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New maths GCSE will represent a 'quantum leap for teachers'

02/06/2014 Kelly
A new maths GCSE to be introduced in September is to feature a greater amount of content and will represent a "quantum leap for teachers".

The new syllabus is to be almost twice the size of the previous one as the government seeks to make the subject more rigorous. It is to demand a "broader and deeper mathematical understanding" and focus more on the skills required for employment and education.

A new grading scale of 1-9 is to be used to assess the GCSE instead of the more familiar A*-G grades. There will be a foundation tier for grades 1-5 and a higher tier for grades 4-9.

Mark Dawe, OCR chief executive, said: "There is no doubt maths will get more challenging from September 2015: pupils will spend more time learning the kind of maths needed to boost their problem-solving and reasoning skills."

"We've seized this opportunity to make maths make more sense with an exciting new syllabus designed to appeal to pupils and teachers alike."

The exam board says the new syllabus will require more teaching time and will feature a greater coverage of ratio, proportion and rates of change. 

There will also be more integration of the different areas of mathematics, the exam board says, as well as an increased focus on how it connects to the real world.

Education secretary Michael Gove has expressed a desire to see more time devoted to maths in English schools in order to bring the country's education system into line with countries such as Australia and Singapore.

Last year, Mr Gove pointed out that schools in England spend just 116 hours per year on the subject, whereas in Australia the figure is 143 hours.

The coalition has introduced a number of reforms designed to raise standards of maths in English schools. Last month, it announced the creation of maths and physics "chairs" - postgraduate specialists who will offer masterclasses in the subject.

More data will also be published on the number of students taking A-level maths and science subjects in different institutions as part of an effort to ensure youngsters continue studying these courses at A-level.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801725083-ADNFCR
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