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Mathematics A Level at Plymouth High School for Girls

Course description

In all cultures and throughout time, mathematics has been a core subject in schools and universities. It has an inner beauty and majesty capable of stimulating the imagination. It is the universal language used to describe and understand the world we live in. It possesses a rich core of puzzles and problems that continue to entertain and bemuse.

The main reason for studying Mathematics to an advanced level is that it is interesting and enjoyable. People like its challenge, its clarity, and the fact that you know when you are right. The solution of a problem has an excitement and a satisfaction. You will Únd all these aspects in the course.

You will also become more aware of the wider importance of Mathematics, and the way in which it is advancing at a spectacular rate. Mathematics is about pattern and structure; it is about logical analysis, deduction, calculation within these patterns and structures. When patterns are found, often in widely diÙerent areas of science and technology, the mathematics of these patterns can be used to explain and control natural happenings and situations. Mathematics has a pervasive inÛuence on our everyday lives, and contributes to the wealth of the country

Course content

The aims and objectives of this qualiÚcation are to enable students to:

- extend their range of mathematical skills and techniques

- understand coherence and progression in mathematics and how diÙerent areas of mathematics are connected

- apply mathematics in other Úelds of study and be aware of the relevance of mathematics to the world of work and to situations in society in general

- 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

- generalise mathematically and construct mathematical proofs

- use their mathematical skills and techniques to solve challenging problems which require them to decide on the solution strategy

- recognise when mathematics can be used to analyse and solve a problem in context

- represent situations mathematically and understand the relationship between problems in context and mathematical models that may be applied to solve them

- interpret solutions and communicate their interpretation eÙectively in the context of the problem

- read and comprehend mathematical arguments, including justiÚcations of methods and formulae, and communicate their understanding

- read and comprehend articles concerning applications of mathematics and communicate their understanding

- use technology such as calculators and computers eÙectively and recognise when such use may be inappropriate

Entry requirements

Our expectations are that students applying to study this level 3 course for 2 years will have achieved a good GCSE grade. A grade 7 or above in this subject is required. Students who have gained a grade 6 will be considered on individual merit. In some cases entry onto the course may be on a trial basis. We welcome applications from enthusiastic students with a commitment to study.


Mathematics will be assessed through external examinations taken at the end of Year 13. If we are to remain with our current exam board OCR MEI then the assessment is in the form of 3 external examinations, each exam is 2 hours long and worth 33.33% of the qualiÚcation.

- 1 exam will assess Pure and Mechanics knowledge
- 1 exam will assess Pure and Statistics knowledge
- 1 exam will access Pure knowledge and also include a comprehension

Future opportunities

Advanced GCE Mathematics is a much sought after qualiÚcation for entry to a wide variety of full-time courses in higher education. There are also many areas of employment that see Mathematics A Level as an important qualiÚcation. Higher Education courses or careers that either require A Level Mathematics or are strongly related include economics, medicine, architecture, engineering, accountancy, teaching, psychology, physics, computing and information and communication technology. For those unsure where their future choices lie, Mathematics is an excellent way in which to keep one’s options open.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Plymouth High School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 03 March 2017

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