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A-level Maths is the single most popular A-level in the country. This A-level extends many of the topics you have met at GCSE, as well as introducing some very new ideas. This A-level is designed to support study in areas of science, economics and computing as well as stats heavy subjects like psychology, biology and geography.
The A-Level Maths course is split into three sections:
- The first and largest section is Pure Maths. This involves the development of a few familiar topics from GCSE like algebra and trigonometry. There will also be some new ideas like calculus, numerical methods, vectors and infinite series.
- There is a small section on statistics which is about analysing data, working with probability and the formal testing of hypotheses. This section can be very useful if your career or future study involves data collection and analysis.
- There is a small section on Mechanics – a crossover with Physics. This section governs the way things move and interact with each other, allowing you to model things like projectiles, rigid static objects and connected particles.
At least 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above all from the core subjects
Course Specific Entry Requirement:
Minimum Requirement - GCSE Grade 6 in Maths (this may require some extra catch up work)
Recommended Requirements - GCSE grade 7 in Maths and coverage of the whole of the higher maths GCSE course.
The cycle of learning for Maths is something you are probably familiar with:
- Introduction of new material – this will involve demonstration of new methods and explanation of new ideas.
- Supported practice time in lessons – as Maths is quite an active subject you do need to actually try it. Sometimes this even involves getting it wrong first. There is always time in lessons to practice new methods until you can follow them correctly and your friends and teacher will be there to help.
- Extra practice at home – regular homework assignments to practice and develop what is learnt in class. These homework assignments have video solutions to help you if you get stuck. We believe that all students should be able to complete the homework with the support available.
- Guided test preparation – we provide practice tests for all of our assessments to help you prepare for tests. It is not uncommon to find some of the new ideas and methods you meet tricky at first. We believe that tests should not be a surprise and students should have time to prepare as they would for the final exams.
- Tests – Maths tests are an inescapable part of mathematics. To succeed at A-Level Maths you not only need to have a good knowledge of the material you have learnt but also have developed an effective exam strategy to ensure you get the mark you deserve.
A-level Maths is an exam only subject. There are three exams with each paper being two hours long. Two of these papers are on Pure Maths with the third being an even split of Stats and Mechanics.
Lots of lecture trips/academic visits are available along side the other STEM subjects.
For A level Mathematics you will need the following:
- A Cassio CLASSWIZ fx-991EX (or the newer fx-991 CW) calculator. This is a scientific calculator with some extended features you will not need for GCSE but do need for A level. This can be bought through College or independently for £23-£25.
- Basic stationery like pens/rulers/highlighters but nothing specialist like compass/protractor
- Paper for rough work – lined or square is ideal
- You may wish to purchase your own version of the formula book which you will have access to in the exam. This is available from the College for 40p.
We will provide:
- An A4 exercise book for making and retaining neat notes on the material covered in class. It is quite important to have a reference at hand for work covered in previous lessons or whilst revising for tests.
- Loan of textbooks from the College library and online access to the textbooks on devices like laptops and tablets.
- The vast majority of our resources are available online and printing them is not necessary.
Our entry requirement is "advise a grade 7" for A-level maths. The design of the new A level is really aimed at people with a grade 7 or higher. If you get a grade 6 in your Maths GCSE we would like to talk to you to help you decide if this is the right course. In general people with a grade 6 are only usually successful if all of the following apply:
- Are near the grade boundary for grade 7 (often were predicted a 7)
- Have learnt the full higher course (Some schools do not teach set 2 Maths all of the course - there may be some catch up)
- Have a good understanding of GCSE Algebra (factorising, solving, simultaneous equations, completing the square, indices)
- Have a maths related program or career aim to add motivation to do well
The syllabus of A-level maths was agreed across all the exam boards and contains compulsory modules on statistics and mechanics. There are no optional modules.
There are no coursework elements - the only contributor to final grades is the exams at the end of year 2.
You'll need your own calculator that is specifically designed for A level. For the vast majority of students, this will mean buying a new one. In lessons we will demonstrate how to use the relevant calculator features - so we suggest that everyone gets the CASIO fx-991EX CLASSWIZ model so you can follow the demonstrations. This is available for a little under £25 either from Amazon or through the college shop. If you have a college bursary you could use some of this for your calculator.
Aside from this, you will need basic stationery and paper for rough work - things like a protractor are not required!
You will be provided with a red A4 exercise book for making neat notes throughout the year.
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