A Level Mathematics
A Level Mathematics is divided into three key components, these are:
Pure Mathematics (66.7%)
When studying pure mathematics at A Level you will be extending your knowledge of such topics as algebra and trigonometry as well as learning some brand new ideas such as calculus, exponentials and logarithms, which are essential for modelling growth and decay. If you enjoyed the challenge of problem solving and proof at GCSE using such mathematical techniques then you should find the prospect of this course very appealing. Although many of the ideas you will meet in pure mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially mechanics and statistics, which use concepts from the Pure sections.
When you study mechanics, you will learn how to describe mathematically the motion of objects and how they respond to forces acting upon them, from cars in the street to objects sliding on top of things. You will learn the technique of mathematical modelling, that is, of turning a complicated physical problem into a simpler one that can be analysed and solved using mathematical methods. Many of the ideas you will meet in mechanics form an almost essential introduction to such important modern fields of study as cybernetics, robotics, biomechanics and sports science, as well as the more traditional areas of
engineering and physics.
When you study statistics, you will learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data, including large data sets using technology. You will extend the range of probability problems that you started for GCSE by using the new mathematical techniques studied on the pure mathematics course. You will also be introduced to new ways of calculating probabilities and determine whether scenarios are likely given a set of information. Many of the ideas you will meet in statistics have applications in a wide range of other fields – from assessing what your car insurance is going to cost to how likely the earth is going to be hit by a comet in the next few years. The statistics elements are becoming more and more in demand by employers so this aspect is crucial for many fields.
Three exam papers (2 Pure, 1 Applied) covering all A level content. All papers are calculator allowed.
Use of technology permeates through the A Level course and students will require a modern scientific calculator. By far the best calculator for A Level maths is the CASIO fx-991EX CLASSWIZ. This calculator has all functions for A-Level and is essential for the course. We also require that students have their own copy of the textbooks. For the full course, 2 pure books and 2 applied books will be needed. More details will be available at the start of the course. Workshops are held to introduce ideas outside the content for the course, please see the Further Mathematics pages for full details.
Students are often surprised by the amount of algebra required in this course. To support them fully, an algebra test is taken during the first week of study, supported by transition work given to students. Identified students are expected to take an additional two periods of mathematics support.
Students are continually assessed throughout the course and intervention strategies implemented where
appropriate. Where appropriate, students may be offered an AS entry.