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Mathematics is an inherent part of everyday life, whether used knowingly or indirectly. Mathematicians look at things and use the language of maths to understand and justify what they see, resolving problems and improving by the use of mathematical modelling.

Mr Lound
Head of Mathematics
dlound@dsfc.unity-ed.uk

The Course
The A Level Mathematics course is both demanding and stimulating. The subject complements all sciences, Geography, Psychology, Economics and Business Studies well and is a good contrasting subject to modern languages. The analysis and problem solving skills employed transfer to many other areas and enhance the study of these subjects.

The numbers on the course have grown over recent years, mirroring the national picture, as students appreciate the value of the course in their future career paths and aspirations.

We follow the Edexcel specification.

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Year 1

In the first year you will build on core GCSE knowledge and extend into new areas:

  • Quadratics, functions, transformations and graphs
  • Calculus – differentiation and integration
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Data distributions, including study of a prescribed large data set
  • Statistical analysis, probability and regression
  • Binomial distributions and hypothesis testing
  • Kinematics
  • Forces and Newton’s laws
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Year 2

In the second year you will use the foundation topics above to study:

  • Further calculus
  • Trigonometric functions and equations
  • Numerical methods of analysis
  • Differential equations and vectors
  • Normal probability distribution
  • Correlation coefficient and hypothesis testing
  • Projectile motion
  • The effects of friction
  • Moments

Assessment
At the end of the first year you will sit an internal examination to determine progression to Year 13, or an AS examination if considering dropping Mathematics (for students studying four subjects only). The AS examination consists of two papers:
Paper 1: Pure Maths (2 hours)
Paper 2: Statistics and Mechanics (1 hour 15 minutes)

At the end of the second year you will sit three 2 hour papers:
Paper 1: Pure Maths
Paper 2: Pure Maths
Paper 3: Mechanics and Statistics

Entry Requirements
Minimum 66555 including Level 6 in Mathematics GCSE.

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Further Mathematics will give you a greater insight into the beauty of mathematics and how the structures of the different topics fit together. It also shows how it can be applied, even from quite abstract beginnings.

The A Level Further Mathematics course is not just for those who enjoy mathematics or who want to go on and study it at university, it is also highly recommended for anyone who might want to take a degree at a top university in Physics, the natural sciences, Engineering, Computing, Economics and more.

“I chose Maths because it is practical and not essay-based, which I personally prefer. The lessons are well structured and the teachers are always there if you need help. I have enjoyed the way that the subject is taught as the difficulty of it gradually builds up. Therefore, you do not feel immediately overwhelmed when you start learning. If I were to do something differently in Year 12, I would be more organised and more consistent with revising past topics – it makes learning content later on in the year easier.” (Carly)

The Course
Students choosing A Level Further Mathematics must also choose A Level Mathematics. You will be taught both
Mathematics and Further Mathematics separately from other Mathematics students. In Year 12, you will study all the content listed in Mathematics, leading to the completion of A Level Mathematics at the end of the first year. There is some flexibility in the specification for Further Mathematics including Further Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Mechanics and Discrete Mathematics.

The ability to complete A Level Mathematics in Year 12 is a valuable asset to students intending to study not only mathematics at university; candidates for competitive degree courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science will also find it highly beneficial to have achieved an A or A* in A Level Mathematics before they submit their UCAS form.

We follow the Edexcel specification.

Topics included in the new Further Mathematics specification include:

  • Roots of equations
  • Complex numbers
  • Matrices
  • Summation of series
  • Further algebra and functions
  • Further calculus
  • Further vectors
  • Hyperbolic functions
  • Differential equations
  • Rational functions and conic sections
  • Mathematics modelling in mechanics
  • Momentum and impulse
  • Work, energy and power
  • Elastic strings and springs
  • Collision
  • Decision graph theory
  • Algorithms
  • Linear programming
  • Critical path analysis
Destinations of some of our A Level Further Maths students:
An A Level in Maths opens up many doorways as it is seen as a high value subject with skills that are transferable to many different careers and degree courses. Students have gone on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, Economics at the University of Cambridge, Maths at the University of Manchester, Computing at the University of Birmingham and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Others have then gone on to careers in actuarial consultancy, aeronautical, mechanical, electronic, electrical and marine engineering, stock broking, medicine, teaching, statistics, banking, geology, volcanology, law and piloting (commercial jet and helicopter).
Extra support:
The mathematics department have their own office where support outside of class can be accessed. Students can additionally use the room for working on mathematical problems and can use the Library to access alternative textbooks to further extend or support understanding.
Enrichment opportunities:
In previous years students have travelled to Cambridge to take part in the annual Norfolk Michaelmas Mathematics Symposium, a problem solving conference. We are looking to extend this and incorporate STEM trips for those interested in this area. We are always open to suggestions from students and would look to seek our further opportunities to enrich the mathematics happening in the classroom.

Assessment
You will sit four 1 hour 30 minute exams, all taken at the end of the second year:
Paper 1: Core Pure Mathematics
Paper 2: Core Pure Mathematics
Paper 3: One option chosen from Further Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Mathematics
Paper 4: One option chosen from Further Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Mechanics and Decision Mathematics

Entry Requirements
Minimum 76555 including minimum Level 7 in Mathematics GCSE.

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