Functional Maths 2010

Functional Maths is going live this year!  It’s coming in two different forms, which could impact on you: 

1. “Functional Elements” in GCSE Maths 

Functional Maths spread from the GCSE Student Book

All of the new GCSE Maths specifications have Functional Elements embedded. On Higher tier papers, functional elements are worth 20-30% of marks, while on Foundation tier papers, functional elements are worth 30-40% of marks. 

However, as the functional criteria overlap with the new assessment objectives – AO1, AO2, AO3 – don’t expect to see a purely functional maths question on a GCSE paper. 

Mastering the functional elements will take students a long way towards passing the standalone Functional Maths qualification. 

See here for examples of how functional maths is flagged in the Longman course. 


2. Functional Maths standalone qualification 

What is the standalone qualification?  For first teaching in 2010, AQA are offering a standalone Functional Maths qualification.  The specification will be finalised by late March/early April 2010.  Until then nothing is certain, but here are some headline details: 

  • First teaching in 2010 (definitely!)
  • First exam sitting in November 2010
  • 4 exam sittings per year: January, March, June and November
  • Only 1 paper at each of Level 1 and Level 2, 1hr 3o minutes in length (the “competency paper” of the Pilot exams has been dropped)
  • In the new format, competency questions (questions testing basic maths knowledge) will be mixed in with the functionality questions, earning no more than 20% of total marks
  • Pass or Fail qualification

We’ve been looking into Functional carefully, and how teachers are reacting to it – for more detail, click here.   

What Resources will Longman be publishing?   

AQA Functional Maths - Healthy Homes - Area & Perimeter

Longman's AQA Functional Maths Student Book - sample spread

We are planning:

  • Student Book (£8.99, published June 2010) covering Levels 1 & 2, filled with newspaper cuttings, timetables, maps, charts and other realia to bring maths into the real world
  • ActiveTeach CD-ROM (£299.99, August 2010) shows the Student Book on-screen and comes packed with interactive resources including video clips, Grade Studio problem-solving activities, multilingual glossary and Examiner-Live audio   
  • Teacher Guide & CD-ROM (£124.99, July 2010) covering Levels 1&2, including complete practice papers, guidance on how to use pre-release data sheets, as well as lesson plans and schemes of work – both for a standalone course and for integrating Functional with your AQA GCSE Maths course.
  • FREE Evaluation Pack (£0, published June 2010), contain a free copy of the Student Book, along with an evaluation guide, summarising the whole series, and access to digital demonstration material. 

We are very excited about this AQA qualification.  It offers a fantastic opportunity for students to gather some important life skills, and a great opportunity for us to help them. 

Our guiding philosophy is to make sure the functional maths is taught in engaging, real-world contexts, while the underlying maths structure of the resources are clear.  So we have chapters on choosing a mobile phone package, understanding credit card interest,  as well as later chapters on deforestation (volume and area)  and global warming (equations).  But equally important is the presentation of the maths.  The maths curriculum is covered in a logical order, and each chapter is sub-titled by mathematical topic.  So teachers can see at a glance how to integrate our resources with their own maths course. 

Click here to order your FREE Evaluation Pack.

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