Mathematics : Foundation GCSE


Whether you are working in an office, restaurant, beauty salon, or on a farm or construction site, it is likely that good numeracy will help you do your job well. Since numerical skills are so important in the workplace, the government require students to keep studying Maths until they achieve a grade 4. Hence, students who attained a grade 3 in GCSE Maths at school must study GCSE Maths until they attain at least a grade 4. By attaining a grade 4 in GCSE Maths you vastly improve your future career opportunities. We have an excellent pass rate; one of the highest in the country for resits.

What will I study in Mathematics : Foundation GCSE?

We use the Edexcel syllabus and all students who attained a grade 3 at school will study the Foundation level specification, which gives students access to grade 5 (a "good pass").
Since this is a revision course, we cover the content quickly, finishing the full content in one year. For students who demonstrate that they are almost ready to sit the exam when they arrive in September, there is the opportunity to enter for the November exam.

It will all be familiar from school! Topics will include:

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Statistics & Probability

Entry Requirements

Grade 3 in GCSE Maths

How will I learn?

When learning Maths, you need to do lots of practice questions to help embed the techniques and concepts, so this is what we do in lessons.

In the autumn term, we will focus on the bigger topics that run throughout the syllabus, such as percentages, ratios and solving equations.

In the Spring term, we will start to focus more on exam-style questions.

We use mixed questions at the start of lessons to help you remember a variety of previously learned skills.

How will I be assessed?

3 exams at the end of the course:  1 non-calculator paper;  2 calculator papers.

Any trips?

We take part in a South West competition which could result in the winning pair visiting Bristol City stadium as part of the regional final.

Are there any costs involved?

You are expected to have a geometry set (ruler, protractor, compasses) as well as a pen, pencil and eraser.

You are also expected to have a scientific calculator such as the Casio FX 83-GTX or 85-GTX.


What grades can I get?

The grades available at the foundation level are 1 to 5.

Grade 4 is what is required by many employers and university courses.

Can I do the higher GCSE paper?

There is a Higher GCSE Mathematics course you can study if you have already attained at least a grade 4.  The Higher course is intended for those students who have achieved at least a grade 4 already and are either studying a course (e.g. Engineering) which requires a lot of mathematical skills or need a higher grade when applying to university (e.g. to study Psychology at a Russell Group university).

Can I take the exam in November?

If you make a good effort when completing the Flying Start Summer Homework and perform well in the Initial Assessment Test, then you will be invited to sit the exam in November.  In order to improve your chances of performing well in the Initial Assessment Test, you should revise by doing some past exam papers (which can be found on

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What can I do after I have taken this course?

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