A Level Mathematics is a fascinating subject that develops analytical and creative problem solving skills. One of the main strengths of the subject is that it is such an important tool for so many other disciplines. For a student intending to be a physicist, engineer, programmer, designer, chemist, ecologist, zoologist, pharmacist, geographer, geologist, doctor, dentist or economist the more mathematics that they know the better. Mathematics is an essential tool in any technological subject, in business and in commerce primarily because it provides a means of communication which is powerful concise and unambiguous.
The new A Level is linear with exams at the end of the second year but all the AS content will be required knowledge for the A Level course and all the AS content will be taught in Year 12. The Maths A Level will consist of pure and applied mathematics. The Pure Maths at AS will introduce techniques for dealing with nonlinear equations, such as calculus and logarithms, as well as extending the GCSE work on coordinate geometry, trigonometry and vectors.
The Applied Maths will consist of Statistics and Mechanics. The focus in the AS statistics will be on interpreting data, samples and populations and will introduce hypothesis testing. The mechanics at AS will include motion under constant acceleration and Newton's Laws.
For all students aiming for an A or A* in maths we suggest doing our in house accelerated learning program and they should also consider Further Maths (see below).
University courses such as medicine, pharmacy and biological sciences use statistics extensively and many business or finance degrees also contain modules of statistics. Mechanics is especially useful for physics and engineering courses.
In first half term of Further Maths in Year 12, we cover some of the key pure and applied content from single maths (like calculus). As the first part of Year 12 will be spent doing the single maths topics from the Year 13 maths syllabus students can give Further Maths a go, even if they are unsure about it safe in the knowledge that what they are learning will help them with their single maths.
Further Maths students will then study further pure maths, mechanics and statistics which will build on and extend the work done in single maths. Most students would usually focus on Mechanics as their major applied option. However, there is some flexibility and it is possible to focus on Statistics or to combine Statistics, Mechanics and modelling with algorithms. Those considering the more mathematical subjects at university, Mathematics, physics, engineering, financial maths, economics etc. should consider Further Maths A Level.
A good grade at GCSE is an essential prerequisite for AS and A level studies in Mathematics due to the demands of the course, as such a Grade 7 or above is required.
A grade 7 is also the minimum requirement for further maths however a grade 8 or 9 is advised. Students taking further maths must take A level maths as well.
Core Maths (AQA)
Students who are not taking A Level maths are often surprised at the amount of mathematical knowledge that they need in their other A Level subjects. To support them we offer Level 3 core maths (equivalent to an AS). Core Maths concentrates on key skills used in other A levels. We use examples from the other A Levels so students can see how to apply the mathematics in those subjects and to give them skills that they will definitely require. Core Maths is especially useful for students taking science or social science A Levels. However, due to its focus on real world applications of mathematics, it would be beneficial to all students regardless of their choice of subjects. The course runs over two years with examinations at the end of Year 13. The content is based around the higher GCSE with about 20% taken from other qualifications (like A level maths). The course has some core topics taken by all students such as an introduction to using spreadsheets and maths for finance (loans savings and taxation), which are key to almost every career. There is also a choice of optional content. Our suggested options are either statistical techniques or graphical methods. Which option you do would depend on which A Level subjects you are taking. Graphical methods very useful for the sciences and economics whereas the statistical techniques would be best for the social sciences (both options are useful for biology). The third option that AQA offers is critical path and risk analysis.