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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.

Further Maths

To enable the higher achieving students to progress at a more advanced speed Further Maths (MEI) and Maths (Edexcel) are taught together for students who opt for Further Maths.

In the first half term of year 12 the course is split into three strands Pure, Statistics and Mechanics. The Pure maths starts by reviewing and extending algebraic and graphical techniques from GCSE and moves on to dealing with series. Mechanics starts with calculus (differentiation and integration) and how we can use these techniques to solve problems with variable acceleration. Statistics starts with samples and populations then discrete probability distributions.  

Further Maths and Maths A’Level are taught together so that by the end of year 12 all the content for A level maths is taught along with some of the further maths content. This allows students to concentrate in year 13 with the rest of the Further Maths Pure content. Most students would usually focus on Mechanics as their major applied option in y13, 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 grade 7 is 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 often struggle as they are surprised by the amount of mathematical knowledge that they need in their other A-Level subjects; this is not just the Sciences, which are very heavily Maths based, but also a number of Humanities and Social Science subject. 

To support students, we offer Level 3 core maths (This is 40% of an A-Level and will account for 20 UCAS points; improving opportunities on students’ University applications).  

Core maths concentrates on skills and techniques used in other A-Level subjects. Lessons are prepared by liaising with other departments so as to use examples from other A-Level subjects.

We time our lessons so that students meet mathematical concepts before they meet them in their other subjects. 

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 is 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 (how to manage loans, the best investments for savings taxation and National Insurance), which are key to survival in the real world. 

Depending on your other A-Level choices, you will follow one of the following options: “Statistical Techniques” or “Graphical Methods”. 

Graphical Methods is very useful for the Sciences and Economics whereas Statistical Techniques would be best for the Social Sciences (both options are useful for Biology). 

Core Maths is a practical subject to support your further education and is taught in a very practical way.

If a student does not achieve a level 7 in their Mathematics GCSE and wishes to choose a science, then they will be required to study Core Maths.

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.

Edexcel   www.edexcel.com

MEI www.mei.org.uk (For Further Maths)

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