Students begin A Level Maths by studying AS Level Maths, this is the first year of an A Level but can also stand as a qualification in its own right if the student decides not to continue with it at A2.
AS-Level Mathematics consists of 3 sections: Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics. At the end of your first year you will sit two exams. Exam 1 is out of 100 marks and lasts for 2 hours, its focus is Pure Mathematics. Exam 2 is out of 60 marks and lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 30 marks are devoted to testing your Statistics knowledge, and the other 30 marks to Mechanics. The AS stands as a qualification in its own right, and is worth 40% of the UCAS points that the A-Level is worth.
Similarly, A-Level Mathematics consists of Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics. At the end of your second year you will sit 3 exams. Each of these exams are worth 100 marks and each of these exams are 2 hours long. Exams 1 and 2 test your Pure Mathematics knowledge, with Exam 3 testing your Statistics and Mechanics knowledge. In Exam 3, 50 of the marks are devoted to Statistics and the other 50 marks to Mechanics. All three exams may test any content from the two years of your course.
We follow the Edexcel Specification, and all students are provided with physical and e-versions of all necessary textbooks.
The calculator you must have is the Casio fx991EX Classwiz Scientific Calculator. You may also wish to purchase a Graphical Calculator. We would recommend the Casio CG-20, the Casio CG-50, the Casio fx-9750, the Casio fx-9860, the HP 39, the HP 40 r the TI-Nspire.
Beyond the Classroom
Maths is a fun, creative and empowering subject, which gives us the opportunity to think deeply about abstract problems. It can also be used as a language for communicating thoughts about the real world, in subjects such as Statistics, Mechanics and Operational Research Techniques. At BSix we have a weekly Maths club where students and teachers meet to discuss interesting problems and students are encouraged to go to events at King’s College London and The University of Cambridge to further explore the subject.
The Mathematical Experience – Davies and Hersh
A book that many of the staff will have read when they were beginning on their mathematical careers and one which has been recognised as a classic for years
Fermat’s Last Theorem – Simon Singh
A brilliant description of one man’s drive to solve a 350 year old problem that obsessed him when he first saw it as a child – as well as the contributory steps from many equally obsessed mathematicians in the intervening years
17 Equations that Changed the World – Ian Stewart
Godel, Escher, Bach – Hofstadter
A fantastic and accessible book that ties together many things and makes anybody who reads it really start to think in new ways
Also, see the BBC documentary The Story of Maths with Marcus du Sautoy