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Maths - Working towards GCSE

Course description 

This course will cover some of the Foundation content of GCSE Mathematics where learners can achieve grades up to 3. The main areas of study are Number, Ratio, Proportion and rates of change, Algebra, Geometry and Measure, Statistics and Probability.

Working towards GCSE Maths courses will be delivered either on site or online. For online classes, you must have easy access to a computer with the internet. Classes will be held twice a week (2.5 hours each).

This course consists of a 3 week IT Fundamentals course at the start to maximise participation in learning using digital tools, followed by 10 weeks  Working towards GCSE. The Working Towards GCSE course leads onto GCSE Foundation course starting in January.

Support if you are registered unemployed, looking for a job or a better job - Route to Work 

As part of your programme of learning, we will support you to develop the skills you need to get a job or a better job, such as CV writing, application forms, interviews and working in a team. Your tutor will discuss individual learning and development needs to agree with you which of our Route to Work short courses will best suit your needs and enrol you on these modules. 

Entry requirements

This course is normally delivered over 2 or 3 years in schools. Therefore, it is necessary that learners have good literacy (at least Level 1) and numeracy skills before starting the course. Ideally, learners should have achieved Level 1 Maths Functional Skills, or Grade D/Grade 3 in GCSE Maths, or similar in an equivalent course (e.g. CSE/’O’ level Maths) in order to complete the course in one year. 

Initial assessment

To gain a place on the course, all learners must book an initial assessment by calling BAES Info Line (0121 303 4318) or one of the BAES centres. GCSE initial assessments are generally carried out face-to-face although people can book a remote assessment on Teams/Zoom. Depending on the results of the assessment, learners may be advised to join a course other than Working Towards GCSE.

Learning strategies

It is important that learners attend all sessions and make time to work at home every week in order to prepare, practise and consolidate their learning. The Service has on-line subscriptions to MathsWatch and MyMaths, and learners can access videos, quizzes and other activities on our BAES Moodle site.

Learners will be expected to carry out at least 4 hours of independent study in their own time, every week, to cover all the course content.

Progress monitoring

Learner progress and attendance will be monitored throughout the course. After the first progress check in October, the learner and their teacher will determine whether it is appropriate for the learner to continue with the course. Aspects included in the discussion are attendance, punctuality, ability to cope with the amount of work required and performance on progress checks.


There will be no exam at the end of the Working Towards GCSE course. Leaners progressing onto GCSE Foundation in January will take three exams in May and June which will be carried out in one of our centres. They will be marked externally by AQA and results will be available in August.


From the Working Towards GCSE course learners can progress onto GCSE Foundation course in January. A GCSE Grade 4 or higher will open up a variety of career and training opportunities.

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