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Mathematics and Further Mathematics AS and A Level *Fees Payable* at Benenden School *Fees Payable*

Course description

Why study Mathematics?

  • to develop understanding of mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence, fosters enjoyment and provides a strong foundation for progress to further study
  • to apply mathematics in other fields of study and be aware of the relevance of mathematics to the world of work and to situations in society in general
  • to use their mathematical knowledge to make logical and reasoned decisions in solving problems both within pure mathematics and in a variety of contexts, and communicate the mathematical rationale for these decisions clearly
  • to extend the range of mathematical skills and techniques and use them in more difficult, unstructured problems
  • to read and comprehend mathematical arguments and articles concerning applications of mathematics
  • to acquire the skills needed to use technology such as calculators and computers effectively, to recognise when such use may be inappropriate and to be aware of limitations
  • to take responsibility for their own learning and the evaluation of their own mathematical development

Course content

Pure Mathematics

Topics such as algebra and functions, coordinate geometry, calculus and trigonometry studied at GCSE are developed further in Pure Mathematics at AS and A Level. Although the ideas met in Pure Mathematics are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of mathematics, especially Mechanics and Statistics. 


The study of Mechanics focuses on 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. Students will study kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws and moments, topics which are also encountered in Physics. 


Statistics involves data presentation and interpretation, statistical sampling and hypothesis testing. The range of probability problems started at GCSE will also be extended.  

Decision Mathematics

Decision Mathematics, now only in Further Mathematics, enables problem solving involving networks using a range of techniques. Many of these problems and their algorithms are of recent origin. Ideas on this course have many important applications to such different problems as the design of circuits on microchips to the scheduling of tasks required to build a new supermarket.

Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics will be examined by 4 equally weighted papers, each of 1hr 30mins duration. There are 2 compulsory Pure Mathematics papers, covering Complex numbers, Matrices, Further algebra and functions, Further calculus, Further vectors, Polar coordinates and Hyperbolic functions. There are then 2 papers with various options. There is flexibility to study predominantly Pure Mathematics, Statistics or Mechanics, and Decision Mathematics can also be studied. 


Currently exam boards have published draft specifications, none have yet been accredited by Ofqual.

From September 2017 Mathematics will become a linear course, with the first AS examinations in June 2018 and first A Level examinations in June 2019.

Students wishing to study Mathematics to AS level can be taught with the first year A Level students, as the content is common to both courses. The AS examination will no longer count towards the full A Level.

Assessment of A Level Mathematics consists of 3 papers taken at the end of two years. These are Pure Mathematics 1, a 2-hour written paper worth 1/3 of the qualification; Pure Mathematics 2, again 2 hours, worth 1/3 and Paper 3 is Statistics and Mechanics. This is also a 2-hour written paper in which students must answer all questions.

Calculators are permitted in all examinations.

Future opportunities

Related careers:

Useful in virtually every career, here are a few in which a high level of mathematical ability is essential: economist, animator, special effects director, computer scientist, computer games designer, engineer, forensic scientist, astronaut, doctor, architect, accountant, high finance, wealth management, cryptanalyst, statistician. 

Further information

Enrichment opportunities:

Team and individual Maths Challenges, lectures, problem–solving days and clubs, STEP papers, Advanced Extension Award. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Benenden School *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 05 December 2016
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