This subject enables pupils to develop their understanding of Mathematics and mathematical processes in a way that promotes confidence and fosters enjoyment. Pupils will strengthen their ability to reason logically and recognise incorrect reasoning, to generalise and to construct mathematical proofs. As part of the A Level course they will develop an understanding of progression and cohesion in Mathematics and how different areas of Mathematics may be connected.
Pupils are encouraged to recognise how a situation may be represented mathematically and understand the relationship between ‘real world’ problems and standard and other mathematical models. They will read and comprehend mathematical arguments concerning applications of Mathematics and acquire the skills needed to use technology such as calculators and computers effectively. The course will foster an awareness of the relevance of Mathematics to other fields of study, to the world of work and society in general.
Principal topics are drawn from:
- Algebra and functions: Coordinate geometry in the (x, y) plane, Sequences and series, Differentiation, Integration, Trigonometry, Exponentials and logarithms, Numerical methods, Vectors;
- Statistics: Mathematical models in probability and statistics, Representation and summary of data, Probability, correlation and regression, Discrete random variables, Discrete distributions, Normal distribution;
- Decision: Algorithms, Critical path analysis, Linear programming, The route inspection problem;
- Mechanics: Mathematical models in mechanics, Vectors in mechanics, Kinematics of a particle moving in a straight line or plane, Statics of a particle, Moments.
Pupils intending to apply for a degree in Mathematics or a Mathematics related subject at university are strongly advised also to consider taking Further Mathematics.
As well as being an essential prerequisite for a mathematics (or mathematics-related) degree, mathematics is of significant value in a huge number of careers such as: medicine, dentistry and veterinary science; engineering and science; business administration; computing and applications of ICT; architecture and design; accountancy, financial services and banking; economics; interpretation of statistics in politics and journalism; education and research.