A Level – Mathematics

This course is for you if you achieved well at GCSE maths, particularly enjoying the algebra work.

  • Who Is This Course For?

    This course is for you if you achieved well at GCSE maths, particularly enjoying the algebra work.

    An essential part of maths is the challenge of analysing and solving a problem and the satisfaction and confidence gained from achieving a ‘correct’ answer. However, a big difference between GCSE and A Level is the depth of knowledge and understanding needed.  If you like understanding why, rather than just being able to “do” maths then A Level is for you; there are a much smaller number of topics than at GCSE so your depth of knowledge and understanding is tested.

    The exams are also marked differently at A Level; if you just put down the correct answer you often only get one of the marks for the question.  There are many marks for showing how you got the answer; if you choose maths you will not have to write essays, but you will need to be able to communicate well in written work to explain your solutions.


  • Course Details:

    Course Details

    The A level course lasts for 2 years with all exams taken at the end of the second year. Students receive 4 lessons each week and additional work is done out of lesson, some of this using “MyMaths”, some producing worked solutions to exam-type questions.

    The course develops understanding of:

    • The fundamental theories and concepts of Mathematics
    • The practical applications of Mathematics to other areas
    • Logical problem solving

    The new A Level Mathematics syllabus is completely prescribed and the content is the same for each examination board. All external examinations are taken at the end of the 2 year course.

    The course is made up of a combination of pure and applied Mathematics.

    The pure Maths content build on the algebra, graphs and trigonometry from GCSE, and introduce new topics such as calculus and exponentials. While many of the ideas you will meet in pure maths are interesting in their own right, they also serve as an important foundation for other branches of maths, especially mechanics and statistics.

    The applied content covers;

    • Mechanics including work on forces and Newton’s laws of motion and applies Mathematical modelling to simple problems.
    • Statistics builds on work on averages and probabilities from GCSE and introduces topics such as probability distributions and correlation.

    How the course is delivered

    You will have one teacher for the course each year.  Lessons include a variety of group, paired and individual work, resources you will draw on include text books, exam questions and jigsaw/domino/card matching activities as well as web-sites.

    Support outside lessons is available, both informally and formally.  Regular “maths clinic” sessions are run during the college week and all of the department are available for support at lunchtime and at the end of the day.

    Departmental Enrichment

    The Maths Department offers a number of enrichment activities:

    The Individual Senior Maths Challenge takes place in the autumn term.

    The Team Challenge involves our students competing against other maths students both at a regional and national level.

    The Advanced Extension Award is designed to challenge the top 10% of students and is offered to all students excelling in their A level Maths course.

    We also run an engineering enrichment aimed at students who want to go on to careers using maths and physics, but are not certain what choice to make.  It is a series of external speakers talking about a variety of careers.  This includes a wide variety of talks, examples include; civil engineering; financial mathematical modelling; operating a production plant; designing and testing artificial body tissues.

    We also take a group of students to the Maths Enrichment talks in Leeds each year. These are always very popular and include topics such as “the maths of juggling”, “musical maths”, and “the maths behind the dam busters”.

    New for 2016 was the international residential visit to Florence. Highlights will include The Garden of Archimedes, The Galileo Museum and the Tower of Pisa.

    Our Department

    We’re based in five dedicated rooms in the Wilson building.  Between us we have over 75 years of teaching experience.  We have degrees from Imperial College, York, East Anglia, Sheffield and Durham.

    The Department comprises:-

    Peter Edge – Head of A Level Mathematics

    Sally White – Head of GCSE Mathematics

    James Belham

    Gareth Eldon

    Pete Farmer

    Emily Rae

    Andrea Turner

    Our other Courses

    Our other Maths courses are;

    Further Maths A Level – In combination with A-Level Maths and gives you a broader and deeper understanding of advanced mathematics.

    Core Maths level 3 (Mathematical Studies) – Equivalent to half an A level and looks at the applications of mathematics.

    Foundation GCSE – For those who need to retake GCSE.

    Numeracy level 1 – For those building up to GCSE level.

    What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

    Students who have taken GCSE Maths early may find they need to review what they have learnt at GCSE through the summer, maths skills need to be kept in use.  Many Maths students enjoy extending their knowledge of maths and there are many ways of doing this including;

    Use of websites such as  www.nrich.co.uk           www.furthermaths.org.uk

    Reading books such as

    “Alex’s Adventures in Numberland” by Alex Bellos

    “The music of primes” by Marcus Du Sautoy

    “Fermat’s Last Theorem” by Simon Singh

    “A Mathematician’s Apology” by GH Hardy

    “Littlewood’s Miscellany” edited by Bells Bollobas

    “The Man Who Loved Only Numbers” by Paul Hoffman

    What our students have said….

    “Maths is always challenging but with the fantastic teachers and support available, every aspect is easier” Brandon Bone

    “Intriguing challenging, fun” Natalie Wilson

    “Its great how everything you learn fits together” Andrew Houghton

    “One does not walk out of maths unhappy” James Carr

    “Further maths expands your mathematical knowledge and introduces you to a different way of thinking” Elliot Tennison

    “I’ve enjoyed the course immensely, Further Maths is the most interesting course I have done and the teachers are amazing” Hash Rehman

    “It’s challenging but very satisfying” Rebecca Brown

  • Progression:
    Success 2016

    Over 60% of our students achieved high grades with a 100% pass rate.
    With 18 students achieving A* and 42 grade A.


    What does this course lead to?

    Students have gone on to a wide variety of careers from their Mathematics A Level. These include;

    • Mathematics at York
    • Natural Sciences at Cambridge
    • Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University
    • Biochemistry at Queen Mary University London
    • Maths and Music at Birmingham University
    • Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University
  • Course Showcase:

    In 2016 the Maths Department visited Tuscany, Italy to explore the work of renowned Mathematicians.

    Staff and students from the Wyke Maths Department review the Maths Inspiration event held at the Leeds Playhouse.