Mathematics at Ysgol Bryn Elian

Studying Mathematics

"Good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health."

Andreas Schleicher, OECD.

We use Maths in every aspect of our lives – at work and in practical everyday activities at home and beyond. We use Maths when we go shopping or plan a holiday, decide on a mortgage or decorate a room. Decisions in life are so often based on numerical information: to make the best choices, we need to be numerate.

At Ysgol Bryn Elian our department aims to develop confidence, interest and enjoyment in Mathematics. We use a variety of current teaching methods and resources to engage pupils and relate their Mathematical knowledge to relevant, exciting problems. We strive for our pupils to be independent and resilient learners by fostering an environment of problem solving and collaborative learning. Students are encouraged to make mistakes as this is a valued learning experience. We have very high expectations for all of our pupils and always aim to create an environment where students can develop their full potential.


In Year 7 students are placed in ability groups based upon entry assessments and information provided by the primary school. In each half year there are 3 or 4 sets. One of these is deliberately small, usually no more than 15 students, to provide them with more intensive support in a smaller learning group. Each students progress is constantly monitored, and set changes are made where necessary to ensure that each student is stretched or supported. Students sit statutory National Numeracy tests in May in years 7 - 9 sample materials can be found here.


At GCSE level we follow the WJEC course. This consists of a Numeracy and Maths GCSE qualification. Many pupils have the opportunity to sit the exam in Year 10, giving them the opportunity for further Maths study in Year 11. More able students are encouraged to study for the Additional Maths qualification in Year 11.

WJEC Maths and Numeracy GCSE (from 2015)

WJEC Level 2 Certificate Additional Mathematics


Year 12 and 13 students can opt to study:

AS / A level Mathematics

As a pre-requisite for acceptance on this course students are expected to have been entered for GCSE at the Higher Tier and to have achieved at least grade B. Student study C1, C2 and M1 in Year 12 and C3, C4 and S1 in Year 13.

Further Mathematics A Level

This is an extremely demanding course and is most appropriate for more able and talented students who have the ability to work independently. Students cover three pure modules: FP1, FP2 and FP3 alongside M2, S2 and M3.

Students should seek guidance from staff in the Mathematics department regarding which course(s) to pursue.

WJEC Mathematics GCE AS/A (from 2017)


Within the Mathematics department, we are keen to promote enjoyment and excitement in Mathematics. Individual and Team challenges are coordinated by the UKMT which extend and enrich more able and talented pupils. The UKMT Individual Maths Challenges are lively, intriguing multiple-choice question papers, which are designed to stimulate interest in maths in large numbers of pupils. The three levels cover the secondary school range 11-18 and together they attract over 600,000 entries from over 4000 schools and colleges. The UKMT Team Challenges promote mathematical dexterity, team working, and communication skills. They also give pupils the opportunity to compete against pupils from other schools in their region. At Ysgol Bryn Elian students from Year 8 and Year 9 are entered for the Team Challenges every year. Resources to help prepare for these competitions can be found with the study resources above.


Students are set two pieces of homework a week, one written piece of homework and one piece of learning homework. Students are given enough time to complete homework that they can seek help prior to submission dates if needed. It is recommended that students start homework on the day it is set.