Maths is for everyone. It is essential that students are equipped with the right skills to reach their future destination, whatever that may be. This course is for you if you want to continue your maths beyond GCSE level, and are keen to develop your skills in context, not wanting to take a course which requires the deep understanding of algebra required for A Level Maths.
This course is designed for students who enjoy applying Mathematics and are comfortable with number work and basic algebra. It is designed to broaden your Mathematical knowledge, developing skills which support across a range of other courses and devising strategies to solve problems where the method is not obvious. Communication skills are important to evaluate the reasonableness of solutions, identifying assumptions and explaining results. In particular, the course is highly suitable for students who are taking A Levels which rely on an understanding of mathematical techniques (geography, sciences, economics, accounting), and who wish to go on to study courses at university which require a level of maths beyond GCSE grade 5 (Economics, Psychology, etc.).
THE MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
We have over seven fully dedicated Maths classrooms and we are all highly experienced teachers of Mathematics. All the teachers in the department are experts at teaching A Level Mathematics and are highly motivated to help you to reach your potential. The Mathematics department always runs support sessions outside of the normal lessons to aid you with your homework and exam preparation.
This Level 3 course is equivalent to 1/2 an A Level and lasts for 1 year. You will receive between 2 and 3 hours of tuition each week and will be required to complete additional work out of lessons. There are two 1½ hour written examinations at the end of the year, both equally weighted.
The course will develop your understanding of:
• The Mathematics covered at GCSE Higher Level.
• The practical applications of Mathematics to other areas.
• Logical problem solving.
THE COURSE COVERS THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
MATHS FOR PERSONAL FINANCE
In this unit, you will be expected to develop and demonstrate confidence and competence in the understanding and application of calculations in the solution of problems relating to personal finance.
ANALYSIS OF DATA
In this unit, you will be expected to develop and demonstrate confidence and competence in the understanding and application of statistical techniques, interpreting data and drawing conclusions in the solution of problems.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF GIVEN DATA AND MODELS
In this unit, you will be expected to use the data and models you are given and be mathematically critical of these.
MODELLING AND ESTIMATION
In this unit, you should become familiar with and gain confidence in ideas concerning the formulation of mathematical models, such as the Fermi estimation model which allows questions like “how many shoes are there in the world?” to be answered.
HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED
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 and websites, using examples of data and scenarios from other level 3 subjects. 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.
The Mathematics 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.
• STEP is designed to challenge the top students and is offered to all students aiming for a place at the more prestigious universities.
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”.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME FOR THE COURSE?
Students who have taken GCSE Mathematics early may find they need to review what they have learnt at GCSE through the summer; Mathematics skills need to be kept in use.
USEFUL BOOKS AND WEBSITES
Many Mathematics students enjoy extending their knowledge of Mathematics including;
• Use of websites such as www.nrich.co.uk and www.furthermaths.org.uk
Books students may find helpful include:
• 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
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