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What do we Study?

In A Level the basic ideas of Pure Mathematics are developed alongside some of the branches of Applied Maths. Some of these involve deeper study of ideas encountered already at GCSE: functions (with some new ones to explore such as exponentials and logarithms), further trigonometry and more sequences. The student is also introduced to an important branch of the subject, calculus. Calculus (differentiation and integration) is one of the great achievements of human thought, forming the mathematical language to discuss and describe change.

In Mechanics, one of the applied modules studied, a real-life situation is modelled by a simple mathematical structure. Physicists and engineers have used maths in this way for centuries; stretching the idea of modelling into economics, medicine, psychology is much more recent. Modelling always involves translating the real-world problem into a mathematical problem (a model), then solving the mathematical problem, then interpreting the solution in terms of the real world.

The other applied module is Statistics, and here you will study some descriptive statistics, similar to work you did at GCSE. You will however study far more probability than you have done so far. You will answer the question ... could this combination of circumstances have happened by chance? In surveys and experiments, we are not immune from these freak occurrences, and statisticians like to quantify the element of luck involved. Even the weather forecasters use probability now!

Beyond the Classroom

Students are given the opportunity to attend lectures outside of school with external speakers covering a range of interesting and different topic discussions. In Year 12 they are also given the chance to attend a Maths Fest event run by several prominent mathematicians from the online platforms. They are also encouraged as part of community service to the school to help younger students with their Maths in lessons.

Where it Might Lead

The skills such in problem solving you learn during A Level Maths is very applicable to a wide range of careers and opportunities. The most obvious applications are in scientific fields but plenty of other careers involve these skills that might not be so immediately obvious.