Compared with the GCSE course, you will find that a much greater part of lesson time is taken up with discussion of new ideas and techniques, leaving much of your own written practice to be completed privately. As the course progresses, an increasing emphasis is placed on developing your ability to present a reasoned solution to a problem, rather than on simply obtaining an “answer”. A level Maths is delivered in a ‘paperless’way with all resources shared and worked on in ONeNote, this means no exercise books, textbooks or folders.
- Pure Mathematics develops the algebraic techniques of simplification and equation solving well beyond the level of GCSE. The two branches of calculus are introduced: “differentiation” deals with the way in which continuously varying quantities change, and “integration” studies the cumulative effect of a continuous variable. Other topics include: the study of geometry, algebraic and trigonometric functions, and the introduction of logarithmic and exponential functions.
- Mechanics is the study of forces and motion. It explores the properties of position, velocity, acceleration, force, momentum, energy, and the relationships between the forces acting on a stationary object.
- Statistics is concerned with the collection, organisation, representation, analysis, and interpretation of data. Topics covered are: descriptive statistics, probability, random variables, linear regression, sampling and hypothesis testing.
Students wishing to study Mathematics at A level are required to have achieved a minimum of a Grade 6 at GCSE (and therefore to have been entered for the Higher Tier).
Students will need a Casio Classwiz FX-991 CW Calculator for A-Level Maths. If they are also studying A-Level Further Maths they may opt for the Casio CG-50 Graphing Calculator instead (this is expensive however!). Students will also need to download Desmos on the iPad.
Students need to have strong mathematical ability and also need to be willing to work hard throughout the course. Students will need to be resilient, creative and show strong independent studying skills, there will be times when you will need to come and seek help outside of lessons from your teachers. Students will be expected to green pen all their work as they go and for the majority of tasks set in lessons students will be provided with worked solutions (both written and video solutions) so it’s important students are reflective.
The course is assessed through 3 x 2 hour exams at the end of Year 13. All 3 exams are calculator based with Paper 1 being 100 marks of Pure Maths; Paper 2 being 100 marks split between Pure Maths and Mechanics, and then Paper 3 being 100 marks split between Pure Maths and Statistics. The exam board used is AQA.
Doing Maths at A level will keep all doors open for you moving forward but typically students studying Maths A level will move on to university to study courses in Mathematics, anything Science based, potentially Economics, Computer Science or Engineering. Maths is highly desirable for entry onto any university course at any university, likewise it is a qualification that employers would look for, and so is of benefit to students who wish to move directly into apprenticeships or employment.
WHAT DO OUR STUDENTS SAY:
‘Maths is a perfect choice for my chosen career path, it has really tested me and made me think over the course of the last 2 years and I tend to find that I learn something new every lesson I attend. I feel well supported by the staff in the department and have attended Maths club throughout Year 12 and 13 to consolidate what I have studied in class. I’m over the moon I decided to go with Maths at A level not only because I really enjoy the subject but also because it has helped my progress in my other Science based A-Levels’ – Year 13 student