Special Events/Announcements

 Parents' & Professionals' Evening & OCR Graduation Ceremony, Wednesday 21 November at 5.30pm.

'Remapping the profiles of children who struggle at school' by Dr Duncan Astle - THIS EVENT IS NOW FULL


Maths classes are taught daily in small, ability-based groups by specialist teachers. 

Teachers use both summative and formative assessment information to create medium term plans that are specific to the group’s needs. They identify gaps in previous learning, work to fill these gaps and help the children develop a more secure understanding of topics. Children work at their ability-based level, rather than chronological age expectations, but teachers will ensure that they are exposed to concepts in line with their age when applicable.

At Fairley House we follow the National Curriculum and children work through the following topics in a cyclical manner, completing each topic more than once per year:

Number and place value 

Number – addition and subtraction 

Number – multiplication and division 

Number – fractions, decimals and percentages  


Geometry – properties of shape 

Geometry – position and direction 


Our lessons are planned and taught using transdisciplinary teaching, which includes direct or indirect support from occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. Direct support often takes the form of speech and language therapists leading vocabulary-based starter activities to help children develop a secure understanding of mathematical language, and occupational therapists working with teachers to improve skills such as using measuring equipment, plotting graphs and spatial awareness, which are all important for maths learning. In the Junior Department, occupational therapists are involved with the delivery of Motor Maths. Motor Maths takes place in the gym using a range of occupational therapy and PE equipment. It allows children to use their bodies whilst learning a maths concept and in doing so, they develop a greater number of memory hooks to help them retain and recall that knowledge.

Teachers plan lessons that allow children to build up their learning in small steps, with many opportunities for revision. Lessons are delivered using multisensory methods and many visual and practical supports. 


London's leading day school for specific learning difficulties

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GCSE Mathematics and Functional Skills 

What does studying Functional Skills Mathematics involve and who is it for?

With the challenging levels of the new Maths GCSE specification, many students are finding this qualification a step too big at this stage in their schooling career. The high course requirements, combined with a syllabus that does not easily allow for different rates of individual progression, may adversely affect students' confidence, motivation and success in a subject that many of them already find challenging.

As a result, at the end of Year 9, students who are on track to achieve a Level 3 or lower in their Maths GCSE, may be encouraged to work towards a Functional Skills Maths qualification instead. 

At Fairley House School, Functional Skills Maths is taught over two years. In Year 10, students will work towards their Functional Skills Level 1 qualification and in Year 11, subject to passing Level 1, students will work towards their Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.

Studying Functional Skills Maths, students learn to develop and practise their mathematics skills in all areas of the Maths curriculum. Their confidence in their mathematical abilities will increase and they will apply their mathematical learning to a variety of practical and real-life situations.

Skills taught on the course include:

Representing problems mathematically

Students will learn to

  • understand practical problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and situations 
  • identify and obtain the necessary information to tackle a problem
  • select mathematics in an organised way to find solutions

Analysing problems mathematically

Students will learn to

  • apply mathematics in an organised way to find solutions to straightforward practical problems 
  • use appropriate checking procedures

Interpreting mathematical problems and data

Students will learn to

  • interpret and communicate solutions to practical problems, drawing simple conclusions and giving explanations

At Fairley House School we start our students on a 3-year programme of study in Year 9, to give them as much preparation for their Maths GCSEs as possible.

After careful consideration of exam boards, we registered with AQA who offer the most suitable delivery of questions for students with literacy difficulties. 

Maths classes are taught in small numbers by specialist teachers and according to ability. Tutors are available after school to assist learners who may be struggling with terminology, methodology or any other subject specific content. 


 GCSE Mathematics has a Foundation tier (grades 1 – 5) and a Higher tier (grades 4 – 9). Students must take three question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series. The information in the table below is the same for both Foundation and Higher tiers. The Subject content section shows the content that is assessed in each tier.


Maths at GCSE is organised into 6 different topics:

  1. Number
  2. Algebra
  3. Ratio, proportion and rates of change
  4. Geometry and measures
  5. Probability
  6. Statistics

The weighting of the topic areas has been prescribed by Ofqual and is common to all exam boards. The table below shows the approximate weightings of the topic areas for the overall tier of assessment, not for each individual question paper: