Mathematics - Edexcel A Level at Bishopshalt School
Mathematics is taking an increasingly important role in our highly technological world. Besides the obvious relevance to industry, commerce and science, there is a growing use of statistical techniques in social sciences and humanities.
You will find Mathematics at A level challenging but interesting. It builds on the work you are presently covering at GCSE, but also involves new ideas that some of the greatest minds of the last millennium have discovered. It serves as a very useful support for many other qualifications as well as being a sought-after qualification for the workplace and courses in Higher Education. Mathematics is divided into Core Mathematics and optional applications.
When studying Core 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. If you enjoyed the challenge of problem solving 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 Core Mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially Mechanics and Statistics.
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 satellites revolving around a planet. 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 the course 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 in order to arrive at conclusions about it. You will extend the range of probability problems that you started for GCSE by using the new mathematical techniques studied on the Core Mathematics course. Many of the ideas you will meet in this course 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.
You will be expected to achieve a very good pass (Grade 7 or above) in the Mathematics GCSE Higher level examination. All students will sit an entry test upon arrival in the Sixth Form to confirm their suitability for the A level. This will take place in the second week in September and the pass mark is 70%. An induction Mathematics Day will be held in June for all prospective A level mathematicians, where details of the test will be set out and any questions answered. A revision booklet will be found on the school website for practising GCSE Higher questions over summer. Passing the test is an important step in establishing your mathematical credentials.
Further Mathematics A level
If students wish to obtain the additional Further Mathematics A level, then a GCSE Grade 8 or above in Mathematics is required.
• All assessments will be linear, with 100% examination at the end of Year 13.
• A level Mathematics will have 100% prescribed content, containing both pure and applied (no optional content).
Mechanics and Statistics will be part of the compulsory content for A level Mathematics students.
A level Mathematics is a much sought after qualification for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in Higher Education. There are also many areas of employment that see a Mathematics A level as an important qualification and it is often a requirement for the vocational qualifications related to these areas.
Higher Education courses or careers that either require A level Mathematics or are strongly related include: Economics, Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, Accountancy, Teaching, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Computing, Information Technology.
If you wanted to continue your study of Mathematics after A levels you could follow a course in Mathematics at degree level, or even continue further as a postgraduate and get involved in mathematical research.
For further information please see Mr Austin - Acting Head of Mathematics, Mrs Dutta - Key Stage 5 Mathematics Co-ordinator.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishopshalt School directly.