Further Mathematics

What does the course cover?

Further Mathematics must be studied alongside the standard Mathematics A-Level. There is one compulsory Paper and then a range of further topics to select from. Areas which you will cover include:

  • Further Pure Mathematics: An exciting part of maths introduces you to imaginary numbers, parabolic and hyperbolic equations, matrices and proof by induction. It is extremely rewarding, but not for the faint hearted. You will then go on to delve further into imaginary numbers and then straight into one of the most useful areas of mathematics: first and second order differential equations. These are used to model all sorts of processes used in physics, economics and biology. A simple example is modelling the rate at which a mug of tea cools down; this is related to the temperature difference between the tea and the room, but this will change as it cools down, making it more complicated to model than you think. Lastly, there is an introduction to a new coordinate system: polar coordinates.

Other areas include extending further with Further Pure Mathematics, the there are options to study a range of applied modules including Further Mechanics, Further Statistics and Discrete mathematics.

What skills will the course help you develop?

  • Fluency in the key mathematics topics for science and engineering
  • Organising and presenting a structured and logical argument
  • Confidence in mastering challenging ideas and overcoming difficulties
  • Thinking in an abstract and symbolic way.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed through exams only with 4 exams taken for a full A-Level at the end of the 2 year course. Paper 1 covers all Further Pure mathematics with Paper 2, 3 and 4 giving options of topics including extension of Further Pure Mathematics, Further Mechanics, Further Statistics and Discrete. Paper 1 is worth 144 marks (50%) and is a 2 hour 40 minute exam with papers 2, 3 and 4 all worth 60 marks each (16 2/3%) and are 1 hour 15 minute exams.

What are the entry requirements?

To take two Maths A-Levels you need to really enjoy solving mathematical problems and want to devote a significant amount of your time to it. A Grade 8/9 at GCSE is essential.

What do students who study this course go on to do?

It is becoming more and more common for Universities to request Further Maths as one of their core requirements in subjects such as Mathematics, Engineering and Physics. In addition, any students wanting to study any of these subjects will find these more challenging courses more manageable if they have studied Further Maths.

Who is the staff contact for Further Mathematics?

Mr Hollindale, Miss Le Brun, Mr Burton, Miss Filgate and Miss Stone are all available for Further Mathematics. As class sizes are often very small, some of the teaching may take place through interactive classrooms with the Oxford Further Mathematics Network.

Students all sit formal mocks in January during both Y12 and Y13. Y12 maths students sit a partial Pure paper, Y12 further maths sit a partial Further Pure paper, Y13 maths sit C3 and a re-take paper of their choice from Y12.

Throughout the year all maths students complete chapter reviews after each chapter is complete in each module. These consist of 4-6 past paper questions on the topic which are assessed by the class teacher, graded and written and verbal feedback provided. Results from chapter reviews aid teachers to accurately report on progress to both students and parents.

In the run up to the completion of each module a booklet of all past papers are provided for students to work through independently and at times be set a homework. These can then be marked using either mark schemes independently, or with model answers in class. Students are encouraged to use these as one of their main sources of revision in the build up to the final module exams.