A Level

This course is for you if you enjoy Mathematics and also achieved well at GCSE Mathematics. An essential part of Mathematics 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 want to understand why, rather than just being able to “do” Mathematics, then through A Level Maths your depth of knowledge and understanding will grow.  The exams for A Level Maths are taken after your 2 years of the course and they will be different to what you faced in GCSE as they will test a lot more of your understanding. 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.

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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 is a two year course, with all exams taken at the end of the second year. The course will develop your understanding of:

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

The A Level Mathematics 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.

Pure Mathematics
The pure Mathematics content builds on the following skills you will have gained from your Maths GCSE such as algebra, graphs and trigonometry. This content will also teach about new topics such as:

  • Calculus and Exponentials.
  • 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.

While many of the ideas you will meet 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.

Applied Mathematics
The applied content of the course 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.


You will have one teacher for the course each year. You will receive 4 lessons each week and you be required to complete additional work out of lessons, some of which requires you producing worked solutions to exam-type questions. 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 “mathematics 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”.


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

  • Mathematics at York
  • Biochemistry at Queen Mary University London
  • Natural Sciences at Cambridge
  • Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University
  • Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University.


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.


Many Mathematics students enjoy extending their knowledge of Mathematics including;

Use of websites such as and

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

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