What your child learns in Key Stage 3 maths

Pythagoras's theorem on a blackboard
Is your child overtaking you in their maths knowledge? Here are the main topics they’ll cover over the next three years.

Maths is usually taught in ability sets in KS3. Children will use mental and written methods, as well as calculators and ICT, such as spreadsheets. They will work on problems linked to other subjects, and also to everyday life. 

The focus is on developing mathematical fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem-solving.

The curriculum includes:


  • Place value
  • Positive and negative integers, decimals and fractions
  • Prime numbers, factors and multiples
  • The four operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide)
  • Using conventional notation for the priority of operations
  • Powers and roots
  • Terminating decimals and their corresponding fractions
  • Percentages
  • Units of mass, length, time, money etc
  • Rounding up/down
  • Approximation and estimation
  • Using calculators and technology to solve problems


  • Using and interpreting algebraic notation
  • Substituting numerical values into formulae
  • The concepts of expressions, equations, inequalities, terms and factors
  • Simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Understanding and using standard mathematical formulae
  • Linear equations
  • Coordinates in all four quadrants
  • Graphs of linear and quadratic functions
  • Approximate solutions to conceptual problems
  • Arithmetic and geometric sequences

Ratio, proportion and rates of change

  • Changing between standard units
  • Scale factors, scale diagrams and maps
  • Ratio notation
  • Expressing quantities as ratios or fractions
  • Solving percentage change problems
  • Direct and inverse proportion
  • Compound units such as speed, density and unit pricing

Geometry and measures

  • Problems of perimeter, area and volume
  • Angles
  • Interpreting scale drawings
  • Using ruler and compass
  • Drawing and labelling using conventional terms and notations
  • Translations, rotations and reflections
  • Congruent triangles
  • Faces, surfaces and edges
  • Pythagoras' Theorem


  • Recording, describing and analysing probability experiments
  • Tables, grids and Venn diagrams
  • Theoretical sample spaces for single and combined events


  • Mean, mode, median, range and spread of outliers
  • Constructing and interpreting frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, scatter graphs and vertical line charts
  • Describing simple mathematical relationships between two variables