Learners with their hands up in a classroom

{{ image.gatingTitle }}

School name
Sandringham School
School location St Albans, Hertfordshire 
Cohort size

A Level Maths (Year 12): 130 students 
A Level Maths (Year 13): 105 students 

A Level Further Maths (Year 12): 43 students 
A Level Further Maths (Year 13): 18 students


Sandringham School is a mixed large Comprehensive Academy School in St Albans, Hertfordshire. They have been teaching the Level 3 Algebra Award and the Level 1 Number and Measures award since 2016. We spoke to them about their experience using Edexcel Awards in Mathematics, and how they found teaching the qualification.  

We’ve built the Algebra Award into our curriculum so that we cover the majority of the content in year 10, while students work towards their GCSE

The year group is split in half with five sets on each side. Set 1 begin the GCSE course in year 9 – all other groups begin in year 10. From September until May of year 10, we follow and cover the work on the Level 3 Award in Algebra. We usually cover the content between September and mid-January, and then we have a break and teach trigonometry in 2-D and 3-D in addition to the sine and cosine rule. We then have a period of revision and consolidation in order to prepare the students for the exam in May. Following the Algebra Award exam, we then continue with the GCSE syllabus.   

The Algebra Award supports students with becoming fluent in algebra, helps build exam technique and provides challenge.  

The Algebra Award really supports the GCSE curriculum, it helps our students become fluent in algebra and thus helps in the application of algebra to other areas of the curriculum, particularly in problem solving. Additionally, because it is challenging, it builds their resilience and gives them an experience of an external examination before the GCSE in year 11, supporting good exam practice and technique. Our students really enjoy the Level 3 Algebra Award as it is challenging and really pushes them. It also supports them when they move onto A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, as their algebra knowledge is usually very strong, and they have built resilience and determination whilst studying for the Algebra Award. 

The Number and Measure Award has been a great support for students who need a confidence boost in maths.                                 

In the January of year 11 our lower attaining students prepare for the Level 1 Number and Measures Award, in addition to the GCSE course. The Number and Measures Award supports these students to build confidence and belief that they can do mathematics and gives them a goal to aim for in year 11, prior to their GCSE.  It runs effectively alongside the GCSE and has a very positive impact, with all students usually engaged and motivated to pass and achieve a qualification in Mathematics. We find that it is a good stepping-stone to the GCSE in Mathematics. 

We would strongly recommend both of these Awards to all schools. They have certainly had a positive impact on the Mathematics Curriculum that we offer.