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Mathematics A level at Waddesdon CofE School

Course description

Mathematics at AS and A-Level is a course worth studying in its own right. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work students will have met at GCSE, but also involves new ideas that some of the greatest minds of the millennium have produced.
Whilst studying Mathematics students are expected to:
- use mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems
- solve quite complicated problems by using mathematical arguments and logic.
Students are required to:
- understand and demonstrate what is meant by proof in mathematics, simplify real-life situations and use mathematics to show what is happening and what might happen in different circumstances
- use the mathematics learned to solve problems that occur in a real-life context
- use calculator technology and other resources (such as formulae booklets or statistical tables) effectively and appropriately; understand its limitations and when it is appropriate to use such technology.

Course content

Pure Mathematics
When studying Pure Mathematics at AS and A-Level, students extend their knowledge of Algebra and Trigonometry as well as learning brand new ideas such as Calculus. The challenge of problem solving and using different mathematical techniques this course is very appealing to many students.
Although many of the ideas presented 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.
In Mechanics students 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. Students learn the technique of mathematical modeling; 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 studied in the course form an essential introduction to important modern fields of study such as Cybernetics, Robotics, Biomechanics and Sports Science, as well as the more traditional areas of Engineering and Physics.
In Statistics students learn how to analyse and summarise numerical data in order to arrive at conclusions about it. The range of probability problems is extended by using the new mathematical techniques studied on the pure mathematics course.


Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have taken the Higher Tier examination at GCSE and achieved a B grade or better in both Maths GCSEs they sat. In addition students will be expected to pass an algebra test based on GCSE work in order to proceed with the course as this provides students with the foundations to succeed with this course. For the first two weeks of the AS Mathematics course, these basic algebra skills will be revised during lessons. Students will sit the test the week beginning the 14th September 2015.


AS Level: Three units: Core 1 & 2 (Pure Maths), S1 (Statistics).
A-Level: Three units: Core 3 and 4 (Pure Maths) and M1 (Mechanics) or S2 (Statistics)
A graphic calculator can be used for C2, 3 and 4 and may be used for S1, S2 and M1.

Future opportunities

An AS in Mathematics is very valuable as a supporting subject to many courses at A-Level and degree level, especially in the Sciences, Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Medical courses.

An 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.

Students can follow a course in Mathematics at degree level or even continue further as a postgraduate involved in mathematical research after studying AS and A-Level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Waddesdon CofE School directly.

Last updated date: 09 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years