Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Department Vision

  • It is our aim to make Mathematics challenging, enriching and enjoyable. All members of the department have a keen enthusiasm for the subject, which we hope to communicate to students.

    The department currently has seven dedicated rooms. We are fortunate to have new and up to date textbooks and a good range of practical equipment to support learning.

    We subscribe to an online maths website called “Century Tech” and students are encouraged to use this to develop knowledge and understanding. It is also a good source of revision material

    Maths classes are set by ability which allows similar ability students to be taught at an appropriate pace. Through regular assessment, students may move up or down a set as appropriate to ensure the teaching best matches the needs of the students.

    Students are expected to bring a geometry set and Scientific calculator to every lesson. We recommend the Casio fx-85GT X.

Curriculum Overview

KS3 – Years 7 and 8

In years 7 and 8 we follow a mastery curriculum which allows us to ensure the pupils have a deep understanding. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.  The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.  Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. 

In order to deepen the understanding where it is needed we use the progression through Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract to help children learn new concepts.  Clearly this is up to the knowledge of the skilled teachers we have to decide at which point each individual needs to begin for each topic.  It may be we can start at the pictorial stage, or for the most able at the abstract but where needed the teacher will go back and forth between them to reinforce concepts.

KS4 Curriculum, Years 9, 10 and 11

At KS4 pupils follow the AQA GCSE and are assessed with 3 papers at the end of the course, 1 of which is non-calculator and 2 calculator papers.  Pupils are expected to have their own calculators in all lessons in all years and we suggest for GCSE the Casio fx-85GT X.  Studying GCSE maths will give you the knowledge to tackle scientific, mechanical, coding and abstract problems. It will also help you develop logic to tackle everyday issues like planning projects, managing budgets and even debating effectively. Success at GCSE is a prerequisite for employers and universities. Any student who fails to achieve a grade 4 at GCSE in Year 11 is supported in the school by being taught maths weekly in order to resit the maths GCSE.

KS5 – Years 12 and 13

Students achieving at least a grade 6 at GCSE can go on to study for AS and A level Mathematics at our sixth form. Mathematics is a very highly valued AS and A level, by both Universities and employers. It is a challenging course but one which can support students’ studies in almost every other subject. All assessment is via written examination with no coursework component. Students will complete AS Mathematics at the end of year 12 and then A level Mathematics at the end of year 13.  We also offer AS Further Mathematics as an enrichment course.


Head of Department:  Mr A James  & Lead Teacher of Maths: Mr S Wells

Teaching staff: Mr M Eardley, Mr A Large, Mrs J Rees, Mrs A Rollo, Mrs L McKie, Mr L Trout, Miss K Young

Useful links

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

A level further maths

We currently have 3 pupils taking A level Further Maths in year 13 as an extracurricular taught through 1 lunchtime lesson a week.  They need to have achieved at least a grade 8 at GCSE maths.