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Mathematics

AS / A-level Mathematics

A/AS level results have been very impressive with Mathematics being one of the most popular subjects studied in the Sixth Form. Modules in Pure Mathematics, Mechanics, Statistics and Decision Mathematics are offered, giving students the chance to obtain full A/AS level qualifications in both Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Additional Further Mathematics.

As well as entering students for public examinations, we also participate fully in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Mathematical Challenges run by the UK Mathematical Trust.
Many students are successful in achieving Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates. In the Senior competition, we have also had invitations to enter students for the British Mathematical Olympiad.

Pure Mathematics reinforces and builds upon various topics studied at GCSE: Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, graphs and functions are studied in further detail, along with some introductory calculus in the first module C1.

Mechanics is the area of mathematical modelling of physical situations and is the foundation for much of the work in Physics and most aspects of Engineering. Newton's Laws of Motion, Forces and Energy are all looked at from a mathematical viewpoint.

Statistics provides the techniques needed to critically analyse data. Probability is also looked at in depth.

Decision Mathematics provides the deductive reasoning and algorithms needed to logically analyse information in order to find effective solutions in many real-life problem solving situations.

It goes without saying that an A-level in Mathematics is, if not prescribed as essential, of enormous benefit in preparing for higher education courses such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, Engineering, Economics and Geography. It is, simply, a very useful qualification to possess in any walk of life.

The Lower VI AS course comprises 3 modules required to obtain an AS in Mathematics: the two compulsory modules in Pure Mathematics, C1 and C2, along with an applied mathematics unit, namely EITHER M1 (Mechanics) OR S1 (Statistics) OR D1 (Decision Mathematics). These are each examined by a 90 minute examination in May/June. There is no coursework element to the qualification.

Many students of course continue the subject into Upper VI where three additional modules (including the compulsory C3 and C4) lead to a full A-level. The combinations of modules offered at any one time are tailored as far as possible to the expertise of the staff as well as the interest and abilities of individual candidates.

Summary of separate course requirements
AS Mathematics
Pure Mathematics units C1 and C2 plus one of the applied units M1 or S1 or D1.

A-level Mathematics

Pure Mathematics units C1, C2, C3 and C4 plus two applied units.

GCE A-level Further Mathematics

By studying a further six Mathematics modules (including two further compulsory Pure Mathematics: Modules FP1 and either of FP2 or FP3, thus making a total of 12), it is possible to obtain an A-level in Further Mathematics.

Further Mathematics is normally, though not always, studied as a fourth A-level and is intended for able Sixth Form Mathematics students, namely those aiming for a grade A in A-level Mathematics. Its main function is to provide a firm mathematical base for those wishing to become mathematicians, engineers, scientists or economists by extending the work covered for A-level Mathematics both in scope and depth.

It is a significant advantage to have studied at least some Further Mathematics if you wish to pursue your study of Mathematics, or indeed, any scientific-based subject such as Physics or Engineering at University. Needless to say, this course is also for those wishing to take their study and understanding of Mathematics to a higher level because of an interest in Mathematics itself.

A Further Mathematics A- or AS-level course is also an impressive addition to any UCAS form and could assist entrance to competitive courses at University.

In short, Further Mathematics widens knowledge and strengthens technique, and has also proved to be invaluable for many of our past students. In recent years our Further Mathematicians have gone on to study Mathematics at Oxford, Engineering at Bath and Management at LSE.

Summary of separate course requirements:

AS Further Mathematics
Further Pure Mathematics unit FP1 plus any two other units (excluding C1-C4).
A-level Further Mathematics
Further Pure Mathematics FP1, FP2 and/or FP3; in addition a further three or four applied units (excluding C1-C4) to make a total of six units.
To commence an A-level course in Mathematics, you will ideally have taken GCSE Higher level and have obtained either an A* or A grade (or equivalent). The opportunities to continue to  study the subject in the Mathematics department at Saint Felix are extensive.
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