What is maths? The Oxford dictionary definition tells us it is ‘the abstract science of number, quantity and space…’  At its heart mathematics is the language used to explain how the world works. Dean Charles Schlicter (Wisconsin University, 1920s) quoted ‘Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics.

Too often mathematics is viewed as a skills acquisition. Can you find the missing angle? Can you solve the quadratic? Can you find the volume of the sphere? Yes, we need these skills to be successful mathematicians but the ultimate aim is to be able apply the skills and knowledge acquired in order to think logically and solve problems.  Maths allows us to develop a disciplined approach to problems.

When presented with a problem our students are encouraged to:

  • Identify the main problem to be solved
  • Find out what information is needed to solve it – do you have all of the information and how will you find the missing information and what skills will it take?
  • Devise an action plan that is sensible and logical.
  • Decide if the answer they achieve is a sensible one.

Whether the problem is finding the area under a quadratic graph or working out how you can save enough money to buy a house, through the study of mathematics we aim to equip our students to be problem solvers, and in an increasingly competitive and challenging world, that’s a life skill in itself!

Throughout each module pupils are set homework once per week (10 homework tasks per module) and these are set as quizzes on Google Classroom.  These quizzes are designed as retrieval tasks, allowing pupils to revisit and build upon previous topics and skills.   Through retrieval tasks, which are also incorporated into lessons, pupils should have a deeper understanding of these skills and in a test should be able to recall them easier.

The Maths Department at St Joseph’s are committed to ensuring that each student makes maximum progress in their studies, and will provide ongoing support to ensure all students are prepared for further education, the world of work and life in general.

Key stage 4 learning journey

At St Joseph’s we use the AQA exam board for mathematics and there are two tiers of entry – foundation and higher.  Through the use of past papers as key tasks our pupils are well practiced with the style of questions the exam board uses.  The learning journeys below show how the skills and knowledge acquired in key stage 3 are built upon and deepened.

Helping your child succeed in Maths Regularly we hear the phrase ‘how do you revise for maths?’ There is no one correct way to revise for maths but the best way is to just do it! Encourage your child to try lots of different ways to revise for maths then the method(s) that works best for them. Suggested ways to revise are:

  • Make revision posters/mind maps
  • Use a textbook/revision workbook for practice questions
  • Practice past papers
  • Covering the answers while re-trying a question
  • Find a revision buddy who you can work with
  • Make flash cards
  • Learn formulae and important information/facts
  • Go online

Useful websites:



* Past papers and more

* Online access to exam style questions and more

* Pupils have their own login

* Pupils have their own login