The new national curriculum will begin to be implemented in September 2014. Ahead of the change, TES Connect’s maths adviser Craig Barton has put together this short guide to what’s changing for secondary maths teachers, along with some resources to help you make the transition.


The Key Stage 3 Programme of Study has already been confirmed, while the Programme of Study for Key Stage 4 is still under consultation. 


General changes to the maths curriculum


  • There is a higher expectation overall – pupils will be benchmarked against age-related expectations in other nations.
  • The curriculum at secondary is less detailed than at primary level and set out by Key Stage – secondary school teachers will need to set out the detail in their school curriculum by year.
  • There is a focus on consolidating understanding: Key Stage 3 builds on Key Stage 2.
  • Probability and statistics are treated as two separate topics.
  • Mathematics is set out in more detail than the current National Curriculum, albeit with less specification of generic skills.
  • The aim of the new curriculum is to prepare young people for further study post-16, as well as for work and personal life. To find out more about that, come along to our live chat with the DfE's Tom Goldman, who'll be discussing how to encourage students to continue in their study of maths post-16.


The new maths curriculum – in detail


  • There is an increased level of challenge around the theory of number – achieved by introducing prime numbers and surds in KS3.
  • You’ll find increased requirements for algebra, geometry and measures and ratios, proportion and rates of change – the three pillars for calculus at post-16 level.
  • There are raised expectations for achievement in probability.
  • Financial education has been reinforced with a focus on solving problems involving percentage increases and decreases, simple interest and repeated growth.

Key timeline for secondary

Current Year 8 students (next year’s Year 9) will be the first students to sit the new GCSEs under the new National Curriculum.




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Relevant resources



Still have questions about the new curriculum? Join us on Monday 10 March between 7 and 8pm for our live chat with DfE minister Liz Truss. You can also discuss the finer points of the new curriculum with the DfE's Stephen Rogers on Thursday 13 March between 6 and 7pm.