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Mathematics at Bromley Beacon Academy is about changing ‘inchworms’ into ‘grasshoppers’! Inchworms tackle problems by narrowly focusing on details, use a single method or a slow methodical approach, use numbers exactly as given and don’t check to see if their answers are reasonable. ‘Grasshoppers’, on the other hand, are holistic in their approach. They rearrange problems to make the calculations easy, make estimates and approximations, are flexible, use a variety of paths, tend to perform all computation mentally and check their solutions using an alternative method. (Edited from Bath et al. 1986).

In the classroom, we seek to create a supportive learning environment. We make great use of a variety of resources including software, websites, games and real-life materials to engage students and help them learn in the way that best suits their needs.

Students are always expected and encouraged to work to the best of their ability. We expect all students to gain Entry Level Mathematics or higher and most achieve it in Year 9 going on to achieve Functional skills qualifications, gaining level 1 by Year 10 and/or level 2 by Year 11.

Most students are entered for their GCSE exam at either the foundation or higher tier at the end of year 11.

Curriculum intent

Our curriculum is ambitious in that it sets out to meet the needs of all our students from the highest attainers to those who have the highest levels of need socially, mentally, emotionally and educationally. It allows the most basic needs of understanding number and recall to be addressed systematically in terms of numeracy but without limiting additional content, which will support both Functional skills and GCSE examinations.

Our curriculum allows students to progress from whatever their starting point to their full potential.

We would expect all students to have the knowledge and numerate skills for future learning, employment and to succeed in life.

The curriculum plan is layered to take account of individual learners needs such that each GCSE topic has a functional skills element and numeracy foci. For instance, when working out area some students will be finding surface area of spheres, others area of compound shapes, others area of triangles. Students who need a numeracy focus will be engaged with finding area of rectangles which is strengthening their knowledge of multiplication such that multiplication skills embed whist learning a key topic for both functional skills and GCSE exams. Links and connections can be explored and misconceptions addressed.

It is recognised that not all students can flow through topics at the same pace or with the same level of engagement and enthusiasm of others and so we make adjustments.

Scaffolding learning ensures each learner has the right level of support so that all students are stretched and challenged. The curriculum plan is flexible enough to meet the needs of all learners with material and learning styles adapted as necessary.

The curriculum plan sets out to build upon previous knowledge with key topics such as fractions, decimals and percentages being revisited throughout the year. Interleaving in small chunks will help retention of knowledge.

Many of our young people go onto practical careers and so links with vocational subjects is essential. Therefore, we work closely to ensure that the skills needed in the work place are covered by the maths department and by the vocational subjects so that students can see the practical use and purpose of skills acquired in the classroom.

Reasoning and problem solving are key elements looked for in the work place but the vital prerequisite to this is knowledge and therefore robust, timely and purposeful assessments take place in different forms and the curriculum adapted as frequently as need be to address highlighted weaknesses in a timely manner.


  • Year 9 will work towards Entry level certificate level 1,2,3. Or Functional skills level 1
  • Year 10 will work towards Functional skills level 1 or 2
  • Year 11 will work towards Functional skills level 1 or 2 and GCSE
  • Year 12 will work towards Functional skills level 2
  • Year 12 will work towards Functional skills level 2

Examination Board

  • We follow the EDEXCEL GCSE in Mathematics. We usually begin working on these GCSE scheme in Year 9
  • 1MA1 for May/June 2017 onwards – Grades available 9 - 1
  • We also follow the AQA functional skills examinations at Levels 1 & 2

Useful websites for the subject area and revision etc:

To view our curriculum maps for Mathematics, please click here.

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