Sixth Form: Mathematics

A Level Mathematics

Subject Overview

Mathematics A Level represents an exciting chance to extend your skills in mathematical techniques and problem solving. It covers Pure Maths, building on GCSE work with topics such as trigonometry and vectors plus new mathematical concepts such as calculus and logarithms. In addition there is Applied Maths content in the form of Mechanics and Statistics.

Preparation

Over the summer holiday, we require future ‘A’ level mathematics students to complete this worksheet of 50 fairly demanding GCSE-style questions. Please print off the pdf file, ensure that answers are entered into the appropriate box adjacent to each question and staple neat working to the back of the sheets for handing in during the first lesson of the new term.

Help with questions can be obtained by logging into the MathsWatch and MyMaths websites using the usual codes.

For answers to any queries, please email: WildeS@heart-england.co.uk.

Entry Requirements

Grade 7 at GCSE Mathematics and a Pass in the Maths Entry Test.

The Maths Entry Test will comprise GCSE questions and will be sat during the latter half of year 11.

A level Mathematics has a strong core of algebra and so students must be familiar with all the techniques taught at GCSE.  These skills will be assessed towards the end of year 11 if you have applied for the Mathematics A level. There will also be an algebra assessment during the first week of the course.

The ‘step up’ from GCSE Maths to A Level is quite significant and for those students who would like to get a good start on it, particularly if their algebra skills need a little brushing up, we recommend the CGP text ‘Head Start to AS Maths’.  Please also see the preparation section above.

Syllabus (Course Outline and Structure)

For the academic year beginning in September 2017, new specifications are being introduced for mathematics ‘A’ level courses. We, along with all schools, are awaiting final details on the changes before deciding which examination board to select and how to structure the courses. The website will be updated as soon as these decisions have been made.

Activities and trips

We have no mandatory trips or activities in Maths, although throughout the two years there may be the opportunity to take part in activities, such as revision days and team challenges, run by the ‘Further Maths Network’ based at Warwick University, with whom we have been cultivating links over the last few years.
This would incur a small cost, usually of between £10 and £30 dependent on the type of activity, and may involve students arranging their own transport to and from the University.

Expected Costs

Other than the cost of the activities that we may run with the ‘Further Maths Network’ there are no expected costs associated with the Maths A Level. All the text books are lent to students for the duration of the course and they will only need to pay for them if they fail to return or badly damage them. There are no mandatory excursions and the only equipment they are required to have (other than the usual contents of a pencil case) is a scientific calculator.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

 A number of subjects combine well with Mathematics at A-Level. Common combinations include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computing, Geography and Economics.

Schemes of Work

 Details of the proposed Scheme of Work will be made available once the exam board has been chosen and A-level specifications have been finalised.

Past Papers

Specimen papers are an essential part of the revision process for Mathematics.  It is important to get plenty of practice of the type of questions you will be asked in exams. These will be available in due course.

Useful Links (internal and external)

 Links to a selection of good sites that support A-level preparation and revision are provided below.

Other information

Mathematics A Level will support students who go on to study a wide range of different subjects at University or in other forms of Higher Education, the more obvious ones being Maths, Science and Engineering. Its logical thinking and problem solving based structure make it a qualification that can pick students ‘out of the crowd’ in the eyes of many universities and employers, even in non-Maths based courses or industries.