What’s new about Maths?

December 22, 2016
Category: app,Blog

Colin stobartFor those of you that didn’t know, GCSE Maths has had a bit of a shake up recently and now all students who are studying GCSE Maths are following the new GCSE syllabus which is somewhat bigger than before!

So when the curriculum changes, so does Revision Buddies, and as there has been some confusion about exactly what has changed our maths author Colin Stobart has kindly volunteered to guide you through these updates.

Colin, is it true that I can no longer get an A in Maths?

The first examinations for the new Mathematics GCSE syllabus is June 2017. Grading will be on a number basis, 9-1, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 being the lowest. It is difficult to match previous A*-G alongside this but it is anticipated that grades 4/5 will roughly equate to the D/C grade boundary. There are still Foundation and Higher Tiers, but instead of 2 there will be 3 examinations, 1 non-calculator and 2 with calculator.


But maths is still maths, right?

Not exactly. The content of the syllabus has been changed in two ways. The entire content has been expanded by approximately 20%, requiring generally that schools add an extra 1 hour of mathematics per week for the 2 year course. The syllabus has also been restructured with a new Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change section being introduced. New content has been added to the Higher Tier, some content that was previously Higher Tier only will be examined at Foundation, some content is new to both tiers and a few topics have been removed from the syllabus altogether.


This sounds like a lot of work! Anything else I should know?

Students will no longer be provided with a formula sheet, with only formula related to spheres and cones being provided within relevant examination questions. Some topics have been removed.


So how has this affected the Revision Buddies GCSE Maths app?

We’ve written two new sections Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change (Calculator and Non Calculator) and added new content to match the new syllabus, we’ve also taken out content where it is no longer required.


The content of the 5 Sections (content in bold represents content that will be examined on the Higher Tier only) is written below:

Number (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Ordering integers, decimals and fractions; the four operations; place value; BIDMAS; prime numbers, factors, multiples, HCF, LCM, prime factorisation, systematic listing strategies, the product rule for counting; integer powers and real roots; estimate powers and roots; fractional indices; fractions, surds, and π, simplify surd expressions, rationalise denominators; standard form; terminating decimals; recurring decimals; fractions in ratio; fractions and percentages as operators.


Data Handling – Probability and Statistics (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Frequency; Randomness, fairness and equality; relative expected frequency; exhaustive and mutually exclusive events; empirical and theoretical probability; sets – tables, grids, Venn and tree diagrams; possibility spaces; independent and combined events; conditional probability using two-way tables, tree and Venn diagrams; populations and samples; frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, vertical line charts, time series diagrams; grouped and continuous data; histograms; cumulative frequency; comparison of distributions; box plots; quartiles and inter-quartile range; determining mode, median and mean; applying statistics; scatter graphs


Algebra (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Algebraic manipulation; substitution; simplifying algebraic expressions and algebraic fractions; rearranging formulae; use algebra to argue equivalence and proof; functions; inverse functions; inverse functions; coordinates; graphs of straight lines and perpendicular lines; gradient and intercept; the significant points of a quadratic curve; turning point by completing the square; sketch and interpret graphs including exponential and of the trigonometric functions; translations and reflections of functions; gradient and area under a curve; equation of a circle; solve linear equations; solve quadratic equations by factorising, graph, completing the square and quadratic formula; simultaneous equations – linear/linear, linear/quadratic; iteration; derive and solve equations; linear, quadratic inequalities, set notation; arithmetic sequences; triangular, square, cubic, Fibonacci, quadratic and geometric sequences; sequences with surds


Geometry (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Standard compass constructions; angles at a point, on a straight line, vertically opposite angles, angles within parallel lines; angles in and types and properties of triangles; properties of special types of quadrilaterals; congruence; similarity; transformations including enlargement with fractional and negative scale factors; combinations of transformations; circle vocabulary; circle theorems; plans and elevations; maps, scale drawing and bearings; areas of 2D shapes; volume and surface area of 3D objects; similarity between length, area and volume; Pythagoras and trigonometric ratios in 2 and 3 dimensions; know the exact cos/sin/tan values of a range of angles; sine and cosine rules for angle and side length; sine rule for area; vectors; use vectors in geometrical proof


Ratio, proportion and rates of change (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Scale factors, diagrams and maps; ration notation and simplest form; divide quantities into parts; multiplicative relationships; percentages, fractions and decimals; compare percentages; percentage change; simple and compound interest; Speed, rates of pay, density and pressure; ratio applied to length, area and volume; direct and inverse proportion; instantaneous change on a graph; growth and decay and iterative processes


Topics that have been removed completely are:

Trial and improvement, tessellations, isometric grids, Imperial units of measure, questionnaires, 3D coordinates, and the rotation and enlargement of functions.