St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

Do you enjoy a challenge and want an A Level that is highly regarded by universities and employers alike? To study Mathematics at a higher level you must have a determination to succeed and a love of solving problems.

The course is based on the modular Edexcel  scheme. There are 3 modules for the AS exam – Core 1, Core 2 and Statistics. In Year 13 there are a further 3 modules for the A2  exam – Core 3, Core 4 and Mechanics.

The Core units are Pure Mathematics modules. Pure Mathematics is the Mathematics which underlies all applications. It is the study of number, algebra and shape, some of which will have been seen during GCSE. Solving quadratic equations, factorising and sketching  curves will be taken to a higher level but you will go on to study areas that you have not yet seen, such as calculus. Calculus was  discovered by Sir Isaac Newton when he used Mathematics to sketch the paths of the planets and has many uses in the modern  world, particularly in the fields of engineering, physics and astronomy.

Statistics allows us to look at past events and use these to predict outcomes in the future. This branch of Mathematics is used by  marketing experts to decide what you are likely to spend your money on! It can also be used to determine the likelihood of an  earthquake or tsunami in an area of the world or predict the ups and downs of the stock exchange. This branch of Mathematics is  used by all Sciences and Social Sciences to understand patterns in behaviour.

Mechanics is the study of motion. It looks at the way that a physical body moves when subjected to a force. Much of the work is  based around Newton’s three laws of motion.


3 exams, 1 hour 30 minutes each, to be taken in the Summer of Year 12.

Core 1: Algebra and functions, co-ordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane, sequences and series, differentiation, integration.

Core 2: More on each of the above topics with trigonometry and logarithms.

Statistics 1: Mathematical models in probability and statistics, representation and summary of date, probability, correlation and regression, discrete random variables, discrete distributions, the normal distribution.


3 exams, 1 hour 30 minutes each, the first to be taken in January of Year 13, the remaining two in Summer of Year 13.

Core 3: Algebra and functions, trigonometry, exponential and logarithms, differentiation, numerical methods.

Core 4: Algebra and functions, co-ordinate geometry in the (x,y) plane, sequences and series, differentiation, integration, vectors.

Mechanics 1: Mathematical modelling, vectors, kinematics, dynamics, statics of a particle, moments.

Is there anything else I need to know?

There is no coursework in A Level Mathematics

Progression Rates:

In addition to being an essential requirement for Mathematics and many science-based courses in higher education, Mathematics is  valuable in a wide range of professions including engineering, computing, economics, accountancy and actuarial work and is  well-regarded for undergraduate courses in subjects such as Psychology, Law and Business & Management Studies.

Student Quotes

When you tell people you do A-level mathematics they automatically think you are a very clever person. Mathematics does seem daunting at times, but the teachers support you all the way, and offer as much time and extra help as you need.

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