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Maths Foundation : GCSE at Gateway College

Course description

This is an intensive one year resit course aimed at students who have previously taken a similar course in school and have not been successful in gaining a grade C/grade 4, but who have shown the potential to do so with some extra teaching. GCSE Foundation Maths is taken alongside the student’s main programme of study.

Throughout the course there will be a real focus on identifying the gaps in individual students’ learning and then filling the gaps using various teaching strategies. This new GCSE course is now being completed over 3 years at secondary schools, but we will have the challenge of reaching a grade 4 within just one year. This therefore means that time is precious and attitude to work is crucial; students will need to be motivated, proactive, dedicated and hardworking throughout the course. Students will be expected to come fully equipped to all lessons with a full Maths set and scientific calculator (these can be purchased from the college, if required). We expect to have a collaborative team-work attitude in the Maths classroom where students support one another, building their own confidence through discussions and explanations and hence become more able mathematicians.

The new GCSE has an increased focus on problem solving and proportion and ratio. With this in mind students are likely to prepare using functional skills problems which are based on real life situations and will develop their thinking and logic and reasoning skills. Those who have already studied Maths functional skills qualifications will see the benefits of that experience.

Course content

There are 4.5 hours (3x1.5hr) worth of lessons per week where students will be taught formally. There will also to be workshops available throughout the week where individuals can work in a supervised and supported environment with a teacher.

To further support learning, the Maths department have set up an independent learning area where learners are encouraged to come during their free periods. This could be to complete homework, work independently on filling their own gaps, completing practice papers or consolidating what they have already learnt. Resources will be made available throughout the year in this area as well as having access to computers which will enable students to learn using MathsWatch or MyMaths or any other Maths website.



Entry requirements

GCSE Maths at grade 3.

Exceptions may be made where students are able to demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and skills - this will be established through a written assessment.


Assessment will consist of three final exams; one non-calculator and two calculator papers. All students will take the Foundation tier where the highest grade that can be achieved is a grade 5. All three papers are equally weighted; worth 80 marks each with one and a half hour of exam time. The GCSE course is linear in nature where all three exams will be at the end of the academic year, and the papers will cover the full range of curriculum areas.

Financial information

Free to all home students.

Future opportunities

For many progression routes, GCSE Maths (grade C/grade 4) may be as far as a student will need to study, for others, a higher grade may be required. It is recommended that students research particular courses at their desired universities to ensure they hold the required entry qualifications.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification please visit our website at or see our prospectus.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 14 November 2018
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Key information


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    • Your progression is key and we understand that you need more than just excellent results to stand out to a prospective employer or to gain a place at university. Through the support we offer and our specialised careers and employment programmes, enrichment activities and high quality teaching and learning, Gateway students consistently go on to gain places at their first choice of university, take up an apprenticeship, or find related employment to match their career aspirations.

      Whether you are taking your first steps into further education or re-taking a qualification, Gateway College offers a wide selection of vocational and academic qualifications from entry level 1 to advanced level 3 to ensure you achieve your goals. 

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      If you would like to speak to someone at Gateway about your options or to arrange a tour ring 0116 274 4500.