We follow the Edexcel Specifications 9MA0 (Mathematics) and 9FM0 (Further Mathematics). Students will take A-Level examinations at the end of Year 13.
Most mathematicians would say that doing mathematics is a beautiful, fascinating and intellectually satisfying activity. It is a way of looking at the patterns that make up our world and the ways in which they are constructed. It is therefore worthwhile in its own right.
On the other hand, it is also the foundation on which the theories of many other applied subjects are built. Mathematics at A-level will give you the tools required to study, for example, the way the economy works, the motion of the planets, how to assess the risk of flooding, the speed of a chemical reaction, the behaviour of large groups of people, global warming forecasts and the way decision making is done in businesses.
Most employers put great value on a student having an A-level in mathematics and take it as a sign that a person has sound reasoning and good numeracy.
If you are considering continuing your study of Mathematics at Post-16, just to support your study of other subjects, it may be that the Core Maths course is right for you, rather than A-Level Mathematics.
The Mathematics A-level is comprised of a mixture of Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. The Pure Mathematics sections are mainly algebra, with some trigonometry and number work. The Applied Mathematics sections are based on both Statistics (data handling) and Mechanics (Forces and motion). All students will study both Mechanics and Statistics. There is no formally assessed coursework.
Lessons usually follow the same pattern with core concepts being taught and discussed followed by students working through Mathematics questions. In the new Mathematics A-Level there is an increased focus on problem solving and using the Pure Mathematics skills to model real life situations.
Independent work will have to be undertaken each week to consolidate and reinforce the concepts learnt in lessons.
Year 12: 4/5 lessons per week split across Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics working towards the AS qualification.
Year 13: 5/4 lessons per week split across Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics working towards the full A-Level qualification.
For successful transition to A-Level Mathematics, students need to have reached at least grade 6 at GCSE. Learning mathematics means learning how to solve problems using logical reasoning. This takes intelligence, insight and lots of practice.
Many people find that the change from GCSE to A-level mathematics is a big one. It is a subject that builds continuously on previous work so it can become very difficult if you fall behind. Serious application from the start of Y12 is essential.
If you are concerned that the jump from GCSE to A-Level may be too big for you, it is possible that the ‘Core Maths’ course will be right for you rather than A-Level Mathematics.
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