Overview of the Maths Content in the D&T Exam

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Return to the Maths in D&T page to see all resources 

General Tips

  • It’s a DfE requirement that 15% of the GCSE exam assesses maths in relation to D&T
  • Maths is tested at high end KS3 level for the GCSE, and at GCSE level for the A level, so the concepts tested should be familiar to students already
  • Maths questions will be asked within an applied context, in other words they will relate to real situations within designing and making
  • Calculators can be used in the exam
  • Just like D&T answers, maths question answers are marked in a particular way and its important students understand what this is e.g. students must show their working out. The mark schemes will help with this and your maths department should also be able to provide past questions and mark schemes that illustrate how maths answer should be laid out.
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  • It would be useful to coordinate with your maths department to identify when D&T related concepts are taught so that you can compliment this work in D&T lessons and vice versa.The maths in D&T can for example, be mapped against what is taught by your maths department as the content is related (OCR’s GCSE specification does this for you). 
  • The biggest challenge for the A level qualifications is that students will possibly not be doing A level maths which means they won’t get regular weekly top ups of maths like they do at GCSE. Although the students will have been taught the maths content for the A level D&T they will need this revising on a regular basis. It’s recommended you get advice from your maths department on how you might best do this. 
  • Develop schemes of learning that flags up maths on a regular basis to show how it is used all of the time in D&T e.g. with quick starters and plenaries, along with pointing out the maths as it happens in lessons, particularly during practical work where maths is a natural part of many elements of the design and making process.
Maths in textiles DMU
  • Carol Vorderman DK maths book 2349Look on the exam boards websites as many have maths in D&T resources just focusing on the elements students need to know about (and resources from boards other than the one you are using will still be relevant. This is the maths resource for Edexcel D&T GCSE. 
  • Take a look at this Dorling Kindersley book ‘Help Your Kids with Maths’ which might be useful as a quick reference guide for teachers as well as possibly being useful to cut up for display. 
  • Hodder Education publish a book for A level with maths examples specific to D&T in it
  • Doodle Education produce a maths in D&T poster. It focuses more on numeracy but it does cover a couple of the GCSE focus areas. 
  • Why not take photos of maths happening in real time in lessons to create your own visual examples of maths in D&T?
  • Take a look at this Pinterest board that has images and information related to maths in D&T
  • Keep a look out for examples of maths in action in the real world related to D&T, for example, these ‘bags for life’ use a tessellated print to decorate the surface. 
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What will be tested?

Maths skills

This page is adapted from the original DfE Subject Content document which all exam boards have to follow when setting maths questions.


Return to the Maths in D&T page to see all resources 

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