# 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.

### Entry Criteria

The College entry criteria for all level three courses can be found on our ”Entry Criteria Guidance” pdf document.

- 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.

We all enjoy teaching maths, some have always been teachers, and others have taken a less direct route. One of us used to be a Chartered Civil Engineer; one of us used to run a pub!

We’re not just mathematicians though: Between us we enjoy climbing trees, rambling, photography, baking, travelling. See if you can find out which of us;

- Plays the piano.
- Had their photo in the New Zealand Fishing News.
- Had an audition to be a presenter on “That’s Life”.
- Has a wardrobe full of Panini Football Stickers.
- Only read Harry Potter to spoil it for other people.
- Has been on a stunt driving course.
- Has spent time wading in sewers.

### 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:
This course is vital if you are considering a degree or career in engineering, any of the sciences or maths. Higher Education courses or careers that either require Advanced GCE Mathematics or are strongly related include:

- Economics
- Medicine
- Architecture
- Engineering
- Accountancy
- Teaching
- Psychology
- Physics
- Computing
- Information and communication technology

A Level Maths is highly regarded by employers and universities and is therefore a very sought after qualification. Having this qualification identifies you as someone with developed mathematical skills such as logical thinking, problem solving and statistical analysis, all of which are wanted by many employers and Universities.

**What does this course lead to?**In recent years students have gone on to a wide variety of careers from their maths A-Level. These include;

- Students have gone on to a wide variety of careers from their maths A-Level. These include;
Aerospace Materials at Sheffield University.

- Maths and Music at Birmingham University.
- Civil and Structural Engineering at Leeds. Geology at Leicester.
- Computer Science at University College London. Mathematics at Bath University.
- Natural Sciences at Cambridge.

- 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.