Mathematics

Curriculum Intent

Mathematics is a powerful subject that is known worldwide and its universal language provides the intellectual toolkit to solve today’s modern society problems. This abstract subject is used to engineer and create innovative ideas to develop the world of Science and Engineering. It is also the subject used to model how this economy should run and used widely in the world of finance.

Mathematics develops the cognitive skills in discipline, logical, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving to the highest degree. These skills are highly valued to any employer and is statistically proven that graduates in mathematical subjects are in high demand.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

At Blenheim, both A level Maths and Further Mathematics are offered at Key Stage 5 following the Edexcel course. In A-Level Maths, pupils will study Pure Mathematics, Mechanics and Statistics. In Further Mathematics, pupils study Core Pure, Further Pure and Further Mechanics to a greater depth. All students will have 10 lessons over two weeks, where they will be assessed on each topic weekly and have key assessments every half term. Students have homework set every lesson from the online Pearson Edexcel textbook which all students will have free access to. Students will also have access to all past papers and mark schemes. Each student is expected to spend a minimum of one hour on home learning after each lesson.

The course suits students who enjoy mathematics and who gain a sense of achievement from solving complex problems. These problems often combine knowledge and skills from several areas of the subject, requiring the students to demonstrate strong linking skills. 

Maths is essential for students who are interested in any science based course at university, especially engineering; many universities will make an A level in Maths or Further Maths a condition of entry. The knowledge and skills learnt from the course are vital assets for many careers, from finance and business to research and engineering. 

Students must achieve at least a grade 7 in their GCSE examinations to study mathematics and an 8  if they wish to study Further Maths at A-Level.

Aims of the Department

  • To provide students with access to a subject, which gives a means of communication that is powerful, concise and unambiguous.
  • To encourage systematic thought and logical patterns of work.
  • To provide a mathematical environment in which a student may reach his or her maximum levels of  achievement and understanding.
  • To help each student develop to his or her optimum, an appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics as a subject in its own right, so enabling future progression in the subject.
  • To develop independent thinking, pride in own work and co-operation between students.

A level Mathematics

 

Course details

A level Maths is taught using the Edexcel specification which aims to enable students to understand mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence, fosters enjoyment and provides a strong foundation for progress to further study. The course is made up of three components:

The Pure Mathematics component of the course covers proof, algebra and functions, coordinate geometry, sequences and series, trigonometry, exponentials and logarithms, differentiation, integration, vectors and numerical methods.

The Statistics component covers statistical sampling, data presentation and interpretation, probability, statistical distributions and hypothesis testing.

The Mechanics component comprises: Quantities and units in mechanics, kinematics, forces and Newton’s laws and moments. 

Link to course specification

Assessment

Three 2 hour exams at the end of the linear 2-year course:

Paper 1: Pure Mathematics 1

Paper 2: Pure Mathematics 2

Paper 3: Statistics and Mechanics

Enrichment opportunities

The UKMT senior maths challenge is held in school each year and there is also the opportunity to represent the school in the senior maths team challenge.

A level students are also asked to assist in GCSE Maths classes which provides excellent experience of explaining mathematical concepts to KS4 students and can also help consolidate knowledge and understanding. Opportunities to take on additional maths mentoring of small groups is also available.

Student quotes

“Maths at A-Level is a lot more in-depth and exciting compared to at GCSE”

“Maths is a highly valued A level to put on your UCAS application, it helps with all other subjects.”

Progression

Studying Mathematics is a step towards many careers, not only in areas such as insurance, finance, computing, engineering, medicine and management but also in architecture, CAD design, food technology, meteorology and the Armed Forces.  Degrees in subjects such as Engineering and the Sciences require Mathematics while in many other subjects mathematics is useful.

 

A level Further Mathematics

Course details

Students taking Further Mathematics overwhelmingly find it to be an enjoyable, rewarding, stimulating and empowering experience.  For someone who enjoys mathematics it provides a challenge and a chance to explore new and/or more sophisticated mathematical concepts.

Blenheim teaches the Edexcel specification which is made up of four components:

The Further Pure mathematics components cover proof, complex numbers, matrices, further algebra and functions, further calculus, further vectors, polar coordinates, hyperbolic functions, and differential equations.

Students will also study Further Mechanics.

Link to course specification

Assessment

Four 1 ½ hour exams at the end of the 2-year course:

Paper 1: Further Pure Mathematics 1

Paper 2: Further Pure Mathematics 2

Paper 3: Further Pure Mathematics 3

Paper 4: Further Statistics

Enrichment opportunities

The UKMT senior maths challenge is held in school each year and there is also the opportunity to represent the school in the senior maths team challenge.

A level students are also asked to assist in GCSE Maths classes which provides excellent experience of explaining mathematical concepts to KS4 students and can also help consolidate knowledge and understanding. Opportunities to take on additional maths mentoring of small groups is also available.

Student quotes

“Further Maths has really helped me with both my Maths and Physics A levels”

“Maths builds on your GCSE knowledge but Further Maths is new, interesting and fun!”

Progression

Further Mathematics qualifications are prestigious and are strongly welcomed by universities.  Students that study Further Mathematics are really demonstrating a strong commitment to their studies, as well as learning mathematics that is very useful for any maths-related degree (this covers a very wide range of academic areas – engineering, sciences, computing, finance/economics, etc. as well as mathematics itself).

 

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