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A Level Mathematics at The Bishop of Winchester Academy

Course description

Mathematics enables people all around the world to communicate and exchange knowledge.  The logic and reasoning skills developed make sure the qualification is widely respected even in non-mathematical arenas. Any student who studies A Level Mathematics demonstrates to a potential employer that they are not afraid of challenge! What is the best speed and angle to throw a basketball into the basket? Is the UK crime rate related to economic conditions?  How can maths help endangered species? You can learn to solve problems such as these through studying this qualification.

Course content

This course builds on the knowledge and skills that you acquired during your GCSE. It will increase your understanding of familiar ideas and introduce you to new concepts and techniques. You will study a combination of Pure and Applied Mathematics – six units in total.

The AS units are:
Core 1 and Core 2, plus Mechanics 1.

  • You build on the knowledge of algebra and graphs that you studied at GCSE. You solve quadratic and cubic equations and sketch their graphs. You find the equation of a circle and use its geometric properties to find tangents. Calculus is introduced and you learn to find gradients and areas using differentiation and integration.
  • You build on the work to extend your knowledge of algebra, calculus and trigonometry. Topics include series, indices and logarithms, sine rule and cosine rule, and solving trigonometric equations.
  • The motion of objects is studied using simple experiments. Theoretical methods are developed to model the movement of an object. What is the best speed and angle to throw a basketball into the basket? What are the safe dimensions for a child’s slide? What happens when pool balls collide?

Core 3 and Core 4, plus Statistics 1.

  • Pure Core 3 and 4 – you extend the ideas of algebra, trigonometry and calculus developed in Pure Core 1 and 2.
  • Statistics 1 – probability theory is used to model data and to enable you to interpret what is really happening and to predict unknown quantities: for example how many people in a large group will be over 180 cm tall? How many people should be surveyed in opinion polls and what is the expected error in the results? Is the UK crime rate related to economic conditions?

Entry requirements

Students must meet the standard 6th Form entry requirements.  Students should preferably have an A grade (or above) in GCSE Mathematics, although those with a high B grade will be considered.


You will be assessed through unit examinations.

Future opportunities

Mathematics is highly regarded and provides strong support to any application for employment or further study. The applied units in Mechanics and Statistics are necessary for many courses in science, social sciences and engineering. The study of Pure Mathematics develops logical thinking and a systematic approach to problem solving – attributes which are highly valued in the workplace.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Bishop of Winchester Academy directly.

Last updated date: 04 June 2015

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