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North Herts
Education Support Centre

Mathematics

Mathematics is a compulsory subject on all programmes at NHESC: students at the Centre are assessed on arrival and placed on the appropriate qualification course based on ability and time left before the completion of KS4. Students are offered the chance to work towards the qualification that reflects their ability irrespective of the specific programme/provision they attend. In class, students are assessed for gaps in knowledge and encouraged to engage in ‘peer teaching’ around basic mathematical concepts while covering new topics to build towards the appropriate qualification courses.

Students have the opportunity to gain Mathematics qualifications in GCSE and Entry Level (Functional Skills are embedded into both qualifications) or Functional Skills Maths. Students are initially given assessments to gauge their capabilities in Maths. These assessments, together with the referral information and any work received from the referring school, are used to decide whether the student should be taught at GCSE or Entry Level.

The OCR GCSE is ideally a two year course and concludes with three terminal examinations in the Summer Term of Year 11. There is no coursework involved in this qualification. Students following the GCSE syllabus sit mock GCSE examinations at the beginning of the Spring Term and where there is an overlap of need within groups whole class teaching addresses those topics. Results of mock examinations are shared with parents on Parent Carer Consultation Day and advice is given with regard to revision guides and websites.

Students who are ‘borderline GCSE Pass’ complete Entry Level examination papers as an insurance measure. OCR’s Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics offers students the opportunity to build their confidence in using mathematics, applying mathematics to relevant and realistic situations and using their mathematical knowledge to solve problems. Generally the aim for students following an Entry Level qualification is to also complete an Entry Level Functional Skill qualification. This will offer our students the opportunity to broaden their subject knowledge, skills and understanding. Over and above this they will practise using higher order problem solving strategies relevant to real situations.

The Head of Department for Mathematics is Paul Thompson.