MEI congratulates all students who have passed their GCSE Mathematics today, whether they are taking the examination for the first time or re-sitting. Congratulations also to their teachers.
All those who have achieved a grade 4 or higher should be encouraged to continue to study maths beyond GCSE. Further developing maths and data analysis skills helps young people to prepare for the future, whatever their aspirations. Advanced maths qualifications are required for many degree courses and higher level apprenticeships, and they can lead to reduced offers for a wide range of degree subjects. This advice from the Advanced Maths Support Programme (AMSP) explains the options (Core Maths, AS/A level Mathematics, AS/A level Further Mathematics).
For students who did not achieve a grade 4, it’s vital that they continue working towards that goal post-16. MEI recognises that the current GCSE Mathematics qualification is not well-suited to many of those students who have not attained a grade 4. This is why we are developing a new curriculum that has greater emphasis on applying maths in realistic contexts, which we hope will lead to a fresh consideration of options for an alternative post-16 maths GCSE.
This year is the third year the new, more demanding GCSE Mathematics examinations have been taken. These examinations require students to demonstrate mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills and many students find these aspects particularly challenging. The teaching approaches supported through the NCETM’s Secondary Maths Teaching for Mastery programme and the AMSP’s GCSE Mathematics professional development help teachers to teach mathematics in ways that encourage students to develop the deep and connected understanding of key mathematical concepts needed for success in GCSE Mathematics. The NCETM’s Secondary Maths Teaching for Mastery programme is being rolled out nationally through the Maths Hubs over the next 3 years. I strongly recommend the NCETM and AMSP GCSE Mathematics programmes, which are available free of charge to state schools.
Chief Executive, MEI
National Director, NCETM