Two-thirds of the content of the mathematics A level is pure mathematics. Pupils extend and develop techniques in algebra and coordinate geometry, before learning new concepts relating to functions, calculus and numerical methods. One sixth of the course is statistics, in which pupils study probability, statistical diagrams and hypothesis testing. The remaining sixth of the course is mechanics, in which students study how to use Newton’s Laws, moments, constant acceleration equations and calculus to model motion and forces in static systems.
Students have two teachers in year 12, one of whom teaches a mixture of pure maths and statistics, and one of whom teaches a mixture of pure maths and mechanics. The course is designed in such a way as to bring out the connections between different areas of mathematics and to enable pupils to experience some of the ways it can be applied in the real world. The course is assessed through three examinations in the summer term of year 13.
The further mathematics course covers the same areas of mathematics as the year 12 course in the same proportions, but at a higher level. Students learn to use matrices and complex numbers in pure mathematics and learn the skills to attack more complicated problems in statistics and mechanics.