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Posted on 23 Mar 2018

Core Maths Work Group

What is Core Maths?

Core Maths is a qualification for students who want to keep up their valuable mathematics skills but are not planning to take AS or A level mathematics.  At the end of the two-year course, students will come out with a Level 3 qualification – with equivalent UCAS points to an AS level. The qualification is assessed by final examination, but some courses offer the option of submitting a portfolio of coursework.

Who is it for?

The Core Maths qualification is for students who have passed GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 or above but have decided not to study A Level mathematics. The qualification strengthens students’ existing skills and focuses on applying mathematics to solve problems relevant to everyday life.  The qualification is equivalent to an AS Level in terms of UCAS points.

How is Core Maths taught?

Core Maths builds on GCSE mathematics, with a sharper focus on problem-solving skills. Students will consider and tackle mathematics in meaningful contexts, including through financial applications and statistical ideas that can support work in other subjects.  Although the course is mainly led by mathematics teachers, the involvement of other subject specialists is welcomed to ensure students appreciate the applications of mathematics in different subjects.

Why Core Maths?

Currently, only around 20% of students study mathematics beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world.  According to the Higher Education STEM project, many students arrive at university with unrealistic expectations of the mathematical and statistical demands of their subjects, leading to a lack of confidence and anxiety by the students

The Core Maths qualification has been introduced to address these issues and, importantly, the qualification also counts towards the Level 3 mathematics achievement measure in 2017 Performance Tables.

Find out more:


Open Sessions

We are holding a series of Core Maths Open Mornings at Wycombe High School. These will allow you to observe a Core Maths lesson taught by a specialist teacher. You will then have an opportunity to discuss what you observed and ask questions of our Core Maths Lead.

Core Maths Work Group. 

The 3-twilight work group will cover the philosophy of Core Maths with its approach to maths through contextualised problem-solving.  The sessions will include a study of the different Core Maths courses, enabling delegates to choose the most appropriate course for their students. This work group is suitable for Maths Teachers

Sessions will be held on 28 March, 9 May 2018 and 7 June from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Teacher Subject Specialism Training - Core Maths

If your school is concerned about how to staff the provision you may consider the use of non-maths specialists. This fully funded TSST Core Maths course will train teachers who do not have a secondary ITT specialism in mathematics to deliver Core Maths. 

Schools should first consider using teachers of the subjects that Core Maths is designed to support,  in particular science, geography, business studies, psychology and economics -  as completion of this TSST course will enhance those teachers ability to teach the mathematical element of their own A- level subject through improved knowledge and confidence in the mathematics and its pedagogy. 

This course is for non-specialist maths teachers.  This will be offered during the summer term of 2018 (4 whole day sessions - 6 June, 13 June, 20 June, 4 July). The course is fully funded by NCTL and is therefore free to participants.

There will be an information evening on 23 May 4.15 - 6pm for more details. Please email:


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