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Everybody can tell you about their experience of Mathematics from their school days, our aim is that pupils at Sutton Valence School, no matter of their perceived ability level remember it as a positive experience.

The importance of Mathematics in day to day life should never be underestimated. A universal language spoken across the world, that shares in the responsibility of creating technology, founding scientific discoveries and at the center of many successful businesses, it really is a gateway subject.

Mathematics splits into six main branches: number, algebra, ratio, proportion and rate of change, geometry and measure, probability and statistics and in each element problem-solving features heavily. The new iGCSE syllabus is designed to not only assess whether a pupil can perform a skill but more importantly whether they can apply it to a real world scenario.

To succeed in this subject, especially to the highest level it is important that a pupil has:

  • A lively and enquiring mind;
  • An excellent work ethic and a desire to succeed;
  • A can-do approach to their learning;
  • A desire to explore new ideas and communicate them effectively;
  • The resilience to keep going and asking for help when you get stuck

Junior Curriculum

The Mathematics programme at Sutton Valence School is designed to support and enrich learners’ mathematical ability so that all feel they can do Mathematics. The emphasis on our teaching in the Junior School is ensuring that any gaps in core knowledge are filled whilst looking at how Mathematics can be applied to real world problems. Whilst pupils are initially set by entrance results, they are continually assessed both via formal assessments and teacher assessments to ensure all individuals are set to maximise their mathematical knowledge.

Students receive four lessons a week with one of these being dedicated to problem solving. In the problem solving lessons, pupils are in mixed groups to allow them the opportunity to learn from others and realise that regardless of perceived mathematical ability, there is plenty of Mathematics that they do every day without realising. Whilst a key emphasis is placed on supporting our learners, the department firmly believes in stretching and challenging pupils giving all the chance to develop and engage with the subject.

Third Form Curriculum

Pupils in the Third Form receive three lessons of Mathematics each week. Our teaching emphasis in the Michaelmas Term centres on using and applying number skills, a key element of the new GCSE course. Pupils will then develop this knowledge into real world problems. The GCSE course will begin in earnest from January.

GCSE Mathematics

Board: Edexcel – International GCSE (ICGSE) syllabus followed.

All pupils will take the IGCSE Edexcel Mathematics qualification. There is no coursework or controlled assessment component. It is a purely linear course, assessed by terminal examination.
There are two examinations to be taken. Both of these are two hours in length and both are calculator papers. Pupils will be examined on number, algebra, shape and data content and will take the higher tier paper. Each paper is equally weighted with a range of topics examined.

Assessment structure:

  • Two, 2-hour papers taken at the end of the course. Calculators are allowed for both papers.
  • The grade is determined on the average of the two papers.

Level 2 Further Mathematics

For the more able mathematical students (normally those in the A set) we also run the Level 2 Further Mathematics qualification. This involves pupils studying several number and algebra topics to a higher level to stimulate and engage their mathematical curiosity.

Assessment Structure:

  • One non-calculator paper and one calculator paper taken at the end of the course.

A Level

Edexcel is our chosen examining board for Mathematics A Level, Further Mathematics A Level and the Level 3 Mathematics in Context course. Students must have a grade 7 (A grade) or above in Mathematics at GCSE to take this A Level.

Mathematics A Level is now fully linear. This is a two-year course, with all three units being examined at the end of the Upper Sixth. There will now be three compulsory units, two of which are Pure Mathematics (focusing on number and algebra) and the third unit is a mixture of Statistics and Mechanics. 

Pure Mathematics Year 1 (to be examined in the Upper Sixth)

Algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry. 33.3% of the final course.

Statistics and Mechanics Year 1

Probability, regression and distributions, moments, kinematics and dynamics of a particle.

Pure Mathematics Year 2

Algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry. 33.3% of A Level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination in each module

Statistics and Mechanics Year 2

Further work on probability, regression, dynamics of a particle, vectors and mathematical modelling

Further Mathematics A Level

Pupils must have a level 8 or above (A* grade) at GCSE to take this option.

Students will take the three Mathematics A Level units, in addition to four Further Mathematics units. Two of the units are compulsory and are based on the fixed pure content, which will focus on number and algebra. There is then some flexibility in the other two units with options of taking either, Further Mechanics, Statistics, Pure or Decision units. The decision between which of these two modules will be taken will take place in the Summer Term.

Assessment Structure:

  • Four 1.5 hour papers taken at the end of the course.
  • Each paper is worth 25% of the final grade.

Mathematics in Context

This is a suitable course for any pupil who either wants to further enhance their mathematical knowledge or those taking subjects that are mathematically based (eg Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE) but do not wish to take the full A Level course. Ideally, pupils should have a minimum of a level 6 (B grade) at GCSE to undertake this course.


Pupils will look to enhance their skills and knowledge in the following topic areas: Application of Statistics, Probability, Linear programming, Sequences and Growth. These skills will then be applied to practical problems. Pupils will be given a source booklet prior to the examination where they are given data and a theme. Previous themes have included sport and space.

Assessment Structure:

Pupils take two written papers. The first is a comprehension paper worth 40% of the final grade and the second is an application paper worth 60% of the final grade.


Mathematics department staff

Mr Gary Wellings (Head of Department)

Mrs Lindsay Mitchell-Nanson (Assistant Head of Department)

Mrs Chloe Bridger

Dr Francis Gergely

Mrs Christine Kitchen

Mr Christopher Westlake 

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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