Ruth Wroe, Maths Subject Advisor
This blog was originally published in March 2019 to look at the reasons for delivering and the benefits of studying our post-16 Core Maths qualifications.
This new version includes the updated qualification names and codes, which changed from September 2019. It also includes updated resource links.
We offer two Core Maths qualifications, enabling you to choose the one most appropriate for your students.
The Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths A (MEI), H868, focuses on using and applying maths to address authentic problems drawn from study, work and life. It’s aimed at students that are taking subjects in their Level 3 study programme which have some mathematical requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, business and economics, PE and sport, health and social care, design and technology, engineering, and all the science subjects.
Delivery of the specification content can be tailored to the needs of the students by delivering the mathematical content in a context appropriate to them. Our free schemes of work and resources identify the different contexts/subjects in which the Core Maths topics can be delivered.
The Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths B (MEI), H869, has a greater focus on statistics, which supports students taking Level 3 qualifications in subjects such as biology and environmental science, psychology, geography and sociology.
For instance, topics such as chi-squared tests, Spearman’s rank correlation, standard deviation, sampling, and significance levels are all topics that students will need to be practiced with in biology, psychology or geography.
The topics included in both our qualifications develop the quantitative skills required in other Level 3 subjects, enhancing the students’ wider understanding. For example, ‘Exponential growth and decay’ is one of many topics included that is vital in a range of contexts within other subjects, including:
An overview of cross-curricular links to other Level 3 subjects is provided on the qualification pages for both Core Maths A (H868) and Core Maths B (H869).
The Core Maths qualifications have been developed with and are supported by Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI). MEI is an independent curriculum body well known for its curriculum and resource innovation and professional development. MEI has a long established relationship with OCR.
The OCR Core Maths A and B (MEI) textbook has been written in conjunction with the MEI team and covers both Core Maths A and B.
As well as the free resources to support the delivery of our Core Maths qualifications available on our qualification pages, support is also available from MEI. For free access to the Core Maths Platform in Integral, register with the AMSP. Here you will find schemes of work, practice papers and auto-marked topic assessments. Each topic has its respective teaching activities, interactive resources (GeoGebra and Excel files), written exercises, and on-screen tests. You can set up teacher and student logins so that some teaching and test resources can be hidden from students. Students can access materials and online tests remotely and you can effortlessly track their progress.
You can source further relevant resources from AMSP, STEM Learning (formerly CMSP resources), NRICH and Quibans. Some of these have been developed and trialled by practising teachers.
Core Maths qualifications are equivalent to AS Levels in terms of teaching time (180 Guided Learning Hours). They can be delivered flexibly over one or two years and can run alongside 3 A Levels or equivalent Technical and Applied qualifications, just like the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
Schools and colleges will receive an extra £600 for each additional pupil taking Level 3 maths, such as our Core Maths qualifications. Read more about the Advanced Maths Premium.
Core Maths qualifications count towards the Level 3 maths measure in 16-19 performance tables and the Technical Baccalaureate performance measure.
These qualifications are equivalent to AS Levels in terms of UCAS points, attracting up to 20 UCAS points in the new tariff.
Studying these qualifications enhances students’ abilities with the mathematical skills and the quantitative reasoning crucial for other Level 3 subjects. Core Maths students are therefore likely to be better prepared in any of their A Level, Applied General (Cambridge Technical or BTEC) or Technical subjects that require quantitative skills, such as the suggested subjects listed above.
Our qualifications are recognised as worthwhile qualifications by higher education. Some universities, for example the University of Leeds and the University of Exeter, accept Core Maths as an improvement to a GCSE Maths grade. Students who achieve grade B are eligible for lower offers in certain subjects at the University of Bath.
There is an increased demand for candidates to have quantitative skills, both for further study and in the workplace. The ability to understand and use data effectively while working with statistics and mathematical information improves students’ ability to analyse ‘real world’ situations and make better informed decisions, which are very attractive skills to employers.
Applying the maths learnt at GCSE to address real-life problems in meaningful contexts is also really fun! Some of the content is applying GCSE mathematical concepts and techniques to real contexts. The approach to teaching Core Maths is also much more student-centred, with lively discussion and interesting, relevant contexts, further enhancing engagement.
“Core Maths has had a really positive impact on many levels at Tuxford Academy. It has boosted our uptake of maths for post-16 by 100% and we can now offer a maths course for students who traditionally would have no further options for study.
Students really enjoy the ‘real-life’ element of the course, especially the finance section where they calculate income tax and national insurance as well as mortgages and loans; they can see the practical uses of the skills they are learning which motivates them to delve deeper into the topic areas.
The links to other subjects also helps our students as they can amalgamate the skills and methods from Core Maths into other areas of their studies - subject teachers have noted that this has helped the teaching of their own lessons as students have a stronger baseline in their mathematical understanding and are much more confident then they previously had been.”
Paul Matuszewskyj, Teacher of Core Maths A at Tuxford Academy
If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Maths. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.