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Why choose A-Level Mathematics?
If you enjoy Maths and feel confident with the work you have met so far at GCSE, then you should seriously consider Maths AS or A-level. It is a demanding and challenging subject but it can be an extremely rewarding one if you are prepared to put in time and effort.
Maths has wide applications in industry, business, finance, science, technology and many others. Maths qualifications can help you towards a future career in these areas. It is also a useful support for many University courses which increasingly can involve statistics modules. There is currently a national shortage of qualified mathematicians.
Maths courses offered at Greenhead
You can study maths at AS-level for a single year, or at A-level over two years. We also offer Further Mathematics giving you the opportunity to study for two A-levels in mathematics over two years, or as an AS-level in the second year of study having completed AS Mathematics in the first year.
AS/A Maths with Mechanics is suitable if you want to take AS/A-level Physics as there is some overlap in content and it is a useful support for physics in general and the appropriate course for intending engineers.
AS/A Maths with Statistics is suitable in combination with any AS/A-levels. Popular and useful combinations are with:
Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Geography, Geology, Business Studies, Economics and many others.
Maths and Further Maths are two Maths A-levels, often referred to as Double Maths, which must be taken together. Maths A-level is studied in one year. The Further Maths A-level in the second year builds onto the Maths A-level content. They are suitable courses for you if you have good mathematical ability and you may be considering a university course in mathematics, physics or engineering. Certain "high demand" courses at a number of universities (in subjects such as engineering) may prefer students who have studied further maths.
Double Maths is combined with two other AS levels in your first year. You will have the option of continuing with four or three A-levels in your second year, or perhaps considering three A-level and AS Further Maths when you are more sure of your career intentions.
AS Further Maths can also be taken as a second year option for students doing single Maths.
GCSE Maths resits: If you do not obtain a grade C at GCSE before you come to Greenhead, you will have the opportunity to try again in either November or June. The syllabus followed is AQA.
Experience has shown us that if students have a grade A or B at GCSE, then initially they tend to encounter fewer problems in the transition from GCSE to A-level and can expect considerable success. Attempting A-level from grade C (higher level) can pose more problems. In this case it is those few students with a high degree of commitment, motivation and willingness to do extra work who then go on to achieve a pass at A-level. We therefore recommend that preferably you have gained better than a C at GCSE, and must have studied GCSE mathematics at the higher level.
How is A-Level Maths assessed?
Assessment: Each A-level is assessed by 6 modular exams, although as maths and further maths counts as two A-levels, the assessment is by 12 modules.
Modular exam system: All module exam results are reported back, as a percentage mark, approximately 8 weeks after the exam. Consequently you can assess your progress throughout the course and with help from staff can re-assess future strategies for success.
About the department
There are 12 maths teachers at Greenhead: see the open evening leaflet for details. If you opt for single maths AS level (which 90% of our first year students do), you will have 4 lessons a week. For Further Maths there are 8 lessons (but bear in mind this counts as a full 2 subjects - Further Maths is not 'just a bit extra'). We make good use of ILT: we have our own resource area with 12 computers and have a data projector in each teaching room. Help is always at hand should problems arise.
What can I do with a Maths A-Level?
Mathematical ability is very highly regarded by both universities and employers. An A-Level in maths is essential for many degree courses (such as physics, engineering and, of course, mathematics itself!), and is highly desirable in a wide range of subjects such as chemisty, natural sciences, architecture, computing, accounting etc. There is a national shortage of mathematicians, and employment prospects are good. To get some idea of careers open to those studying maths at A-Level and beyond.