Mathematics is a powerful medium for communicating knowledge, its universal truths expressed concisely and unambiguously in symbolic notation.
As well as representing information helpfully in a variety of ways, the real power of mathematics is its ability to explain and predict. These strengths are needed in many disciplines, so Maths A Level combines effectively with Economics, Geography or Biology; financial, business or management also draw on its skills and insights; while in the traditional Scientific, Engineering and Technological fields it is essential.
People’s motivation for studying Mathematics is varied. Some find interest aroused after learning of the lives of mathematicians on whose work newer developments are based; others find that their understanding of the natural world is enriched by appreciating the mathematical truths that it reflects and embodies.
All A Level Mathematics courses need a strong basis of algebra. You need to have a very good GCSE grade to feel comfortable at A Level but, even with lots of question practice, this will not in itself guarantee further success. Best results are likely from those who enjoy seeking patterns and find satisfaction in solving problems correctly.
We offer three Edexcel A Level courses (each consisting of six modules):
- Maths with Statistics
- Maths with Mechanics
- Further Mathematics
The first two courses are single A Level subjects. They cannot be taken together because they have an identical core syllabus of four pure modules.
- Two of these Pure modules are studied in the Lower Sixth, together with one application module (either Statistics or Mechanics). These three modules together constitute an AS in Maths.
The Statistics option is usually best for girls aiming at university courses in Medicine, Geography, Economics, PPE or Business
The Mechanics option is best for Natural Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Design Technology and Physics
- The other two Pure modules are studied in the Upper Sixth, together with another application module (again, either Statistics or Mechanics). These six modules together constitute an A2 in Maths.
Alongside the single Mathematics A Level, you may also study Further Mathematics to either AS or A2 Level. The course contains Pure, Mechanics and Statistics modules. Girls studying Further Mathematics to A2 will receive 12 lessons per week and complete the whole of the ‘single Mathematics’ course in the Lower Sixth, and the Further Mathematics modules in the Upper Sixth.
Girls studying Further Mathematics to AS take advantage of a provision unique to this subject in that it counts as a single option choice. One Mathematics set will be taught for eight rather than the usual six periods throughout both the Lower and Upper Sixth. Girls in this set would be required to work at a demanding pace and are likely to be among our most able mathematicians. At the end of the Upper Sixth, they will qualify for both Mathematics A Level and Further Mathematics AS Level. Depending on their other decisions about A2 subjects, girls choosing this option would leave school with either four A Levels plus Further Maths AS, or three A Levels and one or two AS Levels one of which would be Further Maths.
Girls who fall into this category need to think very carefully from the start about the decision: it will not be possible to transfer into the accelerated group after starting the course. You need a real love of Mathematics and be happy to commit yourself to two years of intense study of the subject.
- Further Maths is really a must if you wish to study Mathematics at either Cambridge or Oxford and even some of the London colleges such as Imperial. For Cambridge, the full A Level Further Maths is required.
- It may also be an attractive course for girls who want more stretching in Maths in preparation for their courses at university (specifically Maths, Engineering, Physics, Design Technology, Natural Sciences, and even PPE at Oxford and Economics at Cambridge).
For all Mathematics courses you will need to acquire a body of structured knowledge and may make some individual investigations. However, no formal coursework is required for any modules. Certainly you will develop problem-solving techniques and establish study skills for adult learning styles. We hope you will experience wonder in Mathematics for its relevance, power and elegance.