Core Maths is the qualification for those who want to keep up their valuable maths 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 and some courses also offer the option of submitting a portfolio of coursework.
Studying Core Maths?
The new 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. It builds upon and strengthens existing skills and focuses on using and applying mathematics to solve problems relevant to their everyday lives.
The qualification is equivalent to an AS Level in terms of UCAS points
How Is Core Maths Taught?
Core Maths builds on GCSE maths with a sharper focus on problem solving skills by considering and tackling mathematics in meaningful contexts. This includes financial applications of mathematics as well as further statistical ideas that can support work in other subjects they will be studying such as psychology, health sciences, geography, sociology and even history. 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. Many ‘early adopter’ Schools and Colleges are finding this approach beneficial not only to the students but also in supporting capacity challenges.
Who’s Already Teaching Core Maths?
Around 500 Schools, Sixth Forms and FE Colleges are already teaching Core Maths. The course was originally introduced in September 2014 and is now being rolled out to all schools and colleges. The first examinations took place in the Summer of 2016.
The Core Maths Support Programme is providing resources in nine categories for teaching Core Maths. These are independent of any single exam-board, while relevant for all the proposed Core Maths qualifications.
All resources focus on problem solving, particularly the open approach methodology, with the aim of reinforcing GCSE higher level topics in meaningful contexts.
The aim is to provide teachers and students with an initial set of activities that show the value and importance of problem solving and that these activities will be appropriate as an introduction to any of the Core Maths courses available from the awarding organisations.
"The University of Bath welcomes the introduction of Core Mathematics qualifications to allow students the opportunity to develop their mathematical and statistical problem-solving, evaluation and data-analysis skills beyond GCSE. Many of the degree schemes at Bath value these skills, even where there is no formal requirement for attainment of a Mathematics qualification beyond GCSE level, and highlight this in their published selection criteria. Successful completion of a Core Mathematics qualification would therefore be appropriate evidence of mathematical skills and would contribute towards receipt of an offer for these courses.
University of Bath
There has been a tremendous amount of coverage in the Media recently about the UK’s gap in basic maths skills. Only 20% of students study maths beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85%. This puts young people in the UK at a major disadvantage in a global job market.
The Higher Education STEM project, investigating the mathematical and statistical requirements in undergraduate disciplines, reported that many students arrive at university with unrealistic expectations of the mathematical and statistical demands of their subjects which leads to a lack of confidence and anxiety by the students.
This course has been introduced to address these issues and, importantly, counts towards the Level 3 mathematics achievement measure in 2017 Performance Tables.
This journal, which is published in electronic form, aims to report and reflect on:
It is aimed at practitioners and educationists, providing a medium for disseminating good ideas and practice relevant to the teaching and learning of Core Maths in Schools and Colleges. Anyone who is interested in submitting an article for the journal are advised to read Notes for Contributors.
The Core Maths Support Programme is totally committed to continuing Professional Development for all teachers involved with Core Maths. The following documents provide details of professional development opportunities specific to Core Maths:
Watch the videos
Below is the latest teacher update from the CMSP and links to resources, user guides and event documentation to assist members of the Core Maths Leads (CML) and Early Adopter (ETP) communities.
CMSP Core Maths Leads community
CMSP Early Adopters (ETPs) community