Mathematics at GCE is a course worth studying in its own right, and as a supporting subject for the physical and social sciences. It is challenging but interesting. It builds on work you will have met at GCSE, but also introduces ideas that some of the greatest minds of the last millennium have produced. It is a sought-after qualification, both for courses in higher education and for the workplace.
Mathematics is a popular option at BMS and is available in combination with most other subjects. In year 12 you will study pure maths topics alongside statistics and in year 13 you will cover more pure maths and mechanics.
Pure modules feature (for example) algebra, graphs, trigonometry and vectors, as well as introducing the important new area of calculus (new to you, that is, but introduced in the late 17th century by Newton and Leibniz).
The applied modules are:
- Mechanics (forces, velocity & acceleration, momentum – overlapping the Physics A Level course)
- Statistics (descriptive statistics, probability, discrete random variables)
- Decision Maths (algorithms, graph theory, networks, linear programming).
It is a good idea to discuss suitability for this course with the current Mathematics teacher; we do not recommend students who are likely to achieve a grade B/6 or below at GCSE start the course, and they are unlikely to progress to Year 13 should they do so.
Good mathematicians will want to consider taking both Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level. This course is recommended for those who want to study Mathematics at a high level for its own sake, as well as for those who see themselves studying (for example) Physics or Engineering at degree level, or who are considering Economics at Cambridge or other top universities. In Year 12, students complete A level Mathematics. Year 13 consists of a mix of Further Pure and extended Applied Modules (usually Further Mechanics and Statistics).
We follow the OCR Mathematics Specification and more details can be found on the OCR website where you can view the course specification and sample materials.
To start the Mathematics course you should be expecting to achieve at least a grade A/7 at GCSE. For Further Maths an A*/8 or 9 is essential, and ideally you will have studied an extra qualification such as the Additional Mathematics FSMQ, Further Mathematics GCSE or similar.