Course summary

The A-level Mathematics course consists of a two third weighting in Pure Mathematics one third weighting in Applied Mathematics.

In Pure Mathematics, your algebraic skills will be built upon and extended into many new areas not encountered at GCSE. The initial part of the course will develop topics within algebra that you have some experience in already including algebra, functions and graphs, equations and inequalities and trigonometry. New areas in Pure Mathematics encountered in the course will include methods of proof, sequences and series, exponentials and logarithms, vectors and calculus which incorporates differentiation and integration.

The above areas will be encountered in both years of the course with the year 13 content building upon and developing further the concepts met in year 12. Additionally, numerical methods in solving equations and other problems that cannot be readily solved algebraically will also be encountered.

The third weighting in Applied Mathematics is itself split into two equal areas: Statistics and Mechanics (each contributing one sixth to the final qualification).

In Statistics you will meet ideas in sampling, representing and interpreting data, probability, statistical distributions and hypothesis testing. You will also be expected to become familiar with a large data set and perform a variety of statistical calculations from it, including the use of ICT.

Areas encountered in Mechanics will involve S.I. units and those derived from them, kinematics (the study of motion), forces and Newton’s laws and moments. Vector methods will underpin many of these topics and there is a strong cross curricular link to Physics.

How will I be assessed?

The content covered in the course summary is now mandatory for all exam boards. Mathematical argument, language and proof, problem solving and mathematical modelling underpin all parts of the qualification. The examinations are linear meaning that you will be assessed in a series of examinations at the end of the course. The A-level qualification will consist of three two hour papers covering the topics described in the summary. More detail can be found in the specification.

How is the course delivered?

Classroom based learning and revision sessions. Two teachers are allocated to each group and both teach Pure Mathematics, but each will specialise in one of the Applied areas.

Is the course suitable for me?

Yes if you want to meet new areas of Mathematics and want to achieve a valuable and highly regarded qualification. You should certainly pick Mathematics if you want to study a further education course with any mathematical content and the subject is seen as a vital stepping stone on to a whole range of different courses and careers.

What materials do I need to provide?

  • Advanced Scientific calculator.
  • Textbooks.

Who can I contact for more information?

Dr P Leary (KS5 Coordinator in Mathematics) or

Mrs C Siddons (Subject Leader in Mathematics)