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The GCSE statistics course is a 2-year course teaching the Edexcel specification. The scheme of work is based on the Pearson Student Book. The chapters in the book have been broken down into approximately two units of work which are taught in a different order. Some lessons are constructed from earlier chapters to ensure prior knowledge is secure.

Please use the programme of study (below) alongside the following information to get a better overview of the course structure.

  • Learners begin GCSE Statistics by studying univariate data, followed by bivariate data, and finally probability.

  • Study of univariate data also introduces the key general concepts of the data handling cycle, which are revisited throughout the course. 

  • Within each unit, lessons are organised by level of challenge based on experience of teaching in prior years, with more difficult lessons at the end. The only exception is when some lessons naturally follow on from one another. For instance, comparative pie charts follow immediately after pie charts.

  • At various points in the course, learning is consolidated through designing and executing statistical investigations. Research has suggested that practical application of statistical techniques within investigations is most effective at developing learning in statistics.


  1. Statistical tables and charts (Chapter 2)

  2. Representing continuous data (Chapter 2)

  3. Summarising discrete data (Chapter 3)

  4. Summarising continuous data (Chapter 3)

  5. Designing investigations (Chapter 1)

  6. Sampling methods (Chapter 1)

  7. Scatter diagrams and correlation (Chapter 4)

  8. Correlation coefficients (Chapter 4)

  9. Time series (Chapter 5)

  10. Index numbers (Chapter 7)

  11. Rates of change (Chapter 7)


  1. Single event probability (Chapter 6)

  2. Probability of combined events (Chapter 6)

  3. The binomial distribution (Chapter 8)

  4. The normal distribution and its applications (Chapter 8)


Sequencing Decision


Chapters 2 (representing data) and 3 (summarising data) have been placed before chapter 1 (collecting data)

When learners begin GCSE Statistics, they will have some prior knowledge of statistics already from KS2 and KS3 mathematics. They would be expected to be familiar with pie and bar charts, as well as the mean, median, mode and range. 

Teaching chapters 2 and 3 at the start of the year allows the teacher to identify what is already known and build on that with the representations and methods required for GCSE statistics. This builds confidence and is more interactive than starting the year with abstract concepts such as populations, samples and statistics. The use of technology such as spreadsheets to enhance engagement and enjoyment of the subject is also more easily integrated into data processing and representation than data collection.

Arguably, knowledge of how to collect data is not a prerequisite for knowledge of the tools available to represent and process data; for example, not knowing how a sample was collected does not prevent a student from being able to construct a chart to represent the data.

Lessons from chapter 1 are integrated into the lessons in chapters 2 and 3

Although in general knowledge of data collection techniques is not required for data summarising and representation, it is necessary for learners to know about the types of data, and the importance of grouping data, before learning about the different representations. If learners do not have this prior knowledge, they may develop misconceptions about what types of representation go best with which data types.

Chapter 7 brought forward ahead of chapter 6

Chapter 7 on Index numbers is a shorter unit. Learning in Summer 2 is often interrupted by extra-curricular activities such as sports day, work experience, the Year 10 mock exam series and aspirations trips. It is possible that teachers will struggle to cover all of chapter 6 before the summer break. Chapter 7 also follows on well from Time Series (chapter 5), as indices are often represented on line graphs to show their change over time.

Chapters 6 and 8 taught in Year 11

Chapter 8 on probability distributions requires a good knowledge of basic probability. By teaching chapter 6 immediately before chapter 8 in Year 11, the Year 11 teacher is able to assess and consolidate this learning before starting the new content on distributions. Chapter 8 is also a challenging unit, particularly understanding and modelling with the binomial distribution, and is suited to the longer time given by the autumn term.