Maths at Bishopton Overview

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 2, 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.     Teaching across our Key Stages Key Stage 2 (Year 3,4,5, and 6) Key Stage 3 students follow the National Curriculum through a pathway structure, designed to ensure differentiation and personalised learning. They are assessed regularly, through a combination of APP tasks and written assessments, and progress is monitored closely. Students complete the KS3 programme of study at the end of Year 9.
  • Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9)
  • Key Stage 2 delivers a personalised Maths Programme based on the assertive Mentoring Scheme. Each pupil has individual targets (identified via assessment) which are then taught by the Primary Team

At Key Stage 3 the pupils will study the following:

Unit Topics
Four operations Addition
  Multiplication (teach all three methods)
  All of above with decimals
Directed Numbers Four operations
  Worded directed number problems
Types of numbers Squares, Cubes and roots
  Prime numbers
Mean Mean from list
  Mean from table
  Mean from grouped frequency table
Algebra Basics Collecting like terms
Ratio Simplest form
  Sharing in ratio
  Worded ratio questions
Mode and Range Mode and range
  Bar charts
Fractions Lowest form
  Mixed and improper

Addition and Subtraction

Solving equations Balancing method
  One step
  Two step
Fractions 2 Multiplication and division
Probability Occurring / not occurring
  Relative frequency
  Sample space
Rounding and estimation Significant figures
  Decimal places
Percentages Percentage of amounts
  Calculator and non-calculator
Proportion Direct Proportion
  Exchange rates
  Best Buys
Compound measures Speed, Distance and Time
Sequences Sequences
  Nth term
Area and perimeter Squares, rectangles
Volume All prisms

Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) – Edexcel Linear GCSE

At the Bishopton Centre we are 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 1h30 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.The table below details the topics covered at Key Stage 4
Number inc LCM, HCF; a number as product of prime factors Recap 4 methods
Place value and ordering
Adding and subtracting negative numbers
Multiplying and dividing negative numbers
Types of numbers (square, primer and roots)
Prime factor decomposition
Highets Common Factor
Lowest Common Multiple
Algebraic Expressions inc substitution, expansion & factorisation Simplifying expressions
Expanding brackets
Expanding double brackets (3+)
Factorising double brackets (3+)
Angles inc parallel lines, bearings & polygons Straight line
Angles in a triangle
Angles in a quadrilateral
Interior/exterior angles
Alternate, corresponding and co-interior angles
Averages & Range inc stem & leaf diagrams Mean
Grouped frequencies
Decimals inc estimation, upper & lower bounds Adding and subtracting decimals
Multiplying decimals
Dividing decimals
Decimal places
Significant figures
Calculator skills
2D Shapes-area & perimeter inc parts of a circle (arc, sector, segment) A and P of square, rectangle and triangle
A and P pf compound shapes
A and P of parallelogram and trapezium (3+)
Circles (3+)
Solve Equations inc quadratics One sided linear
One sided linear with fractions (3+)
Two-sided linear
Fractions Equivalent fractions
Adding and subtracting fractions
Multiplying fractions
Dividing fractions
Fraction, decimals to %
Transformations(inc fraction sf); Symmetry; Similar shapes Reflection
Describing transformations
Formulae inc substitution; change of subject; distinguish equation, formula, expression , identity Writing formulae
Rearranging formulae (3+)
Percentages inc use of multiplier; compound interest % of amounts
% with and without a calculator
% parts
Percentage change
Interest (3+)
Presenting data inc pie chart, scatter diagram, frequency polygon, time series Bar charts
Pie charts
Line graphs
Scatter diagrams
Stem and leaf
Frequency polygons
Volume & Surface Area of 3D Shapes inc sphere & pyramids Cuboid
Prism (3+)
Cone (3+)
Sequences inc geometric; nth term of linear sequence Generating sequences
Nth term formula
Ratio & Proportion (direct and inverse) Simple ratio
Simplifying and dividing ratio
Exchange rates
Best buys
Algebraic Graphs- linear, quadratic, cubic and reciprocal Plotting linear, quadratic and cubic graphs
Measure inc compound; conversion of measure, graphs Speed, Distance and Time
Mass Density and Volume
Inequalities- notation, on a line, solve Inequalities on a number line
Solving inequalities
Powers & Roots including rules for indices & standard form Index laws
Standard form
Pythagoras Theorem and Trigonometry Congruence
  Pythagoras (3+)
  Trigonometry (4+)
Probability Equally likely
Mutually exclusive
Relative frequency
Venn diagrams
Tree diagrams (3+)
Constructions Loci Congruence Constructions
Solve Simultaneous Equations – algebraic & graphical methods Trial and improvement (3+)
Simultaneous equations (3+)

Functional Skills

We also provide our learners in Key Stage 4 with the opportunity to sit Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills Maths exams which provide our learners with another opportunity to achieve additional Maths qualifications. 

Intervention Programme Assertive 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. 

Assertive Mentoring

The Bishopton Centre uses a system called ‘Assertive Mentoring’ to support children attainment and achievement in Mathematics (a Key Stage 2 and 3). 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 workAssertive 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 and feedback is 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.