mathematics, with particular emphasis on the use of correct mathematical language, graphical representations, diagrams etc.
  • equip students with a powerful tool to solve problems in everyday life and to raise an awareness of the use of Mathematics across the curriculum.
  • develop sound numerical skills, the ability to use the four arithmetical operations accurately and with confidence, the ability to estimate and approximate answers and the ability to use a calculator efficiently.
  • encourage a willingness to use algebraic skills by exploring mathematical patterns and sequences, identifying functional relationships and to use mathematics to model real-life situations.Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9)Key Stage 3 students follow the new National Curriculum through a pathway structure, designed to ensure differentiation and personalised learning. They are assessed regularly, through a combination of APP tasks, homework and written assessments, and progress is monitored closely. Students complete the KS3 programme of study at the end of Year 9.Intervention ProgrammeAssertive Mentoring
  • We are committed to providing opportunities for all students to meet their potential and tailor our intervention programmes to the students’ current needs. Through monitoring of student progress departmental intervention programmes are implemented according to the needs of the students.
  • The New National Curriculum focuses on skills based learning and teaching, requiring a more investigative approach. Staff use a wide range of teaching and learning styles/strategies to ensure all types of learners’ needs are met.
  • Structure of Key Stage 3

During the academic year 2015/16, The Bishopton Centre introduced a new system called ‘Assertive Mentoring’ to support children attainment and achievement in Mathematics. For September 2016 we updated this strategy to reflect the 2014 Curriculum. Additional information can be found on the website by visiting

The aims of Assertive Mentoring are:

  • to raise standards for all
  • to motivate and involve children in their learning
  • to inform and involve parents/carers in their child’s learning
  • to support and build upon good practice, other initiatives and polices at The Bishopton Centre
  • to celebrate the positive as well as break down barriers to enable further progress in academic work

Assertive Mentoring outcomes and targets show what a child can do, and what they need to do to move to the next stage of learning. The process allows teachers to set achievable targets in mathematics each half term, and to work with the children to complete these. This then enables us to share these targets with parents/carers so that you can help your child to achieve even more quickly. Children know exactly what stage they are working at and what they need to do to move on. Marking/feedback is very focused and we are working towards implementing termly mentoring meetings to review what has been achieved and what needs to be done next.

The advantages of the system:

  • quick and easy to use and understand
  • all staff in school use the same approach
  • children judge their own learning and are clear on how to move on to the next stage
  • children are empowered to take responsibility of their learning
  • children who have a good attitude to learning and school life are praised
  • consistent support resources across school

The ‘Stage’ that the child has been assessed at is how The Bishopton Centre, at the stipulation of the government, is moving away from the previous ‘Levels’ that were in place.  These codes appear on the target sheets and are written in a particular format, i.e. S2S etc. Please see below an example explanation on the codes.

The S is for Stage, the digit is to represent the actual assessment taken and the ED and last S show where in that stage the child is currently assessed at.

  • S2E – Stage 2 Emerging.  Children are working at the start of stage 2.
  • S2D – Stage 2 Developing.  Children are working in the middle band of the stage.
  • S2S – Stage 2 Secure.  Children are very secure in this stage and with a little more progress will be ready to move to the next stage.


Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)

Edexcel Linear GCSE

At the Bishopton Centre we are currently following the Edexcel GCSE specification. This is a two year programme of study and is examined at the end of year 11 with three exams. Each exam last 1h45 minutes. Two exams are without calculator and one is with. Some questions will draw together elements of maths from different topic areas.


The GCSE subject content of this specification matches that set out in the Department for Education’s Mathematics GCSE subject content and assessment objectives document.

The content has been organised into broad topic areas as follows:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  • Geometry and measures
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • The table below shows the approximate weightings of the topic areas for the overall tier of assessment, not for each individual question paper.
Topic Area Foundation Tier (%) Higher Tier (%)
Number 25 15
Algebra 20 30
Ratio 25 20
Geometry 15 20
Probability and statistics (combined) 15 15


In line with the requirements set by the Department for Education, the expectation is that:

  • all students will develop confidence and competence with the content identified in the “basic foundation content” column
  • all students will be assessed on the content identified by the “basic foundation content” and “additional foundation content” columns; more highly attaining students will develop confidence and competence with all of this content
  • only the more highly attaining students will be assessed on the content identified in the “higher content” column. The highest attaining students will develop confidence and competence with this content.
  • Students can be said to have confidence and competence with mathematical content when they can apply it flexibly to solve problems.

 Functional Skills

We also provide our learners with the opportunity to site Functional Skills Maths exams which provide our learners with another opportunity to achieve Maths qualifications.