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Core Mathematics at St Peter's Catholic School and Specialist Science College

Course description

Core mathematics is for students who achieve a B or C in their GCSE and want to carry on mathematics in the sixth form. It will be extremely useful for pupils who study Science, Geography, Psychology.

Course content

1. Applications of statistics • Statistics is the study of the collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data and plays a vital role in modern society. • Being able to use and analyse real data is particularly important in actuarial science, biology, business studies, economics, computing, psychology and geography. • You will learn about sample distributions and their limitations, time series analysis, discrete and continuous data, graphical representation, linear regression and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient 2. Probability • Probability theory has made significant contribution to almost all branches of science and engineering over the last century. It is used to determine a numerical value as the the chance or risk of events occurring. • Probability is vital in areas such as finance, science, business studies, economics, computing, artificial intelligence and philosophy. • You will learn how unbiased samples tend towards theoretical distributions as the sample size increases. You will use tree diagrams, Venn diagrams and the laws of probability and be able to understand and interpret risk in real-life problems. 3. Linear programming • Linear programing can be applied to many contexts within industry. It is the problem-solving approach to achieve the best outcome (either maximum profit or minimum cost). It is used most extensively in business and economics, and can also be applied to engineering. • You will learn to translate simple situations and procedures into algebraic expressions or formulae. These will lead to equations and inequalities that can be displayed graphically. You will be able to use the ruler or vertex method to find the optimal point on a graph to maximise profit or minimise loss and consider problems that must have integer solutions. 4. Sequences and growth • A mathematical understanding of sequences, growth and decay can be applied to a variety of real-life contexts and problem-solving tasks including financial mathematics, population growth, epidemics, earthquakes and radioactive decay. • You will learn how to set up, solve and interpret growth and decay problems and represent them graphically. This will include polynomial and exponential functions. You will be able to find the nth term of a quadratic sequence and use the nth term for other mathematical sequences (eg Fibonacci and golden ratio). You will learn about arithmetic and geometric series and be able to work with common formulae.

Entry requirements

Grade C in GCSE Mathematics is required


Core Maths will be assessed by two external exam papers both assessed in the summer. The qualification is grades as follows: distinction*, distinction, merit and pass. Both assessments must be done in the same examination period. All four strands of content will be assessed in each paper. Paper 1: Duration: 1 hr 20 mins Marks: 60 Weighting: 40% of qualification This paper consists of 2 sections (A and B) and a source booklet. The source booklet will contain two real-life contexts which students will be required to comprehend, interpret and analyse. One context will be assessed in section A and the other in section B. Paper 2: Duration: 1 hr 40 mins Marks: 80 Weighting: 60% of qualification This paper consists of 2 sections (A and B) and a source booklet. One context from the source booklet will be assessed in section A. Section B will contain three tasks each of which has a separate theme. Pupils will need to apply their problem-solving skills to answer questions.

Further information

Core mathematics is useful for students studying A Levels that have a high mathematical content. This includes: physics, chemistry, biology,psychology, business studies and geography.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Peter's Catholic School and Specialist Science College directly.

Last updated date: 09 January 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Course code: Core Mathematics

Contact details