ASDAN Mathematics Short Course

Developed in association with MEI (Mathematics in Education and Industry), the Mathematics Short Course accredits up to 60 hours of maths-related activities. It offers opportunities to develop understanding of the main topics in GCSE mathematics and apply the key attributes of functional mathematics; representing, analysing and interpreting.

The flexibility of ASDAN’s Short Courses means they can be carried out in a variety of settings, over a time period to suit the individual or co-ordinating centre. Challenge descriptions can be interpreted and adapted according to the situation.

This Short Course can be completed using the student book or is available for learners to complete online through the ASDAN e-portfolio system. Learners log in to complete challenges, record skills development and upload evidence. Tutors can view learner progress and sign off work, leaving feedback as needed.

Who is it for?

KS3 and KS4 students are undertaking ASDAN Short Course in Mathematics.

Young people of all abilities, mainly aged between 13 and 19 (as well as adults and younger learners, where appropriate). Because Short Courses are multi-level, the focus is on completing challenges and skills development according to individual ability, rather than attainment at a specific level.

Facts and Figures

  • Flexible, multi-level programme
  • Internally moderated
  • Accredits 10-60 hours of activities
  • Can count as up to 3 of the credits needed to achieve the Personal Development Programmes
  • Can count as up to 6 of the credits needed to achieve CoPE
  • Also offers progression to AoPE and Wider Key Skills

Course Contents

Module Description
1 Probability and Statistics
2 Money
3 Number
4 Geometry
5 Algebra
6 Mathematical Discovery


Key Stage 3 Summary

The curriculum at Key Stage 3 aims to cover all the main areas of maths: Number, Algebra, Data, Shape and Space and Ratio & Proportion whilst linking it wherever possible to real-life situations and incorporating problem solving skills. It is being revamped to meet the needs of the new KS4 programmes of study. The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is split into different units of work and aims to build on skills already acquired at Primary School, with an emphasis on securing confidence in working with number. Consolidation of number skills is key to underpinning all other aspects of maths and therefore features heavily in all units of work. All lessons offer challenge and are differentiated according to needs of the group.

Year 7:

  • Analysing and displaying data
  • Calculating
  • Expressions, functions and formulae
  • Graphs
  • Factors and multiples
  • Decimals and measures
  • Angles and Lines
  • Measuring and shapes
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Transformations

**NOTE: These topics are representative of the current cohort of pupils. Topics may differ in future based upon KS2 and baseline assessments of individual cohorts.

Year 8:

  • Number properties and calculations
  • Shapes and measure in 3D
  • Statistics
  • Expressions and equations
  • Decimal calculations
  • Angles
  • Number properties
  • Sequences
  • Fractions and percentages
  • Probability

**NOTE: These topics are representative of the current cohort of pupils. Topics may differ in future based upon KS2 and baseline assessments of individual cohorts.

Year 9:

  • Number calculations
  • Sequences and equations
  • Statistics
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Geometry in 2D and 3D
  • Algebraic and real-life graphs
  • Multiplicative reasoning
  • Algebraic and geometric formulae
  • Probability
  • Polygons and transformations

**NOTE: These topics are representative of the current cohort of pupils. Topics may differ in future based upon KS2 and baseline assessments of individual cohorts.

Key Stage 4 Summary

All pupils in KS4 (Y10 to 11) are studying for the new GCSE examinations using the OCR specification which are graded 9-1.The exam has two tiers of entry; higher and foundation, with higher being graded 9-4 and foundation graded 5-1. The course is very demanding and there are new levels of challenge at both higher and foundation tiers. Some pupils are also entered for Entry Level depending on their ability.

Method of Assessment

3 written papers are taken in Year 11: each contributes 33.3% of the final grade. The first paper is Non-Calculator and the 2nd and 3rd papers are Calculator. Each paper is 1hour 30 minutes. There are 2 tiers of assessment: Foundation (grades 5-1) and Higher (9-4). Students are entered at the tier appropriate to their attainment and the school will recommend the level of entry.

GCSE (9-1) in Mathematics – Foundation tier

  • Number
  • Algebra
  • Graphs, tables and charts
  • Fractions and percentages
  • Equations, inequalities and sequences
  • Angles
  • Averages and range
  • Perimeter, area and volume
  • Graphs
  • Transformations
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Right-angled triangles
  • Probability
  • Multiplicative reasoning
  • Constructions, loci and bearings
  • Quadratic equations and graphs
  • Fractions, indices and standard form
  • Congruence, similarity and vectors


**NOTE: These topics are representative of the current cohort and ability of pupils. Topics may differ in future based upon the requirements individual cohorts. For example, pupils may access Entry level & Higher Tier topics if appropriate.

The curriculum covers all of the objectives set out by OCR and aims to stretch all of our learners, regardless of their mathematical ability. Assessments are used regularly to allow both staff and pupils to monitor progress and ensure pupils are working towards their target grade. It also highlights areas for revision both for individual or groups of students.
Further information about the new specification for OCR can be found by

Revision Websites – no login and password required. Lots of practice questions, quizzes, videos and 5-a-day. – no login and password required. Step by step examples covering every topic from each exam board with online sheets for pupils to complete which are marked by the computer. – examples and notes for pupils to use.
You-tube is also extremely useful for step-by-step videos on particular topics.