Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

Mathematics

Maths Y13Mathematics is Important. Mathematics is a universal part of human culture. It is the tool and language of commerce, engineering, physics, computing, biology, medicine, economics – the list goes on and on. It helps us recognise patterns and to understand the world around us. Mathematics plays a vital, often unseen, role in many aspects of modern life. Without mathematics our world would be a very different place indeed.

Mathematics is Diverse. Mathematics is extremely diverse. It spans the centuries and celebrates the writings and discoveries of many people from across the globe. It has an unparalleled ability to describe and make sense of the world around us, from the sub-atomic world to space and beyond. It is the tool which enables our doctors and nurses to function effectively and it is the mechanism that drives all of our business and financial transactions. It is the key element that enables our modern age to move forward.

Mathematics has Good Career Prospects. Analytical and quantitative skills are sought by a wide range of employers. A GCSE in Mathematics provides you with a broad range of skills in problem solving, logical reasoning and flexible thinking. This leads to careers and opportunities that are exciting, challenging and diverse in nature.

Mathematics is Exciting. Mathematics is an exciting and challenging subject which continues to develop at a rapid rate across many research areas. It has a natural elegance and beauty. Taking a real world problem and applying mathematical models to aid understanding is often hugely satisfying and rewarding.

GCSE Mathematics encourages students to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards, Mathematics and to recognise the importance of Mathematics in their own lives and to society. The qualification prepares students to make informed decisions about the use of technology, the management of money, further learning opportunities and career choices.

A GCSE in Mathematics requires students to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts, including: Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measures, Statistics, Probability.

Pupils will use their knowledge to make connections between mathematical concepts. They will apply the functional elements of Mathematics in everyday and real-life situations. Students will be given the opportunity to develop the ability to acquire and use problem –solving strategies. They will select and apply mathematical techniques, reason mathematically, make deductions and inferences and draw conclusions. They will interpret and communicate mathematical information in a variety of forms appropriate to the information and context.

Mathematics is a compulsory GCSE.

Students sit two written papers at the end of Year 11. Each paper contributes 50% of the qualification. Both papers are 1 hour and 45 minutes in total, and each paper contains 100 marks. Paper 1 is a “Non-calculator” paper, and Paper 2 is a “Calculator” paper. The papers test each pupil’s ability to:

-Recall and use their knowledge of the prescribed content (45 – 55%)
-Select and apply mathematical methods in a range of contexts (25 – 35%)
-Interpret and analyse problems and generate strategies to solve them (15 – 25%)

Edexcel offer two tiers within GCSE Mathematics. Higher Tier enables students to access the grades from A* to D. Foundation Tier enables students to access the grades from C to G. Each paper assesses the functional elements of Mathematics: 30 – 40% of the paper consists of functional elements in the Foundation Tier papers and 20 – 30% in the Higher Tier papers. Functional elements are ‘Real-world’ problems that are to be solved in each paper.

At Thetford Grammar School, all pupils aim towards sitting the Higher Tier papers at the end of Year 11. However, in particular cases, the option to sit the Foundation Tier papers is available.

A Level Mathematics introduces and develops fundamental ideas that build a repertoire of key skills. These can be either enjoyed in their own right (such areas are known as “Core” or “Pure” Mathematics), or employed to solve problems in other areas (“Applied” Mathematics).

Assessment is through modular examinations.

Minimum Entry Requirements:
A minimum GCSE Grade B in Mathematics.
Further Mathematicians should have an A* at GCSE.

In both years (AS and A2) you will build upon previous knowledge and be introduced to entirely new concepts and ideas. You will explore how to tackle a wide of variety of problems by applying these ‘mathematical tools’ appropriately. You will learn to spot common themes to some areas whilst developing novel approaches to others.

AS
The AS level builds upon the techniques from GCSE and extends them. You will study two “Core” modules and one “Applied” module. GCSE topics that are significantly extended include Trigonometry and Algebra, whilst fundamental new ideas include Calculus and Logarithms, for instance.

A2
The A2 level builds upon the work covered in AS. As with AS, two “Core” and one “Applied” module constitute the award. New ideas, such as different types of functions (e.g. modular, composite) and the transcendental number “e” are introduced whilst Trigonometry, Vectors and Calculus are extended, amongst other things.

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